IISD-Second Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) Business and Science: Leading the Way to Sustainable Energy
On the final day of the Second Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), a high-level panel focused on measures of success in Africa-EU energy cooperation, highlighting progress at country and regional levels, and linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel was facilitated by Lerato Mbele, BBC World News Anchor and Master of Ceremony of the Forum, and included Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Egypt; Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary, Germany; Kipyego Cheluget, Deputy Secretary General, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa; and Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda.
Thereafter, a roundtable of senior policy and business leaders highlighted challenges and opportunities facing Africa and Europe in catalyzing energy investments. Moderated by Danso Hubert, CEO, Africa Investor, South Africa, the panel included Michele Scandellari, CEO Enerray; Paul Smith Lomas, CEO, Practical Action; Yofi Grant, CEO, Data Bank, Ghana; Felice Zaccheo DG DEVCO - European Commission; and Giles Dickson, CEO, WindEurope. The round table discussed options for accelerating long-term business investments in the energy sector and how to encourage the emergence of a new generation of dynamic and creative African and European business leaders for the benefit of future energy sector development.
Paul Smith Lomas then presented a Joint Statement for Action comprising commitments from AEEP stakeholders for activities to achieve the 2020 Political Targets. The Call for Action highlighted the importance of: ensuring regional cooperation and harmonization of sustainable energy initiatives and programmes; addressing energy’s vital role in climate mitigation and adaptation, access to water and the food nexus; promoting job creation in the renewable energy market in Africa, with a particular focus on the inclusion of youth and women; and moving beyond household energy needs to address energy access at the community and enterprise levels.
In the afternoon, during the first-ever AEEP ‘Science and Business Slam,’ eleven young scientists and entrepreneurs presented their research and business ideas, with each receiving feedback from scientists and technology leaders from Africa and Europe. In a vote at the end of the session, participants awarded the prize for the best business idea to Lois Gicheru, Solarafrique, Kenya, for her community mini-grid project. Paul Bertheau, Reiner Lemoine Institut, Germany, won in the best research project category for a project utilizing GIS technology to generate data in support of rural electrification in Nigeria.
Following an overview of impressions from young journalists attending the Forum, participants adopted the Milan Communiqué as the final outcome of the 2nd AEEP Stakeholder Forum. After concluding remarks by representatives of the AEEP Co-Chairs, stakeholders and African ministers, the meeting came to a close at 5 pm.
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