Stakeholders gather in Abidjan to advance Sustainable Energy for All in Africa
Over 100 stakeholders from Government, private sector, civil society, and international organizations gathered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for the annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Africa workshop.
The workshop was organized by the SE4All Africa Hub, and hosted by the African Development Bank, in partnership with the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and United Nations Development Programme, and supported by the Global Environment Facility-financed Africa Climate Technology and Finance Center project. The event, which took place from February 9-11, was geared towards keeping track of and advancing progress towards Sustainable Energy for All in Africa, mobilizing resources to support implementation of SE4All Action Agendas (AAs) and Investment Prospectuses (IPs), and coordinating energy initiatives.
In his opening remarks, AfDB's Acting First Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Charles Boamah, noted that "high expectations have been generated throughout the continent and a rapid improvement of access to modern energy services has been placed at the top of the priorities of many countries."
The AfDB, under the New Deal on Energy for Africa, will "ramp up its investments - equity, loans, grants and guarantees along with co-financing and syndication," he said.
Daniel-Alexander Schroth, SE4All Africa Hub Coordinator, added that "important groundwork in terms of country-level energy sector planning processes and identification of investment opportunities was carried out in many African countries and the focus will have to shift now decisively to implementation".
Over two working days, participants called for the recognition of the SE4All Action Agenda as a national implementation framework for Sustainable Development Goal number 7 on energy - which aims to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all, including strengthening inter-ministerial coordination and the set-up of national implementation structures. Participants also recommended the integration of projects identified in investment prospectuses into appropriate web platforms/a marketplace; and the organization of investment fora and knowledge exchanges on available funding instruments. The recently launched SE4All Africa website provides a platform to facilitate information-sharing.
"The 3rd annual Africa workshop is an important milestone in the SE4All partnership, demonstrating the strong progress made by countries in the development of action agendas and investment prospectuses, and the valued contribution of all partners towards the implementation of the pipeline of projects emerging from investment prospectuses", said Jane Olga Ebinger, SE4All's Managing Director of Policy and Knowledge.
The workshop was followed by a series of side events organized by the US State Department on lessons learned from SE4All processes in Ghana and Bangladesh; International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and its Sustainable Energy Marketplace; Gender, Energy and Clean Cooking by Energia, ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the AfDB; and the Global Partnership on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG ) in the context of SE4All country action.