COP21: Launch of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative was launched at a Session during the High-Level Meeting on “Lima-Paris Action Agenda: Focus on Energy” on 07 December, 2015 at the COP21. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aims to add an additional 10 GW and 300 GW of renewable energy capacity to the African energy sector by 2020 and 2030, respectively, and is endorsed and supported by the Governments of France, Germany, U.S., and Canada.

The High-Level Meeting was organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (RENA) and the Sustainable Energy for All. The Session of the launch of this Initiative was attended by High-Level representatives of Government and International Organizations including African Ministers from Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Cameroun, Kenya, and Madagascar. Ministers from France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and Canada also attended the Session. H. E. Dr Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment of the Arab of Egypt and the Chair of AMCEN and H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, delivered keynote speeches at the opening of the Session.

In his Speech, H.E. Dr. Fahmy welcomed the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and stated that it represented a landmark opportunity to move forward Africa's sustainable energy development agenda. Mr. Fahmy further stated that the AMCEN and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt will work together with all African Member States and stakeholders to ensure that the objectives of this Initiative are fully implemented in Africa.

Dr. Ibrahim, in her speech also welcomed this Initiative and re-iterated the commitment of the African Union Commission to support initiatives aimed at developing renewable energy and other modern energy sources in Africa. She pointed out that the implementation of this initiative will accelerate already on-going efforts to provide modern and sustainable energy access to all Africans. Dr. Ibrahim called on all stakeholders and Member States to leverage the opportunities provided by the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and continue to harmonise their efforts and mobilize the required financial and technical resources needed to achieve Africa's energy access Agenda. “We will work hard to support and see the success the African Renewable Energy Initiative and also call upon all stakeholders including Member States, financial institutions, the private and public sectors, civil societies and research institutions, amongst others, from all parts of the world to join us in our endeavours”, she Stated.

The Launch Session also included Signature Ceremonies; where H.E. Neven Mimica, European Commissioner in charge of International Development and Cooperation and other European countries signed on stage joint Declarations for Sustainable Energy for All in Africa with African Partners. The signings included: (1) Nigeria with France, Germany, Italy, UK and Spain; (2) Benin with France; (3) Senegal with France and Germany; (4) Cameroun with France; (5) Kenya with France, Italy, the Netherlands and the US; (6) Madagascar with France and Germany.