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Africa-Europe Energy Partnership initiated

In response to an invitation extended by the German government and the European Commission, more than 220 representatives of African and European countries, international financial institutions, UN organisations, NGOs and other decision-makers met in Berlin for the Africa-Europe Energy Forum 2007.
Ms Wieczorek-Zeul, German Development Minister, opened the Forum together with Mr Theodorakis, Acting Director of Directorate General Development of the European Commission, and Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister for Energy of Ghana representing the African Union.

Minister Wieczorek-Zeul emphasized in her opening remarks that without sustainable access to energy, there can be no development. "Rising costs for fossil energy are jeopardizing development achievements in Africa. We in the European Union therefore want to support Africa in expanding the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency." The Minister also drew attention to the impact of climate change in Africa: "It is obvious that Africa is not to blame for anthropogenic climate change, but Africa is hit particularly hard by the consequences of climate change."

The conference produced the following key recommendations:

  1. Strengthen cooperation between Africa and Europe. Africa is rich in energy sources. Strengthening cooperation between Africa and Europe is mutually beneficial: reliable energy supply, climate protection and sustained poverty reduction are goals that can only be reached in a joint effort. Expanding the use of renewable and particularly efficient energy sources can make a major contribution in this regard.
  2. Financing. The financial resources provided through development cooperation are not sufficient to meet Africa's energy needs. So new paths must be pursued to provide financing: African resources, especially from oil sales, donor resources and private-sector resources must all be used. More funding for energy should be made available at the EU level.
  3. Climate change. Africa is suffering particularly under climate change, even though the continent is contributing very little to emissions that harm the climate. Natural disasters, deteriorating water supply, and an increase in tropical diseases are just some of the consequences. This is an area in which the industrialized countries in particular are called upon to help finance the necessary adaptation efforts.

There was agreement that it is not only cooperation between Africa and Europe but also regional cooperation and solidarity within Africa that needs to be strengthened and supported.

For the full Chairs' Summary see the partnerships' website

Additional information:
News date: 16/03/2007

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