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African Ministers Agree on Common Position for COP27 and Approve Urgent Measures to Tackle Effects of Ukraine Crisis

Thriving Political Dialogue

The 2nd Extraordinary STC-TTIIE made crucial decisions to tackle the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and approved a Common African Position on Energy Access and Just Transition ahead of COP27.

The African Union Commission (AUC) convened the 2nd Extraordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental, and Interregional Infrastructure, and Energy (STC-TTIIE) on the 14th -16th of June to discuss pressing issues regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the upcoming COP27. The virtual meeting hosted African Ministers of Transport and Energy, representatives from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Pan-African Institutions and Specialized Technical Organs of the African Union.

Crisis in Ukraine offers opportunities for Africa to step in as an energy source  

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis has further complicated the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as the effect on Africa’s energy and infrastructure sectors have transcend across multiple sectors. The STC-TTIIE accepted the “Implications of the Russia-Ukraine Crisis on the African Energy and Infrastructure Sectors” paper, which proposes actions to mitigate the crisis and support Member States to manage arising risks, while also taking advantage of emerging opportunities.

The Russian aggression on Ukraine has contributed to soaring prices of energy and high cost of transport in Africa, which in turn negatively impacts agriculture, industry, trade, tourism, and many other socio-economic sectors. Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, H.E. Amani Abou–Zeid emphasised the need to adapt to new situations as they arise:“Africa can step in as an alternative source energy market through its number of projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and other similar initiatives like the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) that can be expedited to first address Africa’s energy needs and export to other regions.”  

A common African position on energy in preparation for COP27

The session also approved a common African position on energy access and just transition to be presented during COP27 in Egypt, in November 2022. The paper highlights Africa’s short, medium and long-term priorities for the energy transition while also addressing the energy access gap on the continent. The meeting urged the AUC to work together with the Member States to consolidate all the different African proposals on energy access and just transition.

The Chair of the STC-TTIIE, Hon. Hon. Tsoeu Mokeretla, called for the participation of the AU Member States: “In order to successfully push Africa’s position in addressing the adverse effects of climate change on energy and transport sectors, I encourage excellency ministers of transport and energy to be present at COP27 to advocate for a milestone outcome for Africa”. The STC-TTIIE meeting concluded that the African energy transition needs to integrate a strong just transition component in view of African economies that have significant fossil fuel contributions and stand to be impacted from abrupt transition to renewable and low-carbon sources of energy.

About the Specialized Technical Committees (STCs)

The Specialized Technical Committees (STCs) represent an important technical organ of the AU and work in close collaboration with the various departments of the AUC to monitor development programmes implemented by the AUC and Regional Economic Communities (RECs). They also provide well-informed inputs and decisions in their areas of expertise to accelerating continental integration and the implementation of programmes and projects of the AUC.

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