Summary report, 16–17 May 2016

Second Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) Business and Science: Leading the Way to Sustainable Energy

The Second Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) took place from 16-17 May 2016 at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) in Milan, Italy. Held every three years as a high-level event, the Stakeholder Forum is one of the strategic dialogue events organized by the AEEP. The Milan Forum was jointly organized by the AEEP, the Italian Government, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission, and focused on how to advance renewable energy innovation, capacity building and investment, under the overall theme ‘Business and Science: Leading the Way to Sustainable Energy.’

The Forum brought together more than 500 participants, including African and European Ministers, Commissioners and senior officials from the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU), and other high-level participants representing policy-makers, regional institutions, international organizations, the banking and finance industry, the private sector, academia, civil society, and the media. Discussions during the Forum were held in plenary and in specially structured panels exploring progress towards achieving the AEEP’s 2020 Targets. These targets aim to: provide an additional 100 million Africans with access to sustainable energy services; double the number of electricity interconnection between African countries, and increase gas consumption and exports in order to enhance energy security; raise the proportion of renewable energy in the energy mix through, amongst others, generating at least 15,500 megawatts (MW) of new hydro, wind and solar power; and increase energy efficiency across all sectors.

The discussions also provided an opportunity to explore the role of energy in countries’ implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, with a focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7 (affordable and clean energy), 13 (climate action) and 11 (sustainable cities and communities). On the sidelines of the discussions, participants met in targeted networking, business matchmaking and media events, as well as a parallel exhibition and fair showcasing some new technological innovations.

The Forum launched a number of AEEP reports and initiatives, including the Mapping of Initiatives and Programs in Africa Report, the 2016 AEEP Status Report and the Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa (RES4Africa) Initiative. At the conclusion of the two-day event, participants adopted the Milan Communiqué and a “Call for Action” in which different stakeholders announced commitments to help develop a comprehensive portfolio of activities to contribute to the AEEP 2020 Targets.

This report summarizes the discussions and outcomes of the meeting.


Africa and Europe have a shared interest in accelerating access to sustainable, efficient and secure energy supplies. Although it is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources, Africa requires significant technical and financial investments as well as capacity building to achieve universal access, reduce its fossil fuel dependence, power economic growth, expand its renewable energy markets, and promote social progress. Europe, in turn, seeks to enhance its energy security in cooperation with African partners. The following is an overview of important initiatives and programmes within the framework of Africa-EU collaboration on energy issues.

EUEI: Established at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, the EU Energy Initiative for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development (EUEI) has put in place instruments such as the EU-ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Energy Facility. The EU contributed initial funding of €420 million towards the Facility’s aims of promoting modern, affordable and sustainable energy services in rural and peri-urban areas.

EUEI PDF: The EU Energy Initiative – Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF), launched in 2004, is a flexible instrument of the European Commission and six EU member states. Its aim is to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, in particular on energy, by promoting sustainable energy for equitable development in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The main thematic pillars of the EUEI PDF´s work are renewable energy and biomass, energy efficiency, energy access, energy security, climate change and energy in cities. Four different service lines have been established in the framework of the EUEI PDF, offering complementary approaches on these topics. As one of the service lines, the EUEI PDF hosts the Secretariat of the AEEP, focusing on the facilitation of political dialogue between Africa and the EU on energy-related issues.

AEEP: Launched during the second EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 2007, the AEEP is one of eight strategic partnerships that emerged from the Africa-EU Joint Strategy and Action Plan. The AEEP is a long-term framework for structured political dialogue and cooperation on energy issues of strategic importance, reflecting African and European needs. The AEEP’s overall objective is to increase the effectiveness of efforts to secure reliable and sustainable energy services and extend their access on both continents, enhance access to modern energy services, and expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in Africa.

EU RENEWABLE ENERGY DIRECTIVE: Adopted in April 2009, the EU Renewable Energy Directive commits EU Member States to ensuring that 20% of their energy comes from renewable sources by 2020, as part of efforts to improve energy security and competitiveness, and combat climate change. It aims to maintain the EU’s global leadership in renewable energy technologies. However, it states that the EU will undoubtedly be required to import some of this capacity, and, as a result, inter-regional renewable energy projects between Africa and the EU have begun to take shape.

