To advance the dialogue on the eradication of energy poverty in Africa, the International Energy Forum (IEF) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) convened the 3rd IEF - OFID Symposium on Energy Poverty with the support of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies of Tunisia on 11-12 April 2017 in Tunis.
The Symposium was opened by HE Hela Cheikhrouhou, Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies of Tunisia represented by Mr Hamdi Harrouch, Director General of the National Energy Conservation Agency on behalf of the host country, Dr Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General IEF, and Mr Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director General and the Chief Executive Officer, represented by Dr Fuad Siala, Senior Advisor of OFID.
The Symposium participants comprised a wide range of representatives from African countries, the African Energy Commission (AFREC), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and representatives of the partner organisations of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), including the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the United Nations Statistics Division, the Gas Exporting Country Form (GECF), as well as international energy sector practitioners from the private sector and the International Gas Union (IGU).
Participants focused on accelerating collective efforts to provide access to modern energy services in African nations by 2030 in accordance with globally agreed goals. The symposium addressed the extent and the consequences of energy poverty, the roles that various energy sources and technology play, and the policy and regulatory options available to African countries to accelerate investment in alleviating energy poverty.
The Symposium noted that efforts to eradicate energy poverty must be technology neutral. Renewable energy technologies offer new opportunities to overcome energy poverty and achieve a secure and sustainable provision of modern energy services in Africa where economics permit. Fossil fuels and related technologies aimed at reducing emissions and air pollution in major cities continue to be important to meet growing energy demand and ensure equitable development on the African continent. Poor countries cannot be deprived of energy to grow their economies and keep up with demographic trends during the transition to a more diversified and sustainable energy mix.
Symposium participants exchanged views on enhancing international cooperation and applauded the progress made by African countries in this regard in collaboration with international organisations. Delegates noted that the challenge to eradicate energy poverty in Africa is much bigger than any stakeholder can overcome individually. There is a clear need to broaden partnership and strengthen international cooperation for efforts to be well targeted and successful. IEF and OFID propose to continue their collaboration on the eradication of energy poverty and step up their efforts to build capacity on related energy data collection together with JODI Partners and other relevant international organisations.
Presentations, speeches and the concluding statement will be available to download below as they become available.