The EU has announced a contribution of €300 million (£259m) for 19 renewable energy projects in Africa.

The investment, which comes as part of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), is expected to leverage around €4.8 billion (£4.14bn) and add 1.8GW of new clean power generation on the continent.

It will contribute to the EU's 2020 goals of giving 30 million more people access to sustainable electricity, saving 11 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide each year and generating 5GW of new renewable energy in Africa.

One of AREI's key objectives is to generate 10GW of new renewable energy in Africa by 2020 and to unlock the continent's potential to generate as much as 300GW from renewables by 2030.

Commissioner Mimica said: "With these 19 new projects, potentially worth €4.8 billion of investments, the European Union is delivering on its promises. We are turning our pledges into real projects with true impact on the ground. The EU hereby reaffirms its leading role in supporting the African continent in the promotion of renewable energies for the improvement of energy access for African citizens."

This will contribute to the European Commission's aim for 2020: to give 30 million more people access to sustainable energy, to save 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, and to help generate 5 Gigawatts of new renewable energy in Africa. This represents half of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative's overall target, as one of AREI's key objectives is to generate 10 Gigawatt of new renewable energy in Africa by 2020, and to unlock Africa's potential to generate as much as 300 Gigawatt from renewable energy by 2030. The EU's development funding towards sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2014-2020 amounts to approximately €2.7 billion.

March 6, 2017 Living photo: Phanes Group

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