AEEP Forum 2023 Highlights need for Building Bridges on all Levels to Accelerate Energy Transitions
Bonn – Germany – 19 September 2023
On 4-5 September 2023, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) organised the third edition of the AEEP Forum in-person and online during the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya under the theme Building Bridges for Green Growth. The ACS side event on 4 September tackled the theme of Africa-EU partnership for climate-compatible energy access. A closed door, high-level policymaker breakfast on 5 September, organised in collaboration with Africa Europe Foundation (AEF) facilitated discussions under the headline Bridging the Africa-Europe Energy. Both events served as critical platforms for high-level representatives from Africa, Europe and beyond, to convene, share insights, and chart a visionary course for the future.
With over 120 participants on-site in Nairobi and up to 100 virtual followers, the the ACS side event focused the need to future-proof energy systems on both continents and importance of mobilising both public and private sector resources for renewable energy development.
Moderated by Ms Edith Kimani, News and current affairs, East Africa correspondent, Deutsche Welle, the panel discussion also stressed to necessity of acknowledging the diverse landscape of stakeholders and their roles in sustainable energy access and the shared responsibility of ensuring equitable access to green energy. Under the umbrella of the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative (AEGEI) the partnership will continue to foster deeper collaboration among AU-EU stakeholders.
“AEGEI seeks to ensure that the continental policy dialogue initiated under AEEP remains closely linked with regional and national-level actions, including those under NDICI-Global Europe and the Global Gateway initiatives.”
Ms Carla Montesi, Director Green Deal and Digital Agenda, European Commission (EC)
Other speakers included Dr Kamugisha Kazaura, Director Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Bärbel Kofler, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany and Ms Elizabeth Press, Director of Planning and Programme Support, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Franc discussion on AU-EU energy collaboration
Hosted under Chatham house rules, the high-level policymaker breakfast brought together energy and transport ministers from Africa and Europe, as well as private sector and NGO representatives for a franc discussion on how Africa can achieve energy access and green industrialisation that can spur economic opportunities and human development.
Participants discussed under what terms Africa and Europe can engage in a mutually respectful manner and it was suggested that refining of critical minerals, essential for renewable energy technologies and especially energy storage solutions, can present a new chapter for Africa and Europe to working together.
Furthermore, the discussion underlined the critical need for matching public and private funding with the right projects in Africa, to ensure the development of not only small-scale energy solutions, but the expansion of renewable energy generation and grid expansion for green industrialisation on the continent.
Finally, participants noted that the industrial revolution is accelerating, and it is a renewal one, where the renewable energy sources are everywhere and belong to everyone. If Africa and Europe can make the energy transition leap together, they can achieve something monumental.