It’s time to prove wrong the widely held stereotype about renewable energy only being for rich countries.

As a native of Kenya, I am fortunate to have personal experience of how renewable energy can transform a country that is developing fast. Energy sources in Kenya have diversified since 2000, when renewable power capacity contributed 5.4 per cent of the country’s total energy mix. By 2012, this figure had grown to 16.2 per cent.

With smart planning and prudent investment, all African countries can reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and leapfrog into a sustainable future. And, as Africa makes the transition to renewable energy in the coming years, new projects will provide much-needed jobs and power economic growth.

Africa is blessed with plentiful land and natural resources. Prodigious sunshine blankets the continent for much of the year, ideal conditions for solar power. Hot rocks in areas such as the Rift Valley store geothermal energy. Vast plains and mountain ranges are great sites for wind turbines while mighty rivers like the Zambezi can be harnessed for hydropower projects. Finally, biomass is abundant – all providing multiple opportunities for renewable energy production.

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