Sahara Group, an international energy and infrastructure conglomerate and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are joining forces to promote reliable access to affordable and sustainable energy, and to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the private sector with a specific focus on SDG 7 (affordable energy).
The partnership was formalized on Monday 15 April in New York during the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by UNDP’s Regional Director for Africa Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa and the Sahara Group Executive Director Mr. Temitope Shonubi, in the presence of UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, and the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria H.E. Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bandé.
“650 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. UNDP looks forward to partnering with Sahara Group to ensure everyone in this region has access to affordable energy, a critical part of our work supporting countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
“At Sahara Group, we believe that access to energy is critical to accelerating sustainable development, especially in developing economies. As a leading energy provider in Africa, we are passionate about the partnership with the UNDP and are confident that it would inspire more interventions and ultimately facilitate access to reliable, clean and affordable energy for all Africans.” Mr. Temitope Shonubi explained.
Africa’s energy demands are poised to rise with rapid urbanization and economic growth. The 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 7, calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, including clean fuels and technologies.
Per the agreement, UNDP and the Sahara Group will work to identify best avenues to build on their respective network and experience to create power solutions that will help drive sustainable development and provide support for SDG nationwide monitoring and reporting.
The Sahara Group was appointed as one of two African companies on the Private Sector Advisory Group set up by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals fund (UN-SDGF) in 2016. It has since played a significant role in driving that by mandate by the creation of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) Nigeria which was inaugurated by the Vice President of Nigeria and comprises over thirty leading businesses and corporate foundations in Nigeria.
The partnership is initially expected to be rolled out in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria.