The Ministerial segment of the African Union’s first Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Intercontinental and Interregional Infrastructures, Energy and Tourism brought together over 40 Ministers from the concerned sectors in Lomé, Togo. The STC was organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the Government of Togo and with the support of the African Development Bank. The meeting was held to consider strategies for strengthening the financing of the aforementioned sectors.
The Ministerial meeting was opened by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Togo, Ninsao Gnofam; the Vice-President of the African Development Bank for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott; the new Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, Amani Abu-Zeid; and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo, Komi Selom Klassou. During his opening speech, Vice-President Hott called on Ministers to “prioritize energy sector development given the enabling role of energy for most other areas”. He further presented progress on the implementation of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and reiterated the Bank’s pledge to increase its energy investments to US $12 billion for the 2016-2020 period with a view to leverage another US $45-50 billion.
The Lomé declaration adopted at the end of the meeting inter alia requests the Member States to “fully support the New Deal on Energy for Africa, as a programme to accelerate access to energy on the continent”. The declaration also recommends that Member States seize the opportunities of off- and mini-grid solutions in providing energy access. In this regard, the Green Mini-Grid (GMG) Africa strategy was adopted by Ministers. The strategy was developed under the Bank’s Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program and highlights the policy and regulatory measures required to scale-up the deployment of GMGs. The declaration also recommended the acceleration of the implementation of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) by the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank. Moreover, the declaration affirmed the role of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Action Agendas as “a suitable implementation framework for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 7 at the national level and platform for coordination of partners” and also requests the Bank-hosted SEforALL Africa Hub to continue its coordination role with particular focus on mobilizing support for implementation of the priorities contained in the action agendas and investment prospectuses.
The Lomé declaration will be submitted to the next Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union for consideration and adoption.