COP27: UN university and ECA launch digital portal to support transition to cleaner energy

  • November 14, 2022     Accra

    Sharm El-Sheikh, 9 November 2022 (ECA) – The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have launched a digital portal called JUSTIS, to support the informal sector transition to cleaner energy.

    Launched on the margins of COP27, the portal enables green entrepreneurs to share new opportunities and unlock potential sources of investment while collaborating with policymakers and civil society organisations to overcome bottlenecks in green business and ensure participation in policymaking. It also connects and creates more synergies between policy, environment, and practitioners to accelerate green growth and just energy transitions on the continent. JUSTIS also serves as a marketplace to retail green products while providing a learning opportunity to support evidence-based climate and green policy decisions.

    The informal sector is the backbone of the African economy, accounting for 80% of urban employment and providing livelihood and income opportunities, mainly to youth and women. Ensuring the inclusiveness of the informal sector in the energy transition processes is critical for the continent to transition from fossil-based to low-carbon energy systems to mitigate and adapt to the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

    Digital technologies and fast internet enable learning everywhere and empower billions worldwide by providing access to education, financial services, and government services. Leveraging digital technologies is vital to support the equitable energy transition in Africa. Connecting the informal sector with relevant stakeholders via digital platforms will help to create a learning community around climate actions to guarantee Africa’s transition to cleaner energy.

    Jean-Paul Adam, Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management at ECA explains that the “JUSTIS digital portal will provide an entrepreneurial ecosystem hub to support Africa’s informal sector’s transition to cleaner energy enabling them to thrive and grow.”

    Mr Adam reassured stakeholders of ECA’s “commitment to working with UNU-INRA to support the rollout of the JUSTIS digital portal” to the rest of the continent for the sustainable growth of the green economy in Africa.

    UNU-INRA’s director, Fatima Denton, pointed out that “A compelling just transition is one that aligns with the energy security” and that “the process of accelerating green energy transition in Africa must happen to allow people to move up the energy ladder.”

    Ms Denton also highlighted the need to “address the equity issues of transition, including both the scope and depth of transition, with deliberate and purposeful intent, to ensure that some people are not left on the margins.” says

    The JUSTIS Portal can be accessed here:

    About the UNU-INRA

    Established in1985, the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) is one of the 14 research and training centres of the United Nations University (UNU), with a mandate to strengthen African capacity in natural resource management.

    UNU-INRA is a leading voice in Africa’s natural resource knowledge base. As a think tank, UNU-INRA’s thought leadership is grounded in research and evidence, bridging the gap between science and policy to promote sustainable development through natural resource governance in a way that maintains the quality of the natural environment and transforms lives.

    From an African perspective, we provide cutting-edge solutions and knowledge outlets for natural resource planning and management. UNU-INRA serves as a platform to amplify African voices and showcase made-in-Africa solutions. We harness the incredible talent on the continent and strengthen and develop capabilities by equipping African researchers, entrepreneurs and policy actors with the knowledge to manage natural resources sustainably. We deliver research, capacity development, policy advice, and convene knowledge-sharing spaces.

    Visit our website for more information here:

    About the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

    Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.

    Visit our website for more information

    For more information

    Qondi Moyo, Communications and Research Associate, UNU-INRA

    United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
    Mactar Seck, Chief of Technology and Innovation Section (TCND)


    Articles as seen on UN-ECA website: