$1 billion Israeli renewable energy commitment to Africa
$20m agreement for Liberia’s first solar field is first deal following a memorandum of understanding signed between Israel and ECOWAS.
Jerusalem-based renewable-energy developer Energiya Global will invest $1 billion over the next four years to advance green power projects across 15 West African countries as part of a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this week between Israel and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“In honor of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s two terms in office, and Liberia’s friendship with the State of Israel, Energiya Global and our international partners will finance and build a commercial-scale solar field at Roberts International Airport, which will supply 25% of the country’s generation capacity,” announced Yosef I. Abramowitz, Energiya Global CEO.
“We are prepared to finance and build the first National Demonstration Solar Projects in all ECOWAS-affiliated countries in order to promote political stability and social and economic development, as well as to advance knowledge transfer.”
Energiya Global and its associated companies developed the first commercial-scale solar field in sub-Sahara Africa in Rwanda, which is supplying 6% of the country’s power, and the group broke ground on a similar power plant in Burundi, which will supply 15% of the country’s power by the end of the year, according to a company statement.
Energiya Global has fields at various stages of development in 10 African countries and will announce its full program at the Israel-Africa Summit in Togo at the end of October.
The announcement coincided with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the ECOWAS Summit in Liberia on June 4, marking the first time a non-African leader was invited to speak at the forum. Netanyahu outlined Israeli technological innovations in agriculture, water and green energy that can support economic development in West Africa. The resulting MoU will promote investments, technology and cooperation.
“With 600 million Africans without electricity, the State of Israel can literally help African heads of state bring power to the African people,” says Member of Knesset Avraham Neguise, chairman of the Israel-Africa Caucus of the Israeli Parliament, who accompanied Netanyahu.
“Our humanitarian and diplomatic goals are supported by the private sector as well, which can work quickly and efficiently to improve the lives of millions of people. … We look forward to working with ECOWAS to deploy $1 billion over the next four years, starting with this first investment of $20 million in Liberia by Energiya Global,” said Neguise.
PICTURE: Yosef Abramowitz with U2’s lead singer Bono