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At the fourth sustainable energy for all (SEforALL) Africa workshop held 29-30 March 2017 at AfDB offices in Abidjan, as part of the Energy Week, stakeholders called for faster actions towards universal energy access in Africa. Attended by more than 120 stakeholders, the meeting aimed at reinforcing collaboration and joining the forces for universal energy access, taking stock of recent progress and challenges, sharing best practices and innovative solutions and charting way forward.
Speaking on the occasion, AfDB Vice President, Charles Boamah said energy is critical to Africa’s development and should be taken as a priority: “Energy is at the centre of all economic activities and no country will be able to progress unless reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy services are accessible to all.”
Boamah however notes that the speed on energy access is not fast enough and current efforts will fall far short of achieving universal energy access for Africa by 2030. The AfDB envisions an empowered and prosperous Africa, which, within ten years, has lights everywhere, with everybody using safe and modern energies for many purposes, including lighting, cooking and heating.
Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and CEO of SEforALL highlighted in her keynote that “Africa has seen huge improvements in energy access in recent years. Building on hard work of recent years the emergence of integrated energy plans in key African countries and the concerted efforts to attract investment to them offers African countries the chance to show how clean and affordable energy access can be achieved on time and target”.
The SEforALL Africa hub, hosted by AfDB in partnership with AUC, NEPAD and UNDP, has been at the forefront of the implementation of the initiative in the African continent. SEforALL country action processes, such as the development of Action Agendas and Investment Prospectuses are underway in close to 30 African countries in response to the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy that aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030.
In break-out sessions, participants discussed achievements, challenges and provided recommendations for future interventions under topics such as mapping and coordination of energy initiatives, mobilization of resources for implementation of project opportunities, and country delivery mechanisms. Other topics discussed included decentralized energy access, bioenergy and clean cooking, and energy efficiency.
“African countries have made considerable progress in defining their targets and identifying priority actions and investment opportunities – there needs to be now a concerted effort focused on implementation, resource mobilization and alignment of all stakeholders,” Says Daniel Schroth, SEforALL Africa Hub Coordinator. These conclusions from Abidjan will be taken to the upcoming SEforALL Global Forum to be held from 3 to 6th of April in New York .
The meeting was attended by country-representatives, private sector, civil society, financial institutions and key development partners.
About the SEforALL African Hub
The Hub promotes African ownership, inclusiveness and a comprehensive approach to the implementation of the SEforALL goals and SDG7. Its main activities include: provision of guidance for the SEforALL country action processes globally and notably in Africa; providing technical assistance to partner countries; mobilization of financing; information, networking and knowledge management.
About the AfDB's Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex
The Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Sector Complex (PEVP), was created to fulfill the objectives of "Light Up and Power Africa" – principally achieving universal access to electricity by 2025. The Complex will accomplish this by building Africa's energy systems while ensuring green growth. The entire development ecosystem for operational effectiveness, scale, socio- economic, and environmental impact will be taken into account. The New Deal on Energy for Africa, together with the inter-connected flagship programs is a top initiative of PEVP. The New Deal on Energy for Africa aims to light up and power Africa. Launched in 2016, the New Deal has the aspirational objective of achieving universal energy access in Africa by 2025.