AU MEMBER STATES CALLED UPON TO PRIORITISE ENERGY IN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 12, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- 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 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.
Note for the media:
Programme highlights for coverage by media are as follows:
15 November 2012 at 15:00- Ministerial Roundtable; a half day event that will address the issue of major challenges for private sector participation / investment in Africa, in particular energy sector development. The focus on this Round Table shall be implementation and policy dialogue between policy makers (African ministers) and the top-level public and private sector representatives including the European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank, etc.
16 November 2012 at 09:00- Opening of the Ministerial Session and press conference
Exhibition: Alongside the meetings, industries, technology developers, research and development practitioners, and development actors will be showcasing their companies and organizations, display equipment, materials, services, innovative findings, new knowledge and other practices relevant to addressing energy poverty. Together with the outcomes of the deliberations of the meetings, the exhibition will contribute to enlighten developers and policy-makers on the various opportunities for shifting energy investments.