The political economy of clean economy transitions in African countries

Since 2023, ECDPM is involved in a project that focuses on the potential for African countries to reposition themselves in a global green transition. It takes deep dives into the political economy of green industrialisation, energy transition and looks to inform realistic options for African economies and their partners.

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    About the project

    Is the green transition an opportunity for the African economies to foster a more sustainable industry and trade? What does the concept of ‘just energy transition’ actually mean when applied to African realities?

    Furthermore, as industrial policy makes a comeback, what impact does the increasing competition among the US, China and EU have on African countries? Specifically, what opportunities exist for African countries as the world moves towards fulfilling green economy objectives? 

    Green industrialisation: African economies caught between big powers

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    This project focuses on the political economy of clean economy transitions in selected African countries and sectors. Through publications and events, the project will help bridge knowledge gaps to identify the true potential for clean economy transitions in Africa and help inform the dialogue between European and African stakeholders. The research will focus on key opportunities for green industrialisation as well as on the financing of a just energy transition. 


    Our work so far:

    Conceptualising African green industrialisation opportunities – while Africa’s ‘green potential’ is often highlighted by commentators, how can these green windows of opportunities be analysed?

    Path to a just transition in Africa is via green industrialisation (EUobserver)

    CRMs for industrialisation - As African countries seek to add more value to the minerals that feed the global green transition, what avenues could they explore? 

    We look at the potential for an African battery value chain – how can African economies strengthen their position and move up the value chain?

    Moreover, can African countries leverage their CRMs for value addition through resource nationalism?

    African hydrogen economies – As the hydrogen fever is running high, how can African economies use their renewable energy potential to build and attract new hydrogen industries, particularly ammonia and fertilisers?

    The political economy of the energy transition – The Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) are seen as a model to support a comprehensive, and socially just transition in global South economies: what lessons can be drawn from the first JETP in South Africa, one year into its implementation? 

    More broadly, how to make the needle move on adopting renewable energy?

    Get in touch

    For questions related to ECDPM's involvement in the project, please contact Alfonso Medinilla. For communications and media enquiries, please get in touch with Isabell Wutz.

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