The Africa Coalition for Sustainable Energy Access (ACSEA) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) on Tuesday launched the Nigeria platform for a people-centred energy transition project in Africa.
The three-year project is being implemented in four other countries of Kenya, Botswana, Cameroon and Morocco.
ACSEA National Coordinator for Nigeria, Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo said through the ACSEA Nigeria platform, a Just Energy Transition movement building for energy transition would be made possible.
He said it was worrisome that there was low participation of civil society and non-state actors in decision making processes on renewable energy transition.
According to him, there is the need for capacity building and training for civil society to have a strong voice in the decision making process and influence policy change for renewable energy.
“Therefore, the prime focus of the project is the promotion of renewable energy access in Nigeria. In general, clean energy access is limited due to energy poverty.
“The ACSEA project launch is important to address issues of energy governance to allow for decentralised energy systems that are socially driven and promotes community energy in all systems’’.
He however said only through decentralized energy systems that energy poverty can best be tackled and solved, while calling for continuous training of capacity for local manufacturing of renewable energy gadgets.
This he noted, would promote technological advancement in the renewable energy sector and the generation of green jobs through greener technologies to prevent Africa as a dumping ground for all sorts of technologies.
ACSEA Programmes Director, Mr Eugene Nforngwa, said the project would strengthen civil society’s role in promoting and implementing sustainable energy transition initiatives, and influence policy development in the five countries.
He said Africa had the lowest energy access rate in the world (75 per cent of those without electricity), saying Energy access is thus a policy priority for many governments and development actors.
According to him, renewable energy remains the best chance to fill such gap, while minimizing potential emissions from the sector, adding that current initiatives are uncoordinated and lack broad-based participation.
“A strong civil society movement is crucial in minimising risks, increasing access for the poor and securing emission reductions is critical.
“Renewable energy should be at the centre of any efforts to make energy accessible, Africa is not fully exploring other options, only Kenya and south Africa are making efforts’’.
Mr Ahmed Nagode, D-G, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), said there was need for reducing greenhouse gas emissions when seeking access to renewable energy options.
He said civil society organisations and community-based organisation have huge roles to play in sustainable renewable energy processes.
According to him, building skills acquisition in the energy sector would help to create opportunities for the teeming youth.
Nagode said, “while seeking out energy needs of the populace, we must think of having a sustainable maintenance culture.
“We must also include women and persons with disabilities into consideration in all processes of renewable energy’’.