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#9B: The Impact of Sustainable Energy on African Development (Commentary) (continued)

Welcome back!

If you missed part A of this two-part commentary, please click here to be taken straight there. As outlined in part A, this two-part series serves as a commentary of a research paper exploring ‘’, written by myself. The commentary provides mostly a summary of the extended work, but also some critique and mentions of lapses that the author (i.e. me) may have missed while writing the original paper one year ago. So, without further ado, off we go!

Potential of Sustainable Energy at Accelerating African Development:

In an attempt to accelerate African Development, in order to reach both the 2030 and 2063 deadlines, governments and companies alike have been working to develop innovative methods to reach each of the SDGs and each of the “aspirations” included in the 2063 Agenda for African Development. One of the most prominent methods of technological and social innovation is that of sustainable energy. In recent years, since the announcement of both the sustainable development goals and the Agenda 2063, multiple nations and companies have begun working towards the widespread implementation of sustainable more than 600 million Africans lack any form of electricity, this move seemed logical, as it would provide a simple solution to the problem.

However, as the construction of the various on-grid and off-grid energy systems progressed with time, many in both academia began to wonder the ways in which sustainable energy could help Africa attain its other development targets. Of course, it is clear that sustainable, clean and renewable energy cannot be the solution to all, or even most of Africa’s problems, the paper examines the feasibility of widespread implementation of renewable energy sources, and their impact on specific areas of African development, through the use of hypothetical models, statistical analysis and case studies.

The 2063 Agenda for Development considers both the UN SDGs and the UN MDG initiatives…

Primary Targets of African Development:

Through a thorough examination of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2063 for Development, there are five key areas that could potentially be impacted by the implementation of renewable energy in both rural and urban regions of Africa. The first is the “need for a prosperous Africa based on sustainable development”. Throughout the targets set for this goal, the African Union set the request for a “high standard of living and quality of life”, and “a continent underpinned by science, technology, and innovation”.

These and many of the other sub-targets associated with this Aspiration have a clear connection to sustainable energy, and their achievement can be accelerated through the implementation of sustainable energy resources. Other aspirations include the need for “an integrated continent”, relating to the implementation of internet access, modern transportation, and energy systems, and the aspiration for “people-driven development, centered on women and youth”, which also has an implicit connection to renewable energy. However, while the Agenda 2063 for development pushes for the achievement of targets specific to African development, the United Nations SDGs also provide a strong guideline for other development accomplishments that can supplement the African Union’s work.

In Morocco, the government has begun funding large-scale solar energy projects, such as Noor 1 by MASEN, pictured right above

Case Studies on Morocco and Botswana:

This research paper also runs brief, yet meaningful case studies on Morocco and Botswana, in an attempt to analyze the strengths and weaknesses that exist for each of the two countries. The case studies will be analyzed from both a social and economic standpoint, looking at the way in which each nation employs both government and private sector action for the implementation of sustainable energy systems in each respective nation. By doing this, I hope to effectively analyze the dichotomy that exists between the implementation of energy in different African nations and will be using the successes as evidence of potential economic development associated with the use of renewable energy for the generation of a large portion of a country’s energy. The analyses will not be statistically-founded, but rather purely observe the processes through which each nation attained its current state of the employment of renewable energy.


Through a thorough analysis of sustainable energy in the context of the African development targets, it is safe to assume that while sustainable energy may not impact all sectors of the African socioeconomic plane, by allocating sustainable energy resources towards specific subsections of the development agenda, there can, in fact, be an improvement in the efficiency of African nations to attain each of these different goals. This acceleration, however, stands behind a number of obstacles, which first need to be overcome in order to establish both on-grid and off-grid renewable energy in the most effective, cost-efficient manner.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this commentary, although it was admittedly quite weird reading and commentating on my own work. Upon reading my work with a critical eye, I realized the utter lack of economic analysis in my original paper, simply because I didn’t have the knowledge back then. I am hoping to make either a follow-up paper on this or maybe make a follow-up block post here on TheClimateProject in order to make up for that omission.




Exploring the interdisciplinary world of sustainable energy and renewables every month…

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Najem Abaakil

Najem Abaakil

Aspiring physicist and engineer. Sustainability nut. Stanford 2023.

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