African Member States adopt SEforALL recommendation on integrated electrification in Cairo Declaration
A significant step was taken last week by African Member States towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030. Ministers from 39 African countries assembled for a meeting organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) in Cairo adopted a recommendation presented by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) on integrated approaches to national electrification.
The meeting of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET) was to establish plans for developing smart infrastructure to boost the continent’s development in the coming decades. The outcome of this meeting was a landmark resolution dubbed the “Cairo Declaration.”
The Declaration includes a reference to a presentation by SEforALL on unlocking finance for electricity projects and the recommendation to encourage an integrated approach to energy sector policy and planning that embraces centralized grid-based means as well as decentralized electrification methods for long-term investment plans.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is home to 16 of the 20 countries with the largest energy access gaps, known as high-impact countries (HICs). Bringing sustainable energy access to the nearly 600 million people in SSA with no electricity is a critical piece of the puzzle for achieving SDG7.
Through diplomatic efforts, expert advice and the presentation of key insights, SEforALL works to make sure decision-makers in these countries have the knowledge they need for rapid and sustainable electrification. An important element is the concept of integrated electrification pathways (IEP), which refers to a set of inclusive planning approaches and policy measures that support using a range of options for providing electricity and the associated energy services necessary to meet human needs and contribute to sustainable development.
“The AUC appreciates the collaboration with SEforALL and looks forward to working together to support African Union Member States in their actions towards the achievement of the Energy Plan of Action adopted in Cairo,” said Mr. Cheikh Bedda, Director of Infrastructure and Energy of the AUC.
As a partner to the AUC, SEforALL will contribute to action on SDG7 and the AU’s Agenda 2063, through a number of activities endorsed by the AUC under its new Energy Plan of Action 2019-2021. This includes sharing an upcoming report and video case studies on IEP, as well as SEforALL’s flagship research, Energizing Finance, which tracks financial flows towards electricity and clean cooking access in Africa and beyond.
“The implementation of the STC Plan of Action will benefit from strong coordination,” said Bedda. “Hence SEforALL’s experiences and expertise in tracking finance for energy access, promoting investment and market development will be an invaluable asset in the collaboration as the two organizations seek to build on the momentum of the SEforALL Africa Hub in engaging with regional energy centers and the national focal point network.”
The outcomes of the STC-TIIIET session will be submitted for adoption by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its Ordinary Session in July 2019.