Sustainable Energy Transitions in Sub-Saharan African Cities: The Role of Local Government
Olweny, Mark R. O.
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Sub-Saharan Africa is urbanizing fast, and by 2040 the population of the subcontinent is expected to be predominantly urban, placing a vastly increased burden on urban governance. Energy futures modeling indicates that 75% of energy demand will be urban by 2040. By implication, energy transitions will be increasingly linked to urban governance in the future. Without substantial support, governance capacity is unlikely to be able to rise to emerging energy challenges, which could erode the welfare of citizens as well as the achievement of global and national ambitions around sustainable energy as espoused by Sustainable Development Goal 7, covering renewable energy, energy efficiency, and access to modern energy. This paper provides an overview of selected energy research cases in urban Sub-Saharan Africa, including the results of energy futures modeling, to help highlight the emerging urban sustainable energy challenges. It further explores the energy-related mandates of local vis-a-vis national governments, looks at areas where urban renewable energy can be promoted, and discusses important elements to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy, in particular the capacity support requirements.