7th Energy Partnership Joint Experts Group Meeting, Bonn 8-9 February 2012
The 7th Joint Expert Group (JEG) Meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) was held from 9-10 February 2012 in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn, Germany. With more than 80 participants attending the meeting, including key policy makers, private sector and civil society, as well as research/academia representatives from Africa and Europe, the meeting focussed on the further development of the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) and the upcoming Africa-EU Energy Partnership Forum, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa from 9-10 May 2012 (more information at www.aeep-forum.org).
The Partnership Forum will be a main driver for the expansion of the scope of the Partnership by facilitating dialogue amongst all its stakeholders in order to achieve progress on the AEEP 2020 Political Targets. With more than 300 participants expected in Cape Town, the Forum will reach out to European and African private sector actors, as well as civil society, and research institutions from both continents.
Highlight of the meeting in Bonn, however, were the discussions on the long-term Strategy 2020 for the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP). With financial support by the European Commission, the RECP was launched in 2010 in order to accelerate the use of the vast potential for renewable energy in Africa. Stakeholders both from Africa and Europe expressed their appreciation of the conceptual development of the programme, comprising four different Action Areas addressing the constraints to renewable energy in Africa. Meanwhile, the implementation of the Start-up Phase of the RECP in the areas of policy advisory services and capacity development for African banks are well underway and have been welcomed by participants (more information on the RECP under www.africa-eu-renewables.org).
Furthermore, progress on the development of the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) was acknowledged and highly welcomed by participants as was the progress report on the implementation of the 2nd AEEP Action Plan and the baseline report for monitoring the AEEP’s 2020 Political Targets. As the chair of UN-Energy, UNIDO further highlighted the critical role the AEEP plays in the context of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative and commended the AEEP for its clear and ambitious political targets.
With the RECP gearing further up towards implementation and the AEEP Forum set to take place from 9-10 May in Cape Town, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership and its stakeholders are expecting an exciting year 2012 contributing jointly to improved energy access, an increased use of renewable energy, and improved energy security in the interest of both continents.