FIRST AEEP HLM: The First AEEP High-Level Meeting (HLM) took place from 14-15 September 2010 in Vienna, Austria. The HLM agreed on a set of concrete targets to be attained by 2020, grouped under six priority areas: energy access; energy security; renewable energy and energy efficiency; institutional capacity building; scaling up investment; and dialogue. The targets include: ensuring access to modern and sustainable energy services for at least an additional 100 million Africans; substantially increasing the use of hydropower (by 10,000 megawatts), wind (by 5,000 megawatts) and solar energy (by 500 megawatts); tripling the capacity of other renewables, such as geothermal and modern biomass; and doubling the capacity of African cross-border interconnections within the continent and to the EU.

The HLM also launched the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the AEEP 2020 targets, by: enhancing industrial and business cooperation between the two continents; improving policy and regulatory frameworks for renewable energy in Africa; contributing to the development and financing of concrete renewable energy projects; and helping to develop the next generation of energy professionals on the continent.

FIRST AEEP STAKEHOLDER FORUM: The First AEEP Stakeholder Forum took place from 9-10 May 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants explored, among other issues, how to enhance synergies among different stakeholder groups, and address barriers to increased investment and development assistance in the energy sector.

SECOND AEEP HLM: The Second AEEP HLM took place from 11-13 February 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the theme ‘Taking the Next Step.’ The meeting reviewed the AEEP Status Report 2014 and explored how to improve cooperation between the policy and business sectors in order to attract and substantially accelerate private investments to meet, among other things, the AEEP and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) targets. The HLM adopted the Addis Ababa Communiqué, calling for, inter alia: greater efforts to realize the full potential of the RECP as the AEEP’s delivery mechanism to mobilize meso-scale renewable energy investments; and continued policy and regulatory reform in Africa to create an enabling environment for increased private sector investments.



The Second Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) opened on Monday morning, 16 May. Master of Ceremony Lerato Mbele, BBC World News, invited participants to consider how to support leaders, investors and societies in Africa to provide something that the rest of the world takes for granted. Participants then watched an AEEP video highlighting progress in energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy in Africa.

Marco Marsilli, Deputy Director-General, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, welcomed delegates to Milan. He described the business-to-business matchmaking sessions and networking with civil society representatives as part of the innovative elements of the Stakeholder Forum, and expressed hope that they would yield concrete outcomes. He highlighted important initiatives and events, including the 2014 Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference that focused on partnerships for a sustainable energy future.

Moussa Omran, First Undersecretary of State for Research, Planning and Authorities’ Follow up, Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Egypt, stressed the Partnership’s focus on policy cooperation, noting that adequate and affordable energy is a priority for African countries, and that energy remains a crucial element for the development of both the European and African continents. He said this Forum should maintain the momentum gained and act as a launch pad for further cooperation.

In her keynote address, Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, AUC, highlighted the important role of the youth, also noting the location of the meeting in an institute of higher learning. She underlined that the abundance of renewable energy resources in Africa offers opportunities to not only fulfill the region’s energy needs, but also tap into the European market, with its energy bill of €1 billion a day. Underscoring the importance of inclusive partnerships, she said if new technologies are not shared and applied, the increase in energy demand will exacerbate climate change.


FOSTERING PARTNERSHIP: PROGRESS AND FUTURE OF THE AEEP: Felice Zaccheo, European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), noted that since its establishment in 2007, the AEEP has become one of the main vehicles of EU-Africa cooperation. He highlighted the Commission’s commitment to contributing towards the goal of energy access to 500 million Africans by 2030.

Atef Marzouk, AUC, detailed the progress made by the AU and EU towards meeting the political targets of the AEEP. He drew attention to the Complete Steering Structure that provides strategic guidance to the AU Secretariat, Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). Among achievements in Europe, he highlighted increased support by Member States and new EU Instruments, such as the EU Technical Assistance Facility.

Emanuela Colombo, POLIMI, discussed some scientific perspectives based on the work of the RECP. She presented key messages from the AEEP Innovation Symposium held in Tlemsen, Algeria in March 2016, as the need to: focus on people as “enablers of efficient technical action”; explore diverse options, including renewable energy-based distributed energy channels; and translate science into people-centered, practical and bankable solutions.


INNOVATING AND INVESTING IN THE ENERGY SECTOR IN AFRICA: Moderator Sissi Bellomo, Il Sole 24 Ore, introduced the session noting the need to quadruple energy investments to meet Africa’s energy needs. The session looked into increasing energy investment, particularly by the private sector, with panelists discussing the challenges and opportunities, and looking into the prerequisites for such an increase.

Jacques Moulot, African Development Bank (AfDB), said “energy is to economy what blood is to people,” stressing that at the current pace of progress, universal access in Africa might be reached by 2025. He noted that some countries have the capacity to be drivers of this transformation.

Roberto Randazzo, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uganda to Milan and Northern Italy, elaborated on the need to connect investors to the financial system and highlighted opportunities for Africa to leapfrog conventional energy infrastructure, noting for instance the value of off-grid systems.

Alfred Nicayenzi, Principal, African Century Capital Group, stressed that energy is a prerequisite for any sustained economic development, and pointed out that thanks to the wide availability of information and communication technologies, youth all over the world have the same levels of expectation, which creates additional demand for energy in developing countries.

George Pergamalis, Head of Business Development - Africa & Middle East, Enel Green Power, South Africa, called for a long-term perspective and noted that private investors want an acceptable level of risk.

Selim Küneralp, Deputy Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat, drew attention to the principles and concepts of the World Trade Organization, such as on transparency and non-discrimination, in energy exploration, exploitation and transport. He said models to meet the demand are there, both on- and off-grid, small- and large-scale. Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General, Renewable Energy Solutions for the Mediterranean (RES4MED), said “the future is renewable” and that the changes in gas and oil prices had not affected the boom in renewable energy, noting that renewables also fulfill social targets.

COORDINATION AND ALIGNING OF INITIATIVES TO MEET THE AEEP TARGETS: This session was chaired by Tom Pätz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, and moderated by Ina de Visser, RECP. The panel discussed progress on some of the core AEEP 2020 targets and identified ways to enhance coordination of key regional and global initiatives such as PIDA, ElectriFI, Power Africa, the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility, AREI, SE4All in Africa and the Africa Energy Leaders’ Group.

Daniel Schroth, SE4All Africa Hub Coordinator, AfDB, explained that the Hub was established following a call by the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa for a strong coordinating mechanism for SE4All implementation in Africa. He said the Africa Hub brings together key stakeholders, including the Regional Economic Communities and their technical organs, and also seeks to work at the national level.

Miguel Ángel Varela, DG DEVCO, highlighted the experiences of the EUEI Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) and noted that coordination is a difficult task since “institutions do not always want to be coordinated.”

David Otieno, Head of Secretariat, AEEP, highlighted the AEEP’s role in monitoring and aligning efforts with high-level political processes such as SE4All, AREI, and the newly launched G20 Energy Ministers Meeting. He outlined the process used to develop the AEEP intermediate status report and mapping study, noting that one of the next steps will be developing a sustainability plan to continually update the mapping report as one of the central tasks of the planned pan-African coordinating hub.

Jon Marks, Chairman, Cross-border Information, presented the intermediate AEEP status report titled, ‘Status Report Update: 2016 – A mid-term report on progress, achievements and future perspectives.’  Noting there was limited data available when the political targets were set in 2007, he clarified that the AEEP report is based on the global picture today.

Marks noted some of the highlights of the report as: strong performance in electricity generation; exceeding of AEEP targets on renewables; a stable performance on energy efficiency, with little improvement in reducing network losses; and a mixed picture on energy access and energy security, in part due to the lack of reliable data. He noted that based on improved data collection facilitated by the SE4All initiative, current trends suggest that some of the 2020 targets on energy access could be met. The Status Report is available on the EUEI PDF website:

Rainer Quitzow, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), presented the Final Report of the Mapping of Energy Initiatives and Programs in Africa, noting it: provides a big picture of the energy sector; shows varying levels of energy sector official development assistance (ODA) in Africa; denotes a high level of private sector involvement versus a relatively low level of civil society participation; and underscores the types of technical assistance provided, with skill development being the least common. The report is available on the EUEI PDF website:

In the ensuing discussions, participants highlighted issues relating to: measuring the efficiency of investments; reflecting energy access achieved through mini-grids and distributed energy generation; overcoming the challenges of African politics; and engaging with youth, women and poorer segments of society. In their responses, panelists noted difficulties in disaggregating data on financial flows for energy projects, but highlighted clear policy recommendations coming out of the mapping work, such as the need to bolster cooking energy, capture new initiatives, and disseminate available instruments via a platform.

In his closing remarks, Pätz noted that with an energy portfolio exceeding €3 billion, the experience of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) highlights the importance of understanding the challenges faced by key sectors that drive energy demand, including transport, health and education, in dealing with potential conflicts of interest. He concluded that managing whole-of-society transitions is a far more complex process than is currently understood.


ENERGY ACCESS: Capacity Building For Project Developers For Reaching The Last Mile First: This session was chaired by Atef Marzouk, AUC, and moderated by David Lecoque, Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE). It considered lessons learned from successful projects to roll out and scale up energy access business models and programmes across various energy sub-sectors, with a focus on research activities conducted in Africa, as well as practical challenges faced in implementing innovative service models.

Francesco Catucci, ENEL Green Power, pointed out that no single energy solution can be scaled up across the continent. He proposed using demand created within communities, as indicated by willingness to pay, as a guide in identifying successful business models.

Anthony Ighodaro, KXN Nigeria, and Chair of AREI, cited a Shell Foundation study charting the experience of technology companies over the past 50 years, noting it identified two key success factors as strong leadership by a small and proactive management team, and the availability of long-term finance. Highlighting the success of “Pay as You Go” energy solutions in stimulating energy demand, he pointed out that they are mostly being rolled out by energetic and adventurous young entrepreneurs who understand technology, are willing to spend time with local communities and have the skills to build delivery systems.

Nicola Morganti, President, Fondazione ACRA-CCS, Italy, highlighted the importance of using appropriate channels to raise public awareness, and working with communities from the onset in order to understand and address some of the factors that hinder community projects.

Carsten Hellpap, Energising Development, Germany, said this multi-donor programme focuses on solar technologies and the cook stove sector to improve energy access. He noted that the project supports economically viable mini-grids in remote rural areas that are not attractive to the private sector. Among the methods used, he highlighted, inter alia: supporting the entire distribution chain, including local retail outlets; connecting urban-based businesses to rural entrepreneurs; and promoting results-based financing to provide incentives to companies that invest in last mile energy services.

Lucy Stevens, Practical Action, underscored the importance of: understanding capacity needs in different energy markets/communities; including a strong gender perspective, such as through promoting “women selling to women models”; building programmatic alliances that link different areas of expertise; and introducing tools to link and accelerate emerging market systems. She highlighted Practical Action’s Access to Credit for Rural Enterprise programme, which aims to build a pipeline of investible businesses, and discussed follow up of the recent joint report with EUEI PDF that estimated likely gaps across different sectors.

Izael Da Silva, Strathmore University, highlighted the role of the university in meeting the high demand for technicians to install solar home systems in Kenya, noting that the university had developed the first tertiary curriculum and accreditation programme that also trains instructors at 25 technical training institutes across the country to roll out capacity development at community level, with a focus on female trainees.

During discussions on practical strategies to build capacity in Africa, participants and panelists noted the need to: strengthen the provision of intermediary energy services; keep track of the latest technical developments; support energy entrepreneurs to develop bankable projects; and accurately measure demand to enhance energy planning.

SE4All and Energy Access: Strengthening Capacities in the Public Sector for Reaching the Last Mile First: This session was chaired by Sergio Mercuri, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy and moderated by Mike Enskat, GIZ. Introducing the session, Enskat said it would build on experiences from selected SE4All African countries, to enhance understanding of which capacities should be strengthened and how national planning processes can be better focused on delivering energy access to the last mile.

Chieza Mazaiwana, Practical Action, highlighted the role of distributed renewable energy systems in contributing towards universal and affordable energy access in southern Africa. She noted that the SE4All Africa Hub had adopted the recommendations of a study exploring the involvement of civil society stakeholders in energy access programmes and encouraged governments to adopt the identified best practices in improving stakeholder engagement.

Faith Wandera Odongo, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya, reported that Kenya was one of the first African countries to develop an action agenda and investment prospectus for SE4All follow up actions, and emphasized the inclusive nature of the process used.

Juliet Gbormittah, DSTC Solar Training Center, Ghana, highlighted the slow uptake of private sector programmes due to government bureaucracy, especially during election cycles. Noting that funding is critical in reaching the first mile, she emphasized the importance of innovative financing mechanisms that provide room for sharing risks and allow different business models to evolve and flourish.

Hary Andriantavy, Executive Secretary, Club-ER - African Association for Rural Electrification, noted the importance of understanding how the private sector operates in order to develop the right guarantees and incentives for the private sector to invest. He underscored the importance of political security in developing Public-Private Partnerships.

Daniel Schroth, SE4All Africa Hub Coordinator, noted that the SE4All country action agenda process is based on the need for integrated planning for energy access, efficiency and security. He reported that 28 countries had finalized their SE4All planning processes, noting that the inclusive nature of these consultations had helped bring on board issues such as the role of mini-grids and other decentralized solutions, which energy planners often overlook.

Felice Zaccheo, DG DEVCO, said that the European Commission is fully committed to SDG7 and the SE4All targets and has earmarked €2.5 billon out of its €3.5 billion energy budget for 2014-2020 for implementation in Africa. Responding to a question on how to ease complicated public procurement procedures, he said initiatives such as ElectriFI and Power Africa are exploring innovative ways to fund demand-driven initiatives, while safeguarding accountability.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Breaking down energy efficiency – Strategies for Africa: This session, was chaired by Claudia Boldrini, DG DEVCO, and moderated by Fabio Inzoli, POLIMI. It discussed how to ensure a greater focus on energy efficiency in energy policies in Africa, which tend to prioritize access and generation.

Introducing the topic, Boldrini highlighted the European Commission’s Covenant of Mayors initiative that promotes energy efficiency in cities, and noted the results of a survey of African cities which found that efficiency is already a high priority in many urban policies, concluding that the need is “not to convince, but to cooperate.” 

Tyler Bryant, International Energy Agency (IEA) cited an IEA study indicating that by 2035, 95% of energy demand will come from outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and emphasized that achieving the target of keeping temperature rise to below 2°C will require increased energy efficiency in emerging and developing countries. He described energy efficiency as an economic opportunity as well, citing the case of South Africa where increased efficiency standards could lead to a reduction of 40 terrawatt hours in coal generation compared to 2012, with savings of US$5.5 billion for consumers, and US$11 billion in subsidies.

Dimitris Papastefanakis, EU Technical Assistance Facility (EU TAF), emphasized the high priority for energy efficiency under the EU’s Energy Union and highlighted the Facility’s support for the energy harmonization agenda and action plan, training and the Covenant of Mayors. Stressing the importance of efficiency in the transportation sector as it represents 33% of energy consumption, he noted that as a result of the last EU Directive, energy consumption in the EU had gone down by around 27% for cars and 25% for industry.

Presenting the work of the AEEP Energy Efficiency Workstream, Emanuela Colombo, POLIMI, said the main objective is to promote energy efficiency among all sectors in Africa, together with penetration of renewables, in decoupling economic growth and resource consumption. She outlined some of the Workstream’s activities covering energy conversion, transmission, distribution and consumption.

Vincent Kitio, UN HABITAT, spoke on the sustainable growth of African cities, noting that increased urbanization requires higher energy generation. Discussing strategies to enhance awareness of energy efficiency among the public, he highlighted the need to promote the message that energy, like water, should be saved and not wasted.

Venkata Ramayya, Jimma University, Ethiopia, stated that the main source of inefficiency is not generation but distribution, and called for financing to be directed to this sector. Discussing the case of India, he noted that efficiency is also required in the biogas production and cook stoves sectors.

Andrew Amadi, Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa, discussed private sector perspectives, remarking that private companies understand that “energy is money.” In the case of geothermal energy in Kenya, he noted that energy transmission losses could be avoided by creating industrial parks close to the resource.

Johnson Mavija, Sothern African Power Pool, highlighted the relevance of load shedding and emphasized that with efficient demand-side management, large amounts of energy could be saved.

Municipal Energy Efficiency Governance and the Role of the Covenant of Mayors: This session was chaired by Nico Longo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy, and moderated by Vincent Kitio, UN HABITAT.

Introducing the debate, Longo highlighted that: the current global urban population of three billion will double by 2050, representing two-thirds of humanity; urban areas occupy 3% of land, but represent 80% of the energy consumption; and 95% of urban expansion will take place in the developing world in the next 20 years. He stressed the role of integrated energy generation in cities, through such initiatives as integrated photovoltaic (PV) technologies in buildings and electric buses in order to achieve SDG11 (make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), and underscored the importance of dialogue among different actors to make this happen.

Claudia Boldrini, DG DEVCO, presented the Covenant of Mayors Programme, saying it was launched as a multi-level EU governance initiative in 2008 to promote greenhouse gas mitigation actions, but was later extended to other regions, with 6,700 cities currently implementing the programme. She noted the focus expanded to include adaptation and energy access.

Discussing the launch of the initiative in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015, Boldrini noted the main objective is to contribute to a shared long-term vision, with cities converging towards the same level of emission, despite different starting local conditions. She described the process to gather proposals under the Initiative’s Sustainable Energy Access Climate Action Plan (SEACAP).

Laurent Widmer, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, underlined the importance of coordination among local and national-level governance structures.

Antoine Faye, City of Dakar, Senegal, said municipalities struggle to participate in the governance of electricity markets and to guarantee the quality of the network, which contributes to regular blackouts in Dakar.

Silvia Escudero, EUEI PDF, highlighted the importance of understanding where decision-making takes place and the disparities across countries in governance capacity, noting that municipalities in South Africa have a lot of power and experience, while in Uganda, decision making is mainly made at national level. She highlighted that EUEI PDF responds to such asymmetries by providing different levels of capacity building support, including technical and institutional assistance in working groups or interdepartmental committees to ensure effective implementations, with vertical or regional integration.

Kitio invited the panel to discuss some energy challenges facing African cities in the next 20-30 years.

Federico Butera, POLIMI, noted that rapid urbanization in Africa will require developing knowledge and instruments to properly design and plan the urban environment, along with standards and regulations adapted to each context. He highlighted the need for integrating indoor and outdoor design to maximize energy efficiency, through analyzing such elements as the spatial disposition of the buildings, the water infrastructure, and the orientation of roads, green areas, wastewater treatment and wind directions.

Khaiko Makwela-Wali, Director, Green Globe Architecture Ltd, noted the importance of the water-energy nexus in urban design, and the need for actions in rural settlements to discourage migration to cities, and the expansion of slums.

Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission Joint Research Centre, highlighted the need to foster dialogue and joint decision making with citizens, while also involving other stakeholders such as private businesses, civil society and local banks.

ENERGY SECURITY: Connectivity and Regional Integration: During this session, panelists discussed the relevance of energy infrastructure development and regional integration. They looked into cross-border transmission lines; power tools; and developing a legal harmonized regulatory framework for the energy sector.

Session Chair Atef Marzouk, Acting Head of Energy, Department Infrastructure and Energy, AUC, underscored the need to increase capacity and support African countries to attract the private sector, including by putting policies in place to protect investors. 

Moderator Tom Pätz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, urged participants to think about cross-border activities and noted that energy consumption in Germany is only possible because the country is part of a wider European partnership.

Mohammedan Eltigani Seif Elnasr, Senior Energy Expert, COMESA Secretariat, Zambia: stressed the importance of working together; expanded on Zambia’s supply and demand; and noted enhanced cooperation with other states.

Pippo Ranci, Advisor and Former Director of the Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute, Italy, drew parallels between regulatory issues faced by Europe and Africa, discussing the impact of liberalization and the need to protect consumers, apply fair rules for all competitors and deal with the grid. He noted the value of technical bodies, common trading and associations to face new issues through dialogue.

Elijah Sichone, Executive Secretary, Regional Electricity Regulations Association of Southern Africa, said the understanding of “energy security” varies, and highlighted challenges such as balancing national and regional trade, regulatory dependency, licensing, tariffs, network access, and transparency.

Abel Didier Tella, Director General, Association of Power Utilities of Africa, said the political will is there and ministers understand the importance of developing energy security, and integrating and connecting different nations.

Sandro Gruttadauria, Services & Stakeholder Relations, Community and Local Development, Vice President, Eni SpA, drew attention to energy plants and infrastructure in a number of African countries, and working with local communities both on and off the grid.

Modesto Gabrieli Francescato, Business Manager, Terna, Italy: drew attention to rural areas with no access; noted predictions for a three- to four-fold increase in demand for hydro, gas and renewables by 2040; and underscored hardware and software security issues, such as the need for new technologies for storage systems and keeping pace with software.

Peter N. Kinuthia, East African Community Secretariat, discussed the availability, affordability, access, and long- and short-term perspectives to energy security, referencing power masterplans that bring projects together for investments in generation and transmission, and promote interconnectivity.

Participants discussed the challenges of interconnecting systems, the integration of transmission system operators, getting different resources to the market, and the energy mix.

AFTER PARIS, WHAT NOW FOR THE ENERGY AND CLIMATE SECTOR?: This session looked at increasing the coherence between the energy and climate sectors in the context of the Paris Climate Conference and SDG7 on energy. Session Chair, Daniel Werner, Programme Manager, EUEI PDF, Germany, asked how energy contributes to mitigating climate change, noting that two-thirds of gas emissions come from the energy sector. He also queried whether energy is now considered only for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and questioned whether the link between climate and energy had changed after the Paris Climate Conference.

Yacob Mulugetta, Professor of Energy and Development Policy, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy, University College London, moderated the session.

Gifty Delali Tettey, Deputy Director, Ministry of Power, Ghana, noted that her country realized that energy and environment go hand-in-hand long before the Paris Agreement was adopted. She underlined the need for good investment guides that illustrate investor benefits and a need to diversify the national energy mix.

Miguel Ángel Varela, DG DEVCO, expanded on EU climate-related operations and how these changed after the Paris Agreement.

Momodou O. Njie, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, The Gambia, said the Paris Agreement contains strong elements to translate into commitments, noting that this requires partnerships and a robust national climate policy.

Priscilla Andrieu, Special Advisor to the President - Energies for Africa, France: noted the Paris Conference had altered the mindset and the decision making process; called for action and for making Africa the first sustainable continent; and highlighted that funds were available but linkages with projects were not yet there.

Ed Brown, Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University, UK: underscored a monumental shift in available funding; stressed the energy-food-water nexus; drew attention to the historical responsibility for emissions and the danger of dealing with emissions rather than energy access; and highlighted the importance of government intervention.

Nicolas Dasnois, Climate Negotiation Task Force - Africa - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France, noted significant mobilization in Africa and that parties are willing to mitigate but need support. He stressed that the political momentum of the Paris Agreement must not be lost and provided examples of energy and finance cooperation.

Participants discussed inter alia: combatting climate change by transitioning to clean energy; projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region involving local manufacturing and the use of liquefied petroleum gas; focusing on socio-economics, civil society participation and increased collaboration; public-private partnerships; and gender and governance.

CLOSING REMARKS: Following a briefing from the facilitators of the six parallel thematic discussions, Roberto Vigotti, Director, RES4MED, announced they would hold a business networking session with the newly launched RES4Africa network in Rome. He invited the AEEP Secretariat to attend the session as well as the official launch of the African network in Kenya in October 2016.

Mohamedain Eltigani Seif Elnasr, COMESA, welcomed the launch of RES4Africa, highlighting opportunities to collaborate with RES4MED, through the AEEP’s function as a political platform for dialogue between the two continents.

Closing the session, Sergio Mercuri, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy, drew attention to the high-level session the next day that would discuss concrete energy measurement tools, targets and objectives.


WECOME AND KEYNOTE STATEMENTS: On Tuesday morning, 17 May, Lerato Mbele welcomed participants to the high-level segment of the Forum.

Mario Giro, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy, outlined local and global challenges in the energy sector such as demographic growth and migration; noted the value of public-private partnerships; and drew attention to national initiatives bringing together African Ministers, stressing that energy is a driver for stability and sustainable development.

Giovanni Azzone, Rector, POLIMI, Italy, outlined his university’s strategy to improve quality of life by contributing to societal challenges such as energy and climate change, and adding elements like cross-cultural sensitivities and social responsibilities to the traditional skill sets of their students. He noted the international nature of his establishment, its focus on technology, creativity and culture, and the value of universities working with science and business.

HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON MEASURING SUCCESS: ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICA-EU COOPERATION IN THE ENERGY SECTOR AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE SDGs: The panel comprised: Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, AUC; Margaret Nafuna Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda; Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany; Kipyego Cheluget, Assistant Secretary-General (Programmes), COMESA; Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Egypt; and Mario Giro, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy.

In opening remarks, Ibrahim thanked the AEEP Co-Chairs for their work in steering the partnership, stating that the Forum will help foster Africa-EU relations and engage non-state actors in sustainable energy sector development.

In a video message, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, noted that the AEEP is an equal partnership between Africa and Europe, and expressed his appreciation to Egypt and COMESA for joining the AEEP Steering Group.

Mbele then posed a series of questions to the panel focusing on concrete achievements in reaching the AEEP targets.

Giro pointed to political sensitivities around cross-border interconnections that continue to hamper energy security goals, and underscored the role of the AU in facilitating regional energy agreements.

Speaking on AU strategies to involve the youth in energy programmes, Ibrahim stressed that Agenda 2063 places priority on programmes to develop skills in science and engineering, highlighting the Pan African University programme on energy and climate change and Kwame Nkrumah awards for young scientists and women as two concrete examples. She further noted that the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility is helping to secure up to 80% of development costs for successful project developers.

Silberhorn outlined the contribution of the KfW Development Bank in creating more than 1,000 small-scale businesses in Ghana and emphasized the need to catalyze financing from institutional investors through the involvement of regional development banks. He called on African countries to invest in the newest energy technologies to avoid the risk of stranded assets as the world moves to decarbonize economic development, stressing this will also free up public resources to invest in basic services.

Muloni said the SE4All initiative and regional integration initiatives, such as the East African Community’s northern corridor, are accelerating efforts to respond to the SDGs and reduce the cost of doing business. Discussing how to streamline the many regional initiatives, Cheluget described ongoing efforts to integrate the work of the main regional economic communities in Africa and highlighted COMESA’s role in facilitating regional interconnection projects.

