African sustainable energy hub to launch this month
An African Hub on sustainable energy is set to be launched this month, to promote the use of sustainable energy across the continent.
This emerged after three high-level energy workshops staged in Gaborone, Botswana.
African Energy Stakeholders were urged to double their efforts in making energy available, affordable and accessible to the bulk of the African Population. The call was made by the Head of NEPAD’s Energy Division, Professor Mosad Elmissiry, at the first of the three crucial meetings in Gaborone.
The back-to-back workshops from April 22 to 26, aim to develop strategies and action plans that will enable African
“Africa is blessed with massive and varied energy resources, from vast coal reserves in the southern part of Africa, huge hydro resources in central and north Africa, to massive gas resources in eastern and west Africa. We need to drastically change our approach to the way we use these resources so as to make energy accessible and affordable to all our people. The business as usual approach is no longer workable” said Professor Elmissiry.
During the first Advisory Board Meeting of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative, Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), announced that the AfDB would host the SE4ALL Africa Hub in cooperation with its African partner institutions: the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, and with the support of United Nations Development Program (UNDP).The Hub will be part of the global implementation structure of SE4All and will be officially launched during the AfDB's Annual Meetings on May 31 in Marrakesh.
The SE4ALL Initiative has three main goals to be reached by 2030: (1) to ensure universal access to modern energy services, in particular access to electricity services and to clean cooking solutions; (2) to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and (3) to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
The initiative has gained substantial political momentum with the UN General Assembly having declared in December 2012 a decade of Sustainable Energy for All. The Initiative is also at the forefront of advocating the inclusion of energy in the post-2015 process in view of the enabling role of energy for sectors such as health, agriculture, water, education, and women's rights. To date, some 41 African countries have joined the Initiative.
The AfDB's President whilst addressing fellow Advisory Board members insisted on the importance of the role of the Initiative on the continent: "In order to maintain the momentum in Africa, we need now to shift decisively to concrete actions on the ground, we need to communicate clearly the Initiative's value proposition and quickly demonstrate with concrete success stories that SE4All is not just another initiative, but truly a game changer for Africa. The Africa Hub is ready to play a key role in facilitating coordination amongst stakeholders and to realize synergies and avoid overlap".
Since the launch of the Initiative, the AfDB has been actively engaged: The African Development Bank will host the SE4All Africa Hub to coordinate and facilitate the development and implementation of the Initiative on the African continent.
The Hub will work closely with the Bank's Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which aims to unlock private sector driven initiatives/investments that promote sustainable energy access, in resource mobilization and in financing the upstream activities linked to SE4All. During Rio+20, the Bank announced its commitment to SE4All: Investments of at least US $1 billion per annum in energy projects addressing one or more of the SE4All objectives until 2030 and thus participating to the structural transformation of the continent.