Dear ALER members and friends,
I am delighted by ALER’s invitation and this opportunity to highlight the progress and challenges of advancing sustainable energy for all in Africa and to present the work of the SE4All Africa Hub.
2015 has seen important milestones with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) notably SDG 7 on energy modelled on the three targets of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative and the adoption of the Paris agreement with renewable energy in Africa as an important focus area. This political momentum needs to be translated into concrete actions in the field, or as Kandeh Yumkella coined it: “to turn commitments into kwh for real people”.
The SE4All Africa Hub, hosted by the African Development Bank, is a partnership of African institutions dedicated to supporting the continent’s progress towards the Initiative’s three main objectives: universal energy access, improved energy efficiency and an increased share of renewable energy. In close collaboration with partners, the Hub provides guidance to African governments and energy stakeholders, delivers technical assistance, fosters networking and communication, contributes towards resources mobilization to support implementation of SE4All Action Agendas (AAs) and Investment Prospectuses (IPs), and facilitates the coordination of energy initiatives.
The SE4All Action Agenda is a country-level umbrella framework for energy sector development with a long-term vision, ensuring overall sector-wide coherence and synergy of the accumulated efforts towards the three goals of the SE4All initiative. The IP provides an approach to operationalizing the Country Action Agenda. The Africa Hub is also implementing a Green Mini-Grids Africa Market Development Program (GMG-MDP), in order to support the scale-up of investments in commercially viable GMG projects through a broad range of interventions to improve the enabling environment.
From February 9-10, we gathered over 100 stakeholders from Government, private sector, civil society, and international organizations in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for the 3rdannual SE4All Africa workshop. ALER also participated at the meeting. The event demonstrated the considerable progress made by many African countries in laying the groundwork in terms of country-level energy sector planning processes through their Action Agendas and Investment Prospectuses. As far as Lusophone Africa is concerned, Cabo Verde was one of the first countries to adopt the Action Agenda, while Angola and Guinea-Bissau are in advanced stages of development of their Action Agenda and Investment Prospectus.
Workshop participants called for the recognition of the SE4All Action Agenda as a national implementation framework for SDG 7. Participants also recommended the strengthening of inter-ministerial coordination and the set-up of national implementation structures, the integration of projects identified in investment prospectuses into appropriate web platform/marketplace; and the organization of investment fora and knowledge exchange on available funding instruments. Our recently launched SE4All Africa website provides a platform to facilitate the sharing of information (http://www.se4all-africa.org/).
High expectations have been generated throughout Africa and a rapid improvement of access has been placed at the top of the priorities of many countries including Africa’s Lusophone countries. The implementation of these priorities will require the mobilization of investments notably form the private sector side.
The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Adesina, has placed energy at the top of the Bank’s agenda and called for a New Deal on Energy for Africa. In this regard, the Bank will be scaling-up its investments in the energy sector in the on-grid, mini- and off-grid space, but also in the area of access to clean cooking solutions with a view to leverage additional financing from public and private sector investors.
ALER plays an important role in promoting the role of renewable energy in Africa’s Lusophone countries and is therefore an important partner for the SE4All Africa Hub and we look forward to further intensify our cooperation in the future.
Dr. Daniel-Alexander Schroth
SE4ALL Africa Hub Coordinator