Africa-EU partnership launched


High-level discussions on the implementation of the Africa-EU energy partnership took place at the premises of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to establish the Africa-EU Energy Partnership as part of the EU-Africa Joint Strategy. Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy; Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid; and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy, signed a “Joint statement on the implementation of the first Action Plan of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership” and agreed on actions to be taken in order to speed up the implementation of the partnership.

The joint statement stressed the urgent need to promote Africa electrification and agreed to launch as soon as possible the process for the elaboration of an Electricity Master-Plan for Africa. It also agreed to further define the Capacity Building Programme in support of the African Power Pools and AFUR, which will be financed under the Energy Facility. It also agreed to increase transparency; promote energy interconnections in Africa and between Africa and the EU; elaborate a Road Map for the launching and implementation of a Renewable Energy Cooperation programme; support the elaboration of Country Implementation Plans and participation in the Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership by oil and gas producing countries. The statement also stressed the importance of measures in the area of energy efficiency and energy savings.

The joint statement calls upon the European countries and the private sector to further mobilise resources for investment in the energy sector, in both the supply and demand side. The EC informed that the European Commission is planning to replenish the Energy Facility Programme and provide additional contribution to the EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership and its Trust Fund through the 10th EDF Intra-ACP programme and, in addition, national and regional programmes.

The AUC confirmed its willingness to further progress in the implementation of the €55m EC support programme for the period 2007-2011, in order to further improve its expertise on the energy sector; launch technical studies; raise awareness; and play an effective role as a “motor” for the active participation of the African energy’s regional and national authorities and stakeholders in the Africa-EU energy partnership.