Africa-EU
Energy Partnership

AEEP Forum 2021 Highlights New Voices and Solutions for the African Energy Transition

Thriving Political Dialogue

Bonn, Germany – 4 November, 2021 – On 20 October 2021, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) Forum 2021 “Aligning Energies for a Green and Prosperous Africa” attracted more than 500 stakeholders to reflect on Africa and Europe’s unique partnership on energy. Participants analysed how this partnership can be further leveraged to foster both continents’ goals on energy and climate. 

The half-day virtual event convened representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as academia and civil society. Taking place at a decisive moment, shortly after the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy, before the AU-EU Ministerial Meeting, and in the run-up to COP26 and the 6th AU-EU Summit, the AEEP Forum allowed participants to add their voices to what the energy transition means to them, and how it can secure a green and prosperous future in Africa. 

“Africa cannot just be the source of raw materials. We should be thinking about an Africa where the battery systems are made in Africa, where the software and other components needed for the smart-grids are made in Africa. An Africa where the components for transmission lines we need for the global energy trade are made in Africa. That is an important dimension Europe should be looking at.” 

Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, co-chair, Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy 

An interactive panel of African institutions and initiatives addressed new angles raised by a variety of stakeholders across different sectors and African Member States. These voices had been curated as video interventions by the AEEP with support from REN21. Ensuring a broad stakeholder discussion continues beyond the day of the Forum, REN21 will launch its dialogue series, RENdez-Vous Africa, on 10 November 2021. 

In addition to the panel debate, the AEEP Forum hosted two parallel round table discussions in English and French, and a Topic Arena that showcased 11 African and European initiatives and organisations working on energy investments, green infrastructure and trade, youth participation, empowering women as energy actors and future business models for energy. The roundtable discussions emphasised the importance of an energy transition for people across Africa and described it as an opportunity, particularly for the youth.  

“SMEs and MSMEs and the young people that are coming up will be the ones pushing the innovation and sustainability we need. We need to support that with our policies and initiatives. How do we capacitate young actors in terms of knowledge and access to finance and markets?” 

Dr. Towela Nyirenda-Jere, Head of Economic Integration, AUDA-NEPAD 

The importance and value of the African- European partnership was highlighted by many of the speakers. The initiative to convene a particularly broad range of energy stakeholders was welcomed and supported.  

“As we work towards the AU-EU Summit, a dialogue like today’s AEEP Forum facilitates a clear understanding of our respective and mutual interests and responsibilities and enables us to move forward on shared agendas, in close cooperation with the African Union Commission.” 

Birgitte Markussen, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union 

Atef Mazouk, of the African Union Commission, looked forward to the upcoming AU-EU Summit and expressed his hope that it would set the stage for broadening and deepening the two continents’ partnership through the AEEP. 

“If SDG7 is to be reached by 2030 and the climate battle won, we will need a very dynamic political dialogue and continuous alignment between all the key institutions in Africa and Europe.” 

Atef Marzouk, Acting Director Infrastructure and Energy, AUC 

Download the AEEP Forum 2021 Spotlight for a more detailed report.

To revisit the event and watch recordings of all sessions, please go to: aeep-forum.plazz.net 

The AEEP is supported by its Steering Group: