Africa Hub of Sustainable Energy for All Initiative Launched at AfDB Meetings
The Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Africa Hub was launched Friday, May 31, during the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2013 Annual Meetings in Marrakesh, Morocco. The event (i) presented the SE4All Initiative to stakeholders; and (ii) discussed the mission and activities of the SE4All Africa Hub hosted by the African Development Bank, in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) and with support from UNDP – pursuant to the mandate provided by the Conference of African Energy Ministers (CEMA). The mission of the SE4All Africa Hub is to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of the initiative on the African continent. The Hub will promote African ownership, inclusiveness and a comprehensive approach to the initiative’s implementation.
The high-level event was attended by participants from development agencies, the private sector and civil society. Donald Kaberuka, AfDB’s President, referred to the paradox between Africa’s power crisis and its vast energy potential and framed the hosting of the SE4All Africa Hub as part of the Bank’s response to this challenge. According to him, the new financial instrument designed by the AfDB called the Africa50Fund, will be a vehicle to leverage African resources with external resources to finance the needed energy infrastructure. Kandeh Yumkella, CEO of SE4All Initiative, in a video message applauded African institutions for having taken the initiative to host the Africa Hub – SE4All’s first regional hub. The video message from Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission (EC) emphasized the EC’s desire to cooperate closely with the SE4All Africa Hub. Elham Mahmoud Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union, highlighted the link to the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Energy Programme, and Mosad Elmissiry, Head of Energy, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency referred to the work carried out over recent months on the development of SE4All Action Plan guidelines, the strategy for decentralized energy services and the sustainable charcoal framework.
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, member of the Club de Madrid, underlined that energy is the lifeblood of development and Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Minister of Energy, Sierra Leone, welcomed the leadership of the AfDB and highlighted the high expectations that African countries have with regard to SE4All. Ib Petersen, State Secretary for Development Cooperation and Member of the Board of Governors of the AfDB, reaffirmed Denmark’s support to SEFA and stressed the potential for cooperation with the Energy Efficiency Hub that will be hosted in Denmark. Arvinn Gadgil, Norway’s Deputy Minister for International Development and Member of the Board of Governors of the AfDB, highlighted the convening power of the Hub and emphasized that it is the SE4All partners that make SE4All transformative. Earl Gast, Assistant Administrator for Africa, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), stressed that the Hub will bring people together and in that sense there can’t be a better choice of hosting the Hub than at the AfDB. He further announced USAID’s initial commitment of USD 5 million to the AfDB-hosted Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which will be one of the financing channels to support SE4All.