Renewable energy in Africa
The Clean Technology Hub is a center for innovative energy technologies based in Abuja, Nigeria. On top of conducting research and development for new renewable energy solutions in Africa — the Clean Technology Hub also acts as a start-up incubator for entrepreneurs committed to clean energy and as a consultant for businesses aiming to become more energy-efficient.

The Energy-Poverty Gap In Africa

Through advancing the field of clean energy solutions, the Clean Technology Hub hopes to bolster sustainable economic growth across Africa. More than 600 million people in Africa are currently living in energy-poverty and the continent’s population only continues to grow. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, the need for energy access in Africa also continues to grow.

The core issue is not simply access to electricity but more specifically, access to reliable and uninterrupted electricity. Several million Nigerians only have access to an average of four hours of electricity per day. According to Clean Technology Hub, 93 million people in Nigeria do not have access to electricity at all. Rural areas of Nigeria face an exacerbated problem as over 60% of communities in these locations do not have access to energy. Of course, this issue is not unique to Nigeria. The Clean Technology Hub hopes to accelerate energy access across the entire continent through renewable and sustainable methods.

The Intersection of Renewable Energy & Technological Development

One of the Clean Technology Hub’s projects, Tech Meets Renewable Energy, intends to address the problem of renewable energy solutions in Africa. This initiative aims to bring energy access to remote areas in Africa through a collaborative effort between sustainable energy and technology. Clean energy providers need technological solutions to monitor consumption and develop transparent payment methods in order to make renewable energy as accessible as possible.

As a part of the Tech Meets Renewable Energy project, the Clean Technology Hub created a program to support entrepreneurs with innovative ideas on how to further develop the renewable energy supply chain. The issue of the energy supply chain can seriously hinder energy access in hard-to-access locations. This is only one of many ways that the Clean Technology Hub has created a space for innovators in the industry who are committed to advancing clean energy solutions.

Gender and Energy Access

Ifeoma N. Malo, the co-founder and CEO of the Clean Technology Hub, is a young Nigerian woman who is pioneering the world of renewable energy solutions in Africa. She believes that energy-poverty is an issue that affects almost every sector in Africa. In an interview with ESI Africa, she discussed the kidnapping of 265 young girls in 2014, who were taken from their schools in Chibok during a study period. She explains that part of “the reason they were kidnapped with ease and in such high numbers is that they did not have electricity,” making it impossible for anyone to get help.

Thus, gender-based development is an important aspect of Clean Technology Hub’s work. Malo believes that female-founded and led Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are crucial to the future of renewable energy solutions in Africa. The Clean Technology Hub has a number of programs that empower African women and provide their businesses with cost-efficient, clean energy solutions. Over time, the MSME project has not only accelerated the adoption of renewable energy but sustained thousands of women-owned small businesses.

Looking Ahead

The future that the Clean Technology Hub envisions is the expansion and proliferation of renewable energy solutions in Africa, alongside sustainable economic growth and development. Although there is still a long way to go in closing the energy-poverty gap in Africa, the Clean Technology Hub’s important work has greatly accelerated the adoption of clean, renewable energy solutions in Africa.

Leina Gabra
Photo: Flickr