Electrifying Africa to ensure human rights

Published on Wednesday, 8 May 2019

“Enel Green Power has been working for years to address Africa’s growing energy demands through a widespread implementation of renewables. Thanks to our know-how, we’re committed to foster the continent’s development by supporting local communities through a wide range of sustainability projects.”

– Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power

Enel Green Power is adamant that renewable energy is the way to go in reducing CO2 emissions, although that’s just one side of the story. Its mission is to increase the number of people that have access to electricity while simultaneously changing the energy mix by providing new services for a more efficient and sustainable use of energy.

“We believe that teamwork is the best way to encourage and hasten the fulfilment of national policies for the attainment of UN’s SDGs - Sustainable Development Goals - all countries pledged to achieve by 2030 to benefit the whole world. Among them: ensuring everyone has access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy systems, and this is one of the main tasks of Enel Green Power’s mission.”

– Marco Gualtieri, President and founder of Seeds&Chips

The real nexus of Africa’s development was also at the core of the "Empowering Africa - access to power in the African continent" meeting, a conference held by Istituto Affari Internazionali, together with Enel Foundation and the Policy Center for the New South, held on May 6 in Rome, with the goal of delving into the topic of electricity access while analyzing future prospects for the African continent energy scenario.

“Failing to ensure access to electricity is equivalent to denying a human right, and in the current context of Sub-Saharan Africa, this goes beyond distant backwaters and rural areas as it also affects urbanized areas. Africa’s problem isn’t the cost of electricity but rather the complexity in developing a shared framework: we should engage in fostering the development of an integrated approach with African governments to tackle the infrastructure gap in their territories.”

– Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power

Numbers do the talking: Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 14% of the world’s population where over 600 million people still live “in the dark”. This sets the stage for an energy paradox: on one side we have carbon neutrality as the only way to tackle climate change, while on the other we’re witnessing a growing trend in energy consumption due to digitalization, urbanization and industrialization. In a limbo, there’s over half a billion people throughout the world that lack electricity, 783 million people with no access to clean fresh water and 842 million souls who suffer from hunger.

Our commitment for Africa

In order to provide a tangible and measurable contribution, Enel Green Power has embedded the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its corporate strategy by identifying 6 priorities: access to affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), quality education (SDG 4), social and economic development of the communities where it does business (SDG 8), a commitment towards innovation, a fair, sustainable and responsible industrialization, together with resilient infrastructures (SDG 9), contributing to the sustainability of cities and communities (SDG 11) and tackling climate change (SDG 13).

Enel Green Power is a world leader in renewable energy, standing at the forefront in the development of integrated solutions that ensure a widespread access to electricity in some of the world’s most affected areas by this issue like Sub-Saharan Africa. This is where we’ve already activated 550 MW-worth of solar parks and wind farms, while a further 850 MW-worth of approved projects are already in the pipeline.

Furthermore, EGP is actively promoting a host of initiatives aiming to integrate energy use and production with food and water supplies to create an essential “nexus”, ensuring the African populace with benefits from inclusive and sustainable development.