To ensure climate adaptation, resilience: Stakeholders commit to scale up renewable energy access.

Executive Director of ACSEA, Dr Augustine Njamnshi, speaking to the press

Stakeholders from public and private institutions have taken the joint commitment to scale up renewable energy access for climate adaptation and resilience in the country.

The pledge was made on Friday June 14. This was at the end of a crucial multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, which took place in Yaounde.

The day-long policy dialogue was presided over by the Secretary General of the Ministry Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, MINEPDED, Prof Paul Tchawa. The MINEPDED scribe chaired the gathering on behalf of Minister Hele Pierre.

The said policy dialogue was organised by the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access, ACSEA. It brought together policy makers, legislators, academia, private operators, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and community representatives.

According to organisers, the aim of the policy dialogue was to, amongst other reasons; increase the understanding among stakeholders about the importance of scaling up renewable energy access in Cameroon for climate adaptation and resilience.

It was also intended to identify barriers and enablers of scaling up renewable energy in the country as well propose innovative solutions and strategies to address them. 

The dialogue also included a restitution session on the outcomes of the Conference of Parties, COP 28, and providing insights into the global climate action.

Speaking during the policy dialogue, the Executive Director of ACSEA, Dr Augustine Njamnshi, detailed that the dialogue was aimed at fostering meaningful discussions and innovative solutions.

Dr Njamnshi further explained that the dialogue provides a unique platform for stakeholders jointly address the critical issues surrounding renewable energy deployment in the country in the face of a climate crisis.  

The Executive Director of ACSEA lamented over the fact that despite possessing abundant renewable energy resources, hydro powers, solar, wind and biomass, the nation still faces significant challenges in harnessing these assets effectively.

According to Dr Njamnshi, “only about 18 per cent of the population has access to electricity as of 2013” insisting that “we are highly vulnerable to seasonal variations and the impacts of climate change”. 

“Cameroon’s ambition to become an emerging economy hinges on the ability to provide a stable and affordable energy supply pivotal for both economic growth and social development,” Dr Njamnshi said.

“…Renewable energy is at the heart of this commitment promising to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and lower the carbon intensity of our electricity sector. The policy dialogue we convene today aims to bridge the gap between our renewable energy potential the realities of implementation,” Dr Njamnshi added.

According to Dr Njamnshi, there is an urgent need to look at the imperative of renewable energy, “to build our resilience, our economy and our development, because we cannot continue to think that renewable energy is just for mitigating climate change”.

At the end of the awareness raising dialogue, we gathered, a policy brief will be presented to parliamentarians and policy makers. This is to ensure that Cameroon integrates the importance of access to energy for development in a very constraint climate context.  


Minister’s envoy, ACSEA Executive Director, dignitaries, other stakeholders in group photograph 



Enter Minister’s envoy

Prof Paul Tchawa, representative of the Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, told participants that Cameroon’s energy future is bright, but that they are at a critical junction despite having abundant natural resources.

Prof Tchawa said government is steadfast in its commitment to collaborate closely with development partners, private sector entities and civil society organisations. The Nachtigal Hydro Electric Power station with a capacity of 420 megawatts, he said, epitomises progress and underscores government’s dedication.  

He also reminded stakeholders that together, they can secure financial resources, exchange knowledge and construct the essential infrastructure for a sustainable energy future.

“It is therefore imperative that we take swift actions to alter this course. By 2035, we are striving for renewable energy to play a pivotal role in our progress. Our objective is to elevate our renewable energy mix to 45% by tapping into the power of the sun, wind, water and others,” Prof Tchawa said in his opening speech.

Prof Tchawa also added that: “Our transition to renewable energy is about more than just generating power. It is about remote areas can access electricity, solar panels on roof tops, biogas of diverse types in villages will all contribute to our collective resilience”.

The MINEPDED scribe said he optimistic that a shift will generate employment, bolster energy security and elevate living standard. He also said that the ideas that would be generated during the policy dialogue will “lights our homes, power our industries and protect our planet”. 



This story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No:3143 of Wednesday June 19, 2024


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