The Japan Africa Scholarship (JADS) Program – capacity building in energy sector through skills development for sustainable development– is a joint initiative by the AfDB and Japan that aims at providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in priority development areas on the continent and abroad (including in Japan).
This JADS program is funded by the Government of Japan. The overarching goal that the AfDB and the Government of Japan seeks to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in a number of priority areas pertaining to science and technology with a special focus on the energy sector. JADS’s objectives are aligned with the Bank’s High 5 agenda (i.e. Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives to Africa and the 6th Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI) outcomes.
The global energy landscape is undergoing a major transformation. This year’s Innovate4Climate (I4C) will have a priority focus on battery storage, helping to identify ways to overcome the technology, policy and financing barriers to deploy batteries widely and close the global energy storage gap.
First, energy storage is key to realizing the potential of clean energy
Renewable sources of energy, mainly solar and wind, are getting cheaper and easier to deploy in developing countries, helping expand energy access, aiding global efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goal on Energy (SDG7) and to mitigate climate change. But solar and wind energy are variable by nature, making it necessary to have an at-scale, tailored solution to store the electricity they produce and use it when it is needed most.
Energy industry stakeholders attending the 5th Energy Access Investment Forum have called for a restructuring of the financing mechanisms enabling the development of off-grid and mini-grid connectivity in Africa.
“Meeting the universal electricity access objective within the next decade will require the roll-out of off-grid and mini-grid solutions at scale,” said Daniel Schroth, acting director of renewable energy & energy efficiency at the African Development Bank, in his opening remarks.
The phone call to the World Bank Treasury came out of the blue: in late 2007, a group of Swedish pension funds wanted to invest in projects that help the climate, but they did not know how to find these projects. But they knew where to turn and called on the World Bank to help. Less than a year later, the World Bank issued the first green bond—and with it, created a new way to connect financing from investors to climate projects.
Bonds are essentially an agreement where issuers borrow funds from investors and must repay investors at an agreed rate after a specified amount of time. Governments, companies and many others issue bonds to borrow money for projects. Issuing a bond was nothing new for the World Bank—it has been issuing bonds since 1947 to raise financing from the capital markets for its development projects. But the concept of a bond that is dedicated to a specific kind of project had not been tested before. The green bond turned out to be a history-making event that fundamentally changed the way investors, development experts, policymakers, and scientists work together.