First Africa Energy Week Highlights Importance of Clean Energy

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Maputo, 3 November 2010 – The first All-Africa Energy Week got underway in Maputo, Mozambique, this week with emphasis on the importance of clean energy for sustainable development.

Energy sector specialists and African decision-makers are participating in the 1-5 November event jointly organized by the African Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and hosted by the  Mozambican government.

The meeting will prepare and approve recommendations covering continental policies, programmes and priority projects in the energy sector.

Opening the meeting, Mozambique’s Prime Minister,  Aires Ali, emphasized the importance of clean and environment-friendly energy. “Our challenge must always be intensifying actions in order to develop our resources in a rational way for people’s benefit from clean and environmentally friendly energy resources,”  Mr. Ali said.

Addressing the participants on behalf of Bobby Pittman, AfDB Vice-President for Infrastructure, Regional Integration and Private Sector, the Bank’s energy Division Manager, Amadou Thierno Diallo, said that the  meeting would establish a platform to take stock of what has been achieved and planned in the development of energy infrastructure and services.

He underscored Africa’s recent economic growth and its resilience to the economic crisis. “Although Africa contributes only 4% of global CO2 emissions, the prevailing pattern of energy production and consumption on the continent is unsustainable for our forests,” he said, adding that Africa’s efforts must be focused on energy access and efficient utilization of its  resources.

He expressed the AfDB’s commitment to develop renewable energy sources, saying that “the institution  strives to be the lead financier for increasing access to energy for Africa, in ways that support a low-carbon development path on the continent.”

UNECA representative, Antonio Pedro, referred to infrastructure development as “a key requirement to realize economic growth” and emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships to tap Africa’s huge energy potential.