The Sahara Group, an international energy and infrastructure conglomerate, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have entered into a partnership to promote reliable access to affordable and sustainable energy in Africa.
They have also agreed to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the private sector with a focus on SDG 7—affordable energy.
UNDP’s Regional Director for Africa Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa and the Sahara Group Executive Director Mr. Temitope Shonubi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 April 2019 at the UNDP headquarters in New York in the presence of UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Mr. Tijani Muhammad-Bandé.
“About 650 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. UNDP looks forward to partnering with Sahara Group to ensure that everyone in the region has access to affordable energy, a critical part of our work supporting countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” said Mr. Steiner.
UNDP and the Sahara Group will identify best avenues to build on their networks and experience to create power solutions that will help drive sustainable development and support SDG monitoring and reporting in countries.
“At Sahara Group, we believe that access to energy is critical to accelerating sustainable development, especially in developing economies,” said Mr. Shonubi. “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.”
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, call for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, including clean fuels and technologies.
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 2015-2016.
The group has since played a significant role in promoting the UN-SDGF mandate by establishing the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) Nigeria, which was inaugurated by Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and comprises more than 30 leading businesses and corporate foundations in the country.
The UNDP-Sahara Group partnership will be rolled out in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria.