8 November 2012

Africa: EU Backs 'All Africa' Events On Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development

press release

Organised by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the All-Africa Energy Week 2012 (AAEW) takes place from 12 to 16 November on the theme of 'Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development: From Potential to Infrastructure and Services' closing with the AU conference of energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA)in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Signalling the EU's commitment to promoting sustainable and secure energy supplies for all peoples on the African continent, EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will address African energy ministers during week-long events and deliver a speech during the AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) on 16 November.

Events will home in on three objectives continent-wide: more efficient, coherent and coordinated activities to increase energy access and ensure energy security for development in Africa; the scaling-up of investments in the African energy sector through improved dialogue and partnerships; and promoting improved energy infrastructure and better energy services on the continent.

Pressing sub-themes

In more detail, the All Africa Energy Week (AAEW) will feature a keynote address on 'Renewable Energy', seven sessions on specific subjects, a business and investment consultation, a ministerial roundtable and expert meetings. Topics to be debated include the existing 'Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa' (PIDA); renewable energy for sustainable development and universal energy access; alternative energy sources including hydro-, wind- and solar-power as well as strategies for the promotion of green investment.

The week will close with the second regular AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) where African Ministers responsible for energy will convene to discuss on past progress and future efforts in the energy sector.

Africa-EU energy partnership in spotlight

The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), the first such partnership on the African continent in the energy field - will be presented on 13 November during a session on 'Partnership for Shared Vision in Energy and Renewable Energy Development in Africa'. The AEEP is one of the eight partnerships of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy adopted by African and European Heads of State and Government in Lisbon in December 2007.

The three priority areas of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership are:

Energy access: Africa and the EU will take joint action to bring access to modern and sustainable energy services to at least an additional 100 million Africans by 2020. This will be a contribution to the African objective of giving access to modern and sustainable energy to an additional 250 million people.

Energy security: Africa and the EU will take joint action to improve energy security by doubling the capacity of cross-border electricity interconnections and by doubling the use of natural gas in Africa, as well as doubling African gas exports to Europe.

Renewable energy/energy efficiency: Africa and the EU will take joint action such as:

  • building 10,000 MW of new hydropower facilities;
  • building at least 5,000 MW of wind power;
  • building 500 MW of solar energy and tripling the capacity of other renewables;
  • raising energy efficiency in Africa in all sectors.

Background Information

2012 was declared the 'International Year of Sustainable Energy for All'by the United Nations, to bring attention to universal access to energy for all by 2030 and the UN Secretary General launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL) with three ambitious objectives in terms of access to energy services, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The CEMA-AAEW week will contribute to realising these goals.

The All-Africa Energy Week (AAEW) and AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) take place every two years. The first AAEW/CEMA, held in November 2010 in Maputo, Mozambique, focussed on 'Energy Infrastructure and Services in the Context of Climate Challenges.' One of this year's goals is to assess the progress in the sector in the light of the Maputo Declaration adopted by African Energy Ministers on 5 November 2010.

Find out more:

EU development cooperation in the energy sector: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/energy/index_en.htm

Article on the first All-Africa Energy Week: http://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/news/first-all-africa-energy-week

African Union, Energy and Infrastructure - AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA): http://au.int/en/dp/ie/content/au-conference-energy-ministers-africa-cema-addis-ababa-ethiopia12-16-november-2012

Concept Note of CEMA/AAEW/PAIF: http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/CEMA2012_ConceptNote_English%20(3).pdf

Official website of 2010 'All Africa Energy Week': http://www.africa-union.org/root/AU/Conferences/2010/November/IE/CEMA/index.html

2010 Maputo Declaration: http://au.int/en/dp/ie/content/maputo-declaration-adopted-african-union-conference-ministers-charge-energy

International Year of Sustainable Energy Access for All'- SE4ALL: http://www.sustainableenergyforall.org/

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