African Ministers Agree on Next Steps for Developing the Continent’s Energy Sector
The discussions and decisions during the 3rd ordinary session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental, and Interregional Infrastructures, and Energy (STC-TTIIE) set the scene to push Africa’s infrastructure development endeavours forward on the road to recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic, says Lesotho’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, H.E. Ambassador Mafa Sejanamane, representing Lesotho as the new chair of the STC Bureau.
The STC-TTIIE was organised virtually on 28th to 30th June 2021 under the theme ‘The Role of Infrastructure and Energy in the Post COVID-19 Africa; Towards Sustainable Economic Recovery, Resilience, Jobs, Industrialisation and Trade’.
The outgoing Chairperson and Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, said that the STC-TTIE has created a platform for cooperation and integration among the African Union Member States, RECs, the private sector, and partners to exchange knowledge and experiences to address common challenges in the infrastructure and energy sector, which has been recognised as one of the major pillars for achieving the AU Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Adoption of Collaborative Efforts for the Future
For the energy sector, the Ministers agreed to adopt an Action Plan until 2023 to guide the implementation of priorities that were identified during the meeting. Among these is a request to the African Union Commission (AUC) and African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) to take appropriate steps to fully implement the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) and the Continental Power System Master Plan (CMP). Equally, the meeting agreed to request that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in collaboration with the AUC, regional and continental organisations, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) and other partners, determine the feasibility of the establishment of an African School of Regulation in order to build capacity and enhance good regulatory practices across the continent.
The Ministers also acknowledged and commended the support to various AU projects and programmes within the energy sector by multilateral financial institutions and development partners, including the AfDB, KfW, the World Bank, the EU and GIZ.
Decisions within other sectors included the adoption of the African Road Safety Action plan for the Decade 2021-2030 and the PIDA PAP2 Financing Strategy, developed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission congratulated the participants for a fruitful meeting and emphasised that ‘the post COVID-19 era requires more agile decision-making and coordination of efforts by all stakeholders.
Over 200 Participants from 47 Member States
The 3rd STC-TTIIE meeting was organized by the AUC in collaboration with AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB and UNECA. The three-day high-level meeting was attended by over 200 participants from 47 African Union (AU) Member States, including African transport and energy ministers, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), specialised continental institutions, and international organisations working across Africa.
The last ordinary session of the STC was held in Cairo, Egypt, in April 2019.