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UAE government-owned renewable energy company Masdar has signed agreements with Angola, Uganda, and Zambia to develop renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of up to 5 GW to help African nations make the energy transition.

Three agreements were signed with these countries at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023 under the umbrella of the Etihad 7 initiative.

The company would develop 2 GW in Angola, and a greenfield project with total installed capacity of 1GW in Uganda. Masdar will also help Zambia to jointly develop solar, wind, and hydroelectricity projects with a total capacity of 2 GW.

The UAE-led Etihad 7 initiative aims to raise public and private sector funds to invest in developing Africa’s renewable energy sector and provide 100 million people across the continent with clean electricity by 2035.

“The UAE and African nations share a firm belief in the tremendous potential that clean energy offers Africa to unlock economic and climate action progress. The signings made this week demonstrate the great traction that we have gained and the milestones that we have achieved together over the past year,” Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), said.

The continent has a potential capacity of approximately 850 TW of solar and wind, according to a report produced by Masdar and Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last year.

However, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, less than half of the Sub-Saharan African population has access to electricity. Africa also generates only 20% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Masdar has established a presence in Africa, having formed its Infinity Power Holding joint venture with Egypt’s Infinity to target opportunities on the continent.

In November, Masdar, Infinity Power, and Hassan Allam Utilities signed an agreement with the Government of Egypt to develop a 10 GW onshore wind project – one of the largest wind farms in the world.

The three companies are also cooperating on developing green hydrogen projects in Egypt, targeting a combined electrolyzer capacity of 4 GW by 2030, and an output of up to 480,000 tons of green hydrogen per year.

Last year, the company also signed an agreement with the Georgian Energy Development Fund to develop a 100 MW solar photovoltaic power project.

Last June, Masdar was acquired by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and Mubadala Investment Company