In the energy and climate circles of today, few messages emerge as clearly as the message that private investments have a pivotal role to play in supplying Africa with abundant and clean energy. The reasoning goes as follows: the financing needed for reaching Africa’s energy and sustainability goals far exceeds most countries’ already stretched public finances, making investments by the private sector – and IPPs in particular – of critical importance. The key, then, is to catalyze private capital at scale within the soonest timeframe possible, to unlock economic growth opportunities and ensure that African countries can leapfrog polluting and more expensive alternatives.
Yet despite this wide recognition and a wide interest from the European private sector to invest in renewable energy, the volume of financial flows to Sub Saharan Africa remains negligible. Why is that?
The common answer is that a range of risks are acting as barriers to investments, hindering bankability of potential RES projects. The purpose of this survey is to shed further light on this issue by hearing out what investors themselves have to say. This study presents the views of 116 survey participants on what they consider to be the most significant investment risks that need addressing in six countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
The findings of the survey can provide policy makers with valuable guidance on areas that deserve more focus, and can form a basis for constructive B2G dialogue. The significance of such dialogue cannot be overstated: it can act as a powerful catalyst, to help build trust, spur coordinated action, generate a sense of combined ownership and shared goals, and ultimately make policy measures more impactful.
The study is a third addition to the PwC and RES4Africa Investor Survey series, following up on two studies done on the Med region in 2016 and then again in 2021. This is the very first survey done on Sub Saharan Africa, reflecting on the growing investor interest in this region as well as the success of the renewAfrica initiative.
As long-term advocates and proponents of clean energy, the RES4Africa Foundation and PwC are glad to act as a bridge between the European private sector and policy makers in Sub Saharan African countries. A heartfelt thank you goes to those who contributed with their views and made this survey possible.