Aligning Perspectives to Accelerate Energy Access in Africa

SDG7 is achievable in Africa by 2030. This was the most important finding of our recently published report “European Financial Flows on SDG7 to Africa” which took stock of the quantity, quality and equitability of African and European contributions to SDG7 in Africa.

Of course, the report equally finds that a substantial investment gap of 69 billion per annum remains. But putting this number into perspective allows the good news to prevail: the figure represents only 3.1% of African GDP and a mere 0.5% of European GDP. More importantly still, making SDG7 a reality is simply a sound investment. Merely avoiding the economic losses from electricity outages in Africa would free up the funds required to provide access to sustainable energy services to all of Africa´s citizens.

Realising this calculated potential, however, requires greater coordination: among international donors but also African stakeholders. It will rely on innovations and insights from business, civil society and research. And it will need the engagement of thought leaders and practitioners across all sectors and society groups. Learning about and aligning these perspectives is the first step in engendering joint action. 

The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) Forum on 20 October will be a timely high-level opportunity to do so. Jointly hosted by the African Union Commission and the European Commission, the Forum will enable participants to discuss what still needs to be done in the decade ahead, and how the transition to universal energy access can help support sustainable economic and societal development. 

The outcomes of the AEEP Forum will feed into a broader process of engagement on energy in Africa convened by REN21, and will inform the work to prepare the 6th AU-EU Summit. As such, the AEEP Forum will help to shape the future focus of Africa and Europe’s partnership and joint action on energy and climate.

More information and registration:

By Johan van den Berg, Head of Secretariat, Afria-EU Energy Partnership