The Prime Minister will welcome major new UK investments and public-private partnerships which are turbocharging the clean energy transition in Africa, as he attends the Commonwealth Business Forum in Kigali today.
Two projects supported British International Investment (BII) – the UK’s development finance institution – will invest massively in hydropower across Africa and upgrade Uganda’s power stations to boost renewable energy capacity.
The UK will also commit an additional £36 million to boost sustainable growth in Small Island Developing States’ critical maritime economy. The funding will support UK scientific expertise and resources for small island governments to sustainably monetise their ocean resources, while protecting the marine environment.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“The Green Industrial Revolution is sweeping across Africa, backed by British financing and technical expertise. The continent’s abundant natural resources can be harnessed to provide cheap, reliable sources of energy for its people and industries, without contributing to the rising global temperatures that are already devastating communities.
“The UK Government is leading the way, supporting sustainable green infrastructure across the Commonwealth and opening new opportunities for Britain’s leading clean tech companies to grow their business around the world.”
British International Investment will provide up to £162 million [$200m USD] of capital investment in the hydropower sector in Africa, partnered with Norway’s Norfund in a joint venture with energy firm Scatec.
The partnership is expected to create 180,000 jobs and provide enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 3 million people, while slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Initial projects include the proposed 205MW Ruzizi III hydropower plant which will provide energy for Rwanda, DRC and Burundi, and the construction of Malawi’s largest power plant.
Gridworks, a UK Government-funded subsidiary of BII, has also signed a cooperation agreement with the Government of Uganda this week to invest up to $90 million [£73m] to develop their national grid. The project will upgrade four critical electricity substations in Uganda to boost their capacity to absorb renewable energy to supply industrial customers.
Uganda already gets 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources, but has the potential to generate far more if storage and transmission infrastructure is improved.