Addis Ababa — As Africa’s increasingly strong economic performance continues, the continent needs to generate enough energy to power the development.
Most African countries have set ambitious development targets and availability of reliable, affordable and low cost power supply is vital. In this respect, African Union member states have been called upon to prioritise energy in their development strategies.
To address the pressing issue of energy in Africa, African experts are meeting in Addis Ababa from 12-15 November, ahead of the Second AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) to be held on the 16th of November.
The theme of the CEMA meeting is: “Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development: From Potential to Infrastructure and Services”. The African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, and the Economic Commission for Africa are co-organizing the one week meeting.
The meeting gives the AU Commission the opportunity to report on the implementation of the Maputo Declaration of Energy Ministers, in particular on various renewable energy sources.
While addressing the experts’ meeting, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr Elham Ibrahim , called on member states to “mobilise domestic resources and to prioritise renewable energies in their economic development strategies” adding, “indeed, reliable, affordable and low cost power supply is needed for economic growth”.
The Commissioner also called for sustained support from all partners, regional and international institutions as well as private developers to contribute to financing regional energy infrastructure as highlighted in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is being implemented till 2020.
Given that 2012 was declared as the International Year of Sustainable Energy Access for All (SE4ALL) by the United Nations Secretary General and the UN system, the meeting will be an important opportunity to reiterate the crucial role of renewable energy in achieving sustainable development in Africa by contributing to the three goals of the SE4ALL initiative: i.e. ensuring universal access to modem forms of energy for all by 2030, significantly improving energy efficiency, and doubling the global share of renewable energy by 2030.
Today’s official opening ceremony was also addressed by Mr Alemayehu Tegenu- Ethiopian Minister of Energy and Water; Mr Abdallah Hamdock- Deputy Directorate of Information and Communication. African Union Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and representatives of various partner organisations. A representative of the Republic of Mozambique, which chairs the CEMA bureau, also addressed the meeting.