Ghana is among other African countries set to the first batch of beneficiaries to a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International energy producer, Eni SpA.
The two entities have signed an agreement to collaborate to improve access to sustainable energy and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
In a press statement, Eni SpA said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect has been signed by Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner during an official ceremony hosted by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations on the margins of the 73rd General Assembly.
“Improving access to energy, especially in Africa, is core to our values, and it is now an intrinsic part of our business. We invest more than half of our budget in Africa, boosting the domestic potential and promoting local development. Today’s MoU – a first for the energy sector underscores the credibility of our efforts and the soundness of our business model,” Mr. Descalzi said.
Under the terms of the agreement, “Eni will develop business ventures to increase access to clean energy in the region and UNDP will use its extensive development network in over 170 countries to foster an enabling environment to implement the partnership and assess its sustainable impact in local communities.
“The private sector is a strategic partner that can help realize our vision for inclusive development, as outlined in Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “UNDP and Eni’s combined expertise, ability to innovate, and on-the-ground networks can enable better access to sustainable energy sources in Africa. He continued, “This partnership demonstrates how we can work together to achieve the Goals, specifically on SDG 17 on partnerships, 13 for climate, 12 for sustainable consumption and production, and above all SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy.”
Eni projects will include electricity production from photovoltaic (PV) plants (including floating systems), wind farms, off-grid hybrid solutions, reforestation and clean cooking solutions.
As part of this partnership, UNDP will also work to raise awareness for clean energy and sustainable business models, and provide training and capacity building in recipient communities.
“In 2017, Eni delivered 56 billion cubic meters of gas to domestic markets in 14 countries in Africa. To date, it has invested a total of approximately US$2 billion in sub-Saharan Africa in the construction and restoration of networks and power plants, supplying electricity to over 18 million people. We are now launching new investments in renewable energy across the continent,” Mr. Descalzi explained.
Other countries to benefit include Angola, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania.