Joint Experts Group Meeting of the Energy Partnership

EUEI PDF From 17-18 March 2011 the 6th Joint Experts Group Meeting (JEG) of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) took place in Mauritius. Opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius H.E. Ahmed Rashid Beebeejaun, the Director for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission Mr. Aboubakari Baba Moussa, and the Head of the European Union Delegation to Mauritius, Seychelles, and the Union of the Comoros, Alessandro Mariani, the JEG was attended by nine African states, four EU member states as well as regional economic communities, African power pools, and both the African Union Commission and the European Commission.

While the previous 5th JEG in September 2010 in Vienna was characterized by the finalisation of the 2nd Action Plan of the AEEP, the 6th JEG focussed on its implementation status. In this context, participants discussed current bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation between the two continents in the energy sector. These efforts and initiatives also contribute to the ambitious AEEP 2020 Political Targets that were agreed at the 1st High-Level Meeting of the AEEP in Vienna in September 2010. They seek in particular to bring access to modern and sustainable energy services to at least an additional 100 million people on the African continent.

To measure the achievement of such targets, a monitoring system that had been proposed and prepared by the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) which serves as a “secretariat” of the AEEP, has also been discussed at the JEG in Mauritius. The monitoring system will be implemented by the EUEI PDF in close cooperation with AEEP stakeholders such as African Power Pools, African Specialised Organisations and regional economic communities particularly on data collection.

To facilitate and further strengthen dialogue between the two continents in the energy sector, the AEEP will in addition to the Vienna High-Level Meeting organise a Partnership Forum that brings together the private sector, NGOs, and the research community. As was the 1st AEEP High-Level Meeting, the Partnership Forum will be unique in the structures of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. It will contribute substantially to broadening and deepening dialogue between stakeholders in the sector. As concluded at the JEG, the Forum will focus on all of the 2020 political targets with a particular emphasis of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

To achieve the political targets on the latter, the start-up phase (2011-13) of the AEEP Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) has been endorsed by participants in Mauritius. It is implemented by the EUEI PDF and the Agence Française du Développement. For the development of a larger RECP up to 2020, the JEG endorsed a guiding vision for the programme. Considering the vast potential for renewable energy in Africa, the comprehensive RECP may in the future comprise activities in four components: policy advisory services, private sector matchmaking, flagship investment projects, and technology innovation and capacity development.

For the coming months, the AEEP agenda will concentrate on the implementation of the RECP as well as the organisation of the 1st Partnership Forum. Both present unique opportunities to further fill the Africa-EU Energy Partnership with life.

For more information on the AEEP process, please consult the joint website of the AU and the EU Commissions, the website of the EUEI PDF , or contact the EUEI PDF directly at info@euei-pdf.org.

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