The New Times (Kigali)

14 November 2012

African States Urged to Prioritise Renewable Energy

The African Union (AU) this week called on the member states to prioritise energy in their development strategies as Africa's increasingly strong economic performance needs enough energy.

The remarks were made during an experts meeting that convened at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa ahead of 2nd Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA), to deliberate on pressing issue of energy on the continent.

The ministers are due to meet this Friday in Addis Ababa.

According to the AU, most African countries have set ambitious development targets and availability of reliable, affordable and low cost power supply is vital.

Addressing the experts' meeting, Elham Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, called on member states to mobilize domestic resources and prioritize renewable energies in their economic development strategies.

"Indeed, reliable, affordable and low cost power supply is needed for economic growth," the commissioner said.

She also called for sustained support from all partners, regional and international institutions as well as private developers to contribute to finance regional energy infrastructure as highlighted in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is being implemented till 2020.

"This is a timely conference coming at a time when Africa is looking upward. Africa is on the move; it is Africa's moment and indeed this conference is timely to Africa in addressing the major challenges on the infrastructure and particularly at the energy sector," Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECA, told Xinhua.

"This conference provides an opportunity to bring together Africa and its partners to address the challenges of renewable energy, and look at how Africa collectively uses its own domestic resources to also benefit from the partnerships," Hamdok said.

Xinhua

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