Austria calls for Africa and EU green energy cooperation

Global Arab Network Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger has called for greater energy cooperation between Europe and African states. Addressing the Africa-EU summit which opened in Tripoli on Monday, Spindelegger said that long-term energy solutions were the core of a successful fight against poverty, and for a “green economy”.

Austrian firms in particular were front-runners in environmentally-beneficial methods of production, he noted.

Spindelegger stressed that African states were no longer “only exporters of raw materials”, or conversely, simple import markets for other countries’ products. Far more, they were “partners of Europe in important questions of the future”.

The foreign minister said that “we must not persist in mentalities which belong to the past”.

Spindelegger recalled the 2007 Lisbon summit when the EU-African energy partnership was resolved. Afterwards, at a conference of energy ministers in Vienna, goals were set up including easier energy access for a further 100 million Africans by 2010. An aim was also set by then to have 10,000 megawatts from hydroelectricity, 5,000 from wind power, and at least 500 from solar energy in various regions of the African continent.

“None of the Millennium development goals can be reached without access to energy services”, Spindelegger stressed, according to the minister’s speech. To improve growth prospects in Africa, there must be an end to the problem of electricity and other energy shortages to industry and other users.

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