Zimbabwe’s Green Leap: Doubling Energy with Renewables

APRA Initiative Powers Zimbabwe’s Sustainable Energy Future

by Adenike Adeodun

In a pivotal moment for Zimbabwe’s energy sector, President Emmerson Mnangagwa underscored the transformative potential of the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) during a speech, delivered by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, at the International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo held in Victoria Falls. Mnangagwa’s message highlighted APRA’s crucial role in propelling Zimbabwe towards a future powered by renewable energy, aligning with global efforts to tackle the pressing challenges of climate change.

APRA, conceived at the African Climate Summit in September 2023, represents a collaborative endeavor among African nations including Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe, and is supported by international partners like Denmark, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and the International Renewable Energy Agency. This initiative is designed to fast-track the energy transition in participating countries, marking a significant step towards sustainable and resilient energy systems.

Mnangagwa’s address at the conference, which saw a large turnout, emphasized the urgency with which the world, including Zimbabwe, must adopt green energy solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change. He pointed out the necessity for bold and decisive actions to close the energy gap, stressing the importance of integrating renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydrogen, and electric vehicles into Zimbabwe’s energy mix. This strategic pivot not only aims to double the nation’s energy capacity but also to bolster regional energy security and stimulate investment opportunities that are inclusive and equitable.

The conference served as a critical platform for discussing the multifaceted transition towards renewable energy, including technological advancements and socioeconomic implications. Mnangagwa called for a focused examination of the human capital development required for this transition, emphasizing the need for skill and competency development in renewable energy technologies.

In his speech, Mnangagwa reaffirmed the government’s commitment to increasing the share of renewables in Zimbabwe’s energy portfolio, moving away from non-renewable sources. This commitment extends to prioritizing the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing energy infrastructure, as well as scaling up efforts to upgrade the country’s energy generation, transmission, and distribution networks.

Mnangagwa also highlighted the critical link between energy and sustainable socio-economic development, urging the energy sector, and specifically the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, to promote energy conservation and efficiency. He emphasized the importance of providing quality technical and professional services to investors and stakeholders, guided by a business-friendly ethos.

The speech articulated a vision for a greener development pathway for Zimbabwe, one that balances the imperative for modernization and industrialization with the preservation of environmental biodiversity. Mnangagwa’s administration is set to continue refining policies and implementing flagship projects to address the uncertainties posed by climate change.

Mnangagwa’s message underscored the importance of unity and collaboration in building climate resilience within the energy sector, aiming for heightened cooperation among stakeholders and investors to achieve national and global net-zero targets. This collaborative spirit is encapsulated in the adage mentioned in his speech, highlighting the potential for collective action to achieve far-reaching impacts in the fight against climate change.

Zimbabwe’s power sector, currently facing a significant deficit exacerbated by climate change, stands at a crossroads. The renewable energy conference, organized by The Standard in partnership with the Ministry of Power and Energy Development, marks a crucial step towards addressing these challenges. As Zimbabwe navigates its energy transition, the commitment to renewable energy sources emerges as a beacon of hope, promising a sustainable and prosperous future for the nation and its people.


Source: Newsday

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