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DRC to advance on SE4ALL to address energy access challenge and develop its renewable energy potential
he Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Development Organization of the Netherlands (SNV) convened stakeholders for the 1st Forum on Renewable Energy (FoDER) in the context of UN-led Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. The Forum was held from November 20-21 in Kinshasa, DRC. The SE4ALL Africa Hub, hosted by the African Development Bank’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, actively contributed to the Forum.
The event was very well attended with some 150-200 participants including several Ministers of the DRC, the Deputy Minister of Energy of South Africa, high-level representatives of all the provinces of DRC, representatives of development partners, private sector and civil society. The Forum highlighted the potential for renewable energy in the DRC and the framework that is being put in place to attract private investments.
The forum took place following the recent meeting of Central African States in Yaoundé which inter alia called for the countries of the region to embark upon SE4ALL Action Agenda and Investment Prospectus processes, and following the successful launches of the SE4ALL Action Agenda for the ECOWAS region in March, and for Eastern and Southern African countries in May in Addis Ababa. DRC is the first of the Central African countries to embark on the process.
SE4ALL Africa Hub Coordinator Daniel-Alexander Schroth from the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department outlined the opportunities presented by the initiative and the role of the Hub. Bruno Kapandji Kalala, the Minister of Hydro Resources and Electricity of DRC noted, “DRC has regularly increased its GDP. This trend will continue as we are determined to reach a two-digit growth rate. But our main concern is how to ensure that this growth benefits all Congolese. Improving energy access in rural areas where 55 million or two thirds of the Congolese population live is of critical importance. In this regard, the SE4ALL goals are very relevant to us. We intend not only to provide electricity to rural areas, but to transform villages and lifestyles by providing access to renewable energy sources”.
The Government of DRC has formally requested the support of the SE4ALL Africa Hub with the development of the SE4ALL Action Agenda and Investment Prospectus in DRC. The AfDB in collaboration with UNDP responded positively to this request and activities are expected to commence in the near future. The SE4ALL Action Agenda is a strategic and holistic national document looking at the three objectives of universal energy access, and doubling the share of renewables and the rate of energy efficiency improvements in an integrated manner. The agenda will serve as an umbrella framework for the energy sector through 2030 that also includes the links between energy and food security, gender, health, and water etc. The SE4ALL Africa Hub is already supporting several African countries in this process.
The African Development Bank hosts the SE4ALL Africa Hub in partnership with the African Union Commission, NEPAD Agency and UNDP.