Artificial Intelligence and Green Energy in Africa

Roland Banya – Alison Gillwald – Sandra Makumbirofa – Araba Sey – Mpho Moyo – Hanani Hlomani – Jamie Fuller

Concept note/Research design

Climate change has been identified as the leading planetary crisis of the 21st century. Although it affects everyone in the world, there is no continent more vulnerable to the negative consequences of climate change than Africa.This is despite the fact that Africa contributes to only 3.8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Just Transition framework allocates carbon reduction quota proportionally according to emissions. It also seeks to exploit the absence of carbon-based legacy systems in less developed countries to introduce more energy-efficient alternatives. This notion of a Just Transition ultimately informs the Just Digital Transformation envisaged by the broader African Just AI Project. Depending on their design and regulation, advanced data-driven technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

This study will consider the impact and potential of AI systems on climate change, focusing on public value creation in renewable energy as Africa transitions to low-carbon green energy. The research adopts a Just AI framework that considers inclusive, just, fair, and rights-respecting outcomes.