African energy experts began a four day meeting yesterday (November 12th) ahead of the Second AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) which will be taking place on Friday (November 16th) under the theme: "Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development: From Potential to Infrastructure and Services".
The experts' meeting has been organized by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, and the Economic Commission for Africa. Opening the meeting, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr Elham Ibrahim, called on member states to "mobilize domestic resources and to prioritize renewable energies in their economic development strategies."
He noted that reliable, affordable and low cost power supply was needed for economic growth, and called for sustained support from all partners, regional and international institutions as well as private developers, to contribute to financing regional energy infrastructure. 2012 was declared the International Year of Sustainable Energy Access for All by the United Nations Secretary General and the UN with the aim 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.
The official opening ceremony was also addressed by Ethiopian Minister of Energy and Water, Ato Alemayehu Tegenu and the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Abdallah Hamdock.