A meeting of Energy stakeholders and experts in the Botswana capital Gaborone has been addressing the key issues of how to provide guidance for African states so that that energy is made accessible and affordable to the bulk of the population on the Continent. The meeting represented by experts from the NEPAD Agency, international organisations, Academia and civil society, is the last in a series of three, which having been discussing new projects and concrete plans to expedite the sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative pioneered by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon
In highlighting the key role that Africa plays in implementing the SE4ALL initiative, the NEPAD Head of Energy, Prof Mosad Elmissiry said, “Africa is in the lead regarding development of Action plans and the strategies necessary for the development and the implementation of National and Regional Energy projects that will contribute directly and significantly to the achievement of the objectives of SE4ALL”
Delegates at the meeting have agreed on the establishment of an African Energy ‘Hub’ to facilitate coordination and implementation of this SE4All initiative and to link important players on the global and national level. Housed at Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the Hub will be responsible for carrying out the day-to-day activities, supporting and promoting the development and implementation of SE4ALL in Africa, coordination with regional institutions and other partners on resource mobilization. It will also assist countries with tracking progress, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting to a Global Facilitation Team on SE4ALL and Regional Economic Communities.
In order to ensure the realization of the SE4ALL initiative, a Guidelines document outlining the elements of national action plans for African implementation Programmes has been developed. “The Guidelines for developing Sustainable Energy for All National Action Plans in Africa” offer direction to African Countries on how to realize their national energy programmes by making use of this global initiative and the opportunities it opens.
“The Guidelines set out how decentralized energy solutions can be integrated with centralized energy planning in order to reach the millions of Africans who today live without access to modern energy services. They are an important tool for governments to build broad stakeholder coalitions working together to create sustainable energy systems that are needed for countries to achieve their national development goals.” said Gregory Woodsworth, UNDP Regional Energy Policy Advisor.
The meeting focused on input and feedback from representatives of national governments, Regional Economic Communities, private sector, CSOs, Academia and Development Partners to finalize and endorse the African Guidelines document. Discussions ranged from principles of the Guidelines document, to political commitment and leadership, to Stakeholder involvement, gender equality and mainstreaming climate change considerations into the Action Plans.
The approval and endorsement of the Guidelines document is planned to be secured during the Heads of States and Government meeting at the AU Summit in January 2014