ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
The U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial Meeting opened
on Tuesday under the theme, “Catalyzing Sustainable Energy
Growth in Africa,” at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in
Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
the opening of the two-day meeting, Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopian
Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, noted that lack of
access to modern energy is a significant constraint to social
and economic development in many parts of the African continent.
one of the key challenges of achieving sustainable development
is the issue of the provision of sustainable, reliable and
affordable modern energy,” underlined Alemayehu.
that the ministerial meeting is organized to facilitate and
increase energy business linkages between the U.S. and African
to the minister, the two sides are expected to find growing
win-win opportunities in the realization of their common
aspiration for rapid energy development.
gathering will also provide an important occasion to
understand the Africa energy situation and identify concrete
mechanism for U.S private sector participation to expand
renewable energy solutions and energy efficient technologies
and harnessing natural gas resources,” noted the minister.
meeting will also highlight the progress on President Obama’s
Power Africa Initiative and showcase African and the U.S.
private sector energy solution through a U.S.-African expo
center, “ he said.
that development of energy resources and infrastructure is the
prominent agenda across the continent, the minister underscored
the need to strengthen efforts to overcome energy poverty on the
President Obama’s “Power Africa” initiative during his trip to
Africa, an effort to double access to electricity in Sub-Saharan
Africa, Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy, announced a new
U.S. Government Power Africa sub-initiative called “Beyond the
the Grid will unlock investment and growth for off-grid and
small-scale energy solutions for millions of households,
businesses and public facilities in underserved communities in
Africa,” said the Secretary.
that the U.S. Power Africa program already supports over 25
small-scale energy projects.
Beyond the Grid will expand this significantly- facilitating
over 1 billion U.S. dollars in new private sectors
investments,” he said, adding “This could blend donor and
private capital, aggregating and de-risking small projects.”
private sector commitments will help Power Africa meet and
exceed its commitment to provide access to 20 million new
connections for households and commercial entities, providing
electricity to millions of households in Sub-Saharan Africa,
according to the press statement from the U.S. Department of
initial five-year period, Beyond the Grid will leverage
partnerships with 27 investors and practitioners committing to
invest the one billion dollars into grid-off and small scale
solutions for the underserved market, it said.
600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have the access
to modern-day electricity.
meeting is particularly important for Africa as it remains the
continent with the least developed energy system, and modern
energy access in the world. And the low modern energy access
to productive applications is also threatening industrial
development on the continent,” said Elham Ibrahim, AU
Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.
gathered here for this important meeting to share ideas and
experiences as well as strengthen our strategies and
commitment in addressing the pressing challenges in the
African energy sector,” she said.
opening the meeting, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam
Desalegn, underscored on the need to take innovative policy and
investment measures in the energy sector to address the adverse
effect of climate change that the energy sector is responsible
for the highest level of annual emissions globally.
climate is changing with adverse effects for humans and life
in general that energy sector is responsible for the highest
level of annual emissions globally,” said the prime minister.
“Exploiting renewable resources and promoting and supporting
renewable and efficient technologies and measures are required
to be taken by all nations to meet a challenge of climate
change,” he said.