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The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global emergency and significantly amplified existing challenges to Africa’s energy sector and created myriad new ones. While the pandemic has reached almost every country and has relatively been mild in Africa, the crisis is predicted to start unfolding here as well. The pandemic exposed all nations’ fragilities, but there is no doubt that it is affecting vulnerable communities and countries disproportionately.
As of the 2018 Global SDG7 Tracking report, more than half of the African population (590 million) still do not have access to electricity and that 870 million Africans are without access to clean cooking facilities. Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report 2020, based on data compiled before the COVID-19 crisis, highlighted the need for a redoubling of global efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to achieve the goal. Expected progress to provide access could now be adversely affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. Some recent gains could even be lost.
Against this backdrop, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) will co-organize a virtual Second Ministerial Forum, under the auspices of the South African 2020 Chairship of the African Union (AU), represented by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on 24 November 2020.
The aim of the Forum is to agree on and promote actions to ensure a sustainable economic recovery and scale up of energy investments in Africa over the next three years coinciding with end of the first 10-year Action Plan of the Agenda 2063. These actions include policy priorities for accelerating energy access, fostering cross-regional trade and regional integration, and setting an actionable vision for a prosperous African energy sector. Discussions will seek to build on the outcomes of high-level ministerial forums convened by the AUC and IEA throughout 2020, building on outcomes of the first 2019 Ministerial Forum as well as the findings from the IEA Africa Energy Outlook 2019 and other IEA and AUC analysis.The goal is to set new milestones and develop a roadmap to guide further joint AUC-IEA engagement to achieve the access, economic and environmental objectives set out in both the UN Sustainable Development Goals (especially linked to SDG 7) and the Agenda 2063 and building on the ongoing AU energy initiatives and programs as well as joint initiatives with international partners. It also provides an opportunity to share views on the ways in which the IEA Sustainable Recovery Plan’s energy sector roadmap for governments could best be applied to African contexts.
The Forum, convened under the auspices of the 2020 AU Presidency of South Africa, will gather a diverse mix of global and African top energy decision makers, including AU and IEA energy ministers, leaders of regional economic communities and other influential regional institutions in Africa, as well as executive level representation from global energy companies, development and financial institutions, investors, academia, policy think tanks and technology companies deeply involved in Africa’s energy sector transformation. The private sector will be represented by novel investment and financing companies and new smart solutions companies showing good practical examples.
Participants are expected to discuss several issues including ensuring a sustainable recovery in uncertain times, and filling the financing and investment gap: Priorities, Innovations, & Modalities of Stronger Multilateral Cooperation.
The Virtual Event will take place on Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 13:00-16:00 (+2hrs GMT) @ https://www.iea.org/events/auc-iea-ministerial-forum-securing-africa-s-energy-future-in-the-wake-of-covid-19
Register in advance for the press conference @ 4:15 P.M (+2hrs GMT) using the link below: https://ieaorg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_M7RwHi6pSs-MKzneMoJj5g
Learn more about The First-Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 (2013 – 2023) @ https://au.int/agenda2063/ftyip
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).