At a High-Level Session held on the margins of COP 28 in Dubai by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and partners, the leaders of Denmark, Germany, Kenya and Namibia gathered to reaffirm their commitment to the Accelerated Partnerships for Renewables in Africa (APRA).

Founded in September 2023 in collaboration with Denmark, Germany, Kenya, Sierra Leone and launched in Nairobi during the Africa Climate Summit (ACS), the partnership seeks to boost the production of renewable energy in Africa.

Said President William Ruto of Kenya, “we are moving from words into action on behalf of our people. Partnerships like APRA are critical in harnessing Africa’s enormous potential to ensure we use renewable energy to power our livelihoods as well as our industrialization,” he said in his opening remarks as he laid out the context of the presidential event. Ruto, is widely credited for playing a leading role in getting the partnership off the ground.

President Ruto thanked President Bio (in absentia) for his strong support of APRA and the launch in Kenya as he reiterated that leaders in Africa will work together to find African solutions to the challenges they face in the continent.

In her remarks, Prime Minister Mette Fredericksen committed her country’s strong support of Africa and APRA. She noted that many countries in Africa suffer from the dangerous effects of climate change. As a result, she announced that Denmark is providing 128 million kroner ($18.7 million to finance and support the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa.

For his part, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, acknowledged APRA’s role in galvanizing action and the inspirational leadership the partnership has set for others to follow.

He also recognized President Bio’s role and colleague Head of States for their laudable efforts.

Delivering prepared remarks on President Bio’s behalf as lead of the Sierra Leone delegation at COP28, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Chairman, Presidential Initiative on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Food Security (PI-CREF) reaffirmed President Bio’s commitment to efforts aimed at addressing climate challenges and noting specifically his call to “focus our efforts to limiting global warming.”

“In Sierra Leone,” President Bio underscored the need “to drive industrialization, we must unlock our huge renewable energy potential along with other sources to light up, power homes, schools, hospitals and businesses. That is the only thing that will empower people to create more wealth for and in their communities.”

As we gather here today with our friends and supporters, we know quite clearly that success will come only when we have strong and credible public-private partnerships. Partnerships that are actionable. This partnership that we have started will require international cooperation and coordination to mobilize the needed finance, provide technical assistance and capacity building,” continued Yumkella in delivering President Bio’s remarks.

To significantly achieve the APRA goals, all leaders emphasized the critical importance of the role the private sector can play to mobilize finance, the need for governments to provide the right public policies to attract needed investments, technical assistance and capacity building for countries who are members of the partnership.

As a founding member, Sierra Leone will significantly benefit from the partnership to support President Bio’s goals of reducing energy poverty and increasing access through a sustainable energy system.

Sierra Leone recently hosted an APRA workshop in Freetown supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) during the launch of the country’s national Climate Resilience and Energy Transition Dialogue in Freetown.

COP28 in Dubai is the first Global Stock Take to assess the world’s progress on commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.