Energy Partnership: Joint Expert Group Meetings (JEG) und High Level Meeting (HLM)

EUEI In 2010, the EUEI PDF continued to extensively support the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP). In addition to the secretarial services provided to the Co-Chairs of the Partnership (African Union Commission, Mauritius, Austria and Germany), the European and African Implementing Teams and the Joint Experts Group (JEG), the EUEI PDF spent a lot of time on organizing the First High Level Meeting (HLM) of the Partnership.

The HLM was not simply the gathering of the AEEP stakeholders at various levels but also raised the AEEP’s implementation process from working to ministerial level and gained awareness and momentum.  Participants in Vienna endorsed the Vienna Declaration containing Political Targets to be achieved by 2020 on energy access, energy security, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Furthermore, the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) was launched. The RECP will constitute one of the main pillars of the AEEP addressing the Partnership’s targets to deploy Africa’s vast renewable energy potential.

In addition to that, participants approved the AEEP Roadmap, which will guide the Partnership’s further process, and agreed to strengthen the AEEP’s dialogue function. In this regard, an AEEP Forum including civil society, private sector and research institutions is planned for late 2011 – another major event which requires significant preparation efforts the EUEI PDF will handle.

Back-to-back with the HLM in Vienna, the 5th JEG meeting was held, attended by nine EU member states, eleven African states, eight Regional Economic Communities and Specialised Institutions as well as the AU Commission and European Commission. The EUEI PDF prepared, as usually, all relevant documents for discussion and adoption. The 5th JEG was mainly charaterized by the finalisation of the 2nd Action Plan of the AEEP for 2011–2013. Participants intensively discussed the draft as prepared by the EUEI PDF and endorsed a revised draft for submission to the Joint Task Force and subsequently to the 3rd Africa-EU Summit held in November 2010 in Tripoli, Libya. The African and European Heads of State and Governments gathered in Tripoli, approved the 2nd Action Plan and also welcomed the creation of the RECP, for which the 5th JEG tentatively agreed on the role and composition of an Interim RECP Steering Group. The JEG further mandated the EUEI PDF to preliminary act as the Interim RECP Secretariat.

In 2011, the EUEI PDF is expected to continue its function as a ‘secretariat’ to the AEEP, supporting the Implementing Teams and JEGs. The preparations for the 6th JEG, scheduled for mid March 2011 in Mauritius, are already ongoing. The main focus of the coming JEG will be a) the implementation of the 2020 Political Targets and the measurement of their achievement (M&E system) and b) the further establishment and organization of the RECP. In addition, the JEG will handle other issues related to the AEEP such as strengthening the links with the AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) or the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA). Given the tasks related to the AEEP ahead and the newly added secretarial functions for the RECP, 2011 will be a challenging, even more work-intensive but also exciting year for the EUEI PDF.

Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP)

The Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) was launched by EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs at the AEEP HLM in Vienna on 14 September 2010. Commissioner Piebalgs announced an initial EUR 5 million for the start-up phase of the programme which aims to make Africa a prime destination for investments in renewable energy in the coming decade. The EUEI PDF was tasked to coordinate efforts under the RECP and to further develop it into an ambitious 10-year programme. At the same time, the EUEI PDF will implement one component of the start-up phase on an enabling policy and regulatory environment for renewable energy investments while Agence Française de Développement (AFD) will do likewise on support for project preparation and capacity development for innovative financ- ing. EUEI PDF and AFD have started joint planning for the RECP start-up phase and will coordinate closely in the implementation phase.

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