During an interactive exchange, several participants pointed to weaknesses in current AEEP progress indicators, noting the lack of accurate data on energy access, especially via off-grid solutions, and called for Africa to move away from fossil fuels to embrace cheaper and smarter energy solutions that are also easier to scale up. On enhanced links to the SDGs, panelists highlighted, inter alia: ongoing work by the AU to develop a regulatory framework for energy markets in Africa; public-private partnerships in Uganda to build capacity to produce and distribute efficient cook stoves; and plans to raise the contribution of renewables in Egypt’s energy mix to 62% by 2035.

SENIOR POLICY AND BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE ON CATALYSING ENERGY INVESTMENTS - CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING EUROPE AND AFRICA: This session, moderated by Danso Hubert, CEO and Founder, Africa Investor, South Africa looked at options for improved cooperation and engagement of policy and business actors to promote investments and development. Hubert outlined some areas for action, including: strengthening local private sector participation; reviewing the policies and criteria of African and European institutions; providing project preparation funding and linking it to implementation; giving project developers access to technical assistance; establishing frameworks to mitigate the risks in the initial stages of projects; supporting utilities and making them bankable; and promoting long-term investment, such as by aligning with the investment criteria of pension funds in order to enable engagement with them.

Michele Scandellari, CEO, Enerray, Italy, highlighted the scalability of the solar industry and the importance of partnerships, including from the private sector and banks, and support from government.

Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope, Brussels, noted a discrepancy between needs and investments, for instance in off-grid solutions which are needed but not invested in, and called for bundling projects into groups to change the economic environment to one in which small-scale enterprises can play a role.

On engaging the private sector, Yofi Grant, CEO Data Bank, Ghana, said he did not think the private sector is really engaged on the continent, noting that policies for the private sector were often done without consulting that sector. He called for investors and the African private sector to be more active within the AEEP.

Felice Zaccheo, DG DEVCO, European Commission, underscored the importance of creating an enabling environment before the private sector fully engages, even if the process is time-consuming and cumbersome, with Hubert noting that the private sector should be engaged in the formulation of creating the enabling environment as the sector feels part of the development community.

Dickson highlighted the cost of capital and the risk of foreign exchange and regulatory problems, noting African governments should have stable regulations and support schemes for renewables. He drew attention to permitting, noting it should be simple and transparent, and to operational risks, for instance in connecting to the grid.

Dickson defined the necessity of having a stable revenue stream and the role of power purchase agreements that often lead to positive financial decisions. He suggested that the EU put some development funds into a trust fund and use the funds to underwrite power purchase agreements to facilitate European project developers to secure project finance from banks.

Paul Smith Lomas, CEO, Practical Action, UK, proposed: creating financial mechanisms to allow small-scale enterprises access to finance; streamlining bureaucracy; and developing the skills of small-scale actors. Scandellari recommended a functional legal framework and attracting private companies and investors.

Dickson called for: using public finance to reduce risk, such as when institutions agree to be paid back last; creating a mechanism for the exchange of good practice on permitting and recognizing the best performers; and accepting different business models to European or North American ones.

On transparency, Hubert drew attention to unsolicited bids that are not perceived as transparent, noting that civil society was putting together indicators, and said open book procurements could be used. Grant noted the importance of balancing social and business investments, and called for the African private sector to engage more significantly.

Zaccheo stressed the importance of gender balance and providing capacity-building mechanisms. Scandellari called for governments to provide guidance, whist Hubert suggested that maybe the guidance should be provided to governments - as an example of the private sector being more proactive.

Participants then discussed the need for interconnections within Africa for a common open market; investment options for small scale wind solutions for electricity generation, looking into combined wind and solar to overcome the variability of wind; and whether a more sophisticated debated was needed where the private sector would be segmented and whether a layered understanding of the different players within the private sector was needed.

The recommendations from the session were compiled into a list of actions for stakeholders and leaders of Africa-EU energy cooperation.


PRESENTATION OF THE CALL FOR ACTION: Paul Smith Lomas presented the draft Call for Action on behalf of AEEP stakeholders and thanked participants for their contributions. Following a reading of selected examples of commitments from several stakeholders, Lomas concluded by underscoring the contribution of civil society to realizing the AEEP’s goals, noting that their work is sometimes overlooked despite being key stakeholders in the energy sector.

CLOSING REMARKS: High-level representatives from Germany and the AUC then presented their response to the AEEP stakeholder community.

Thomas Silberhorn said the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provide a comprehensive framework for action, whilst SDG7 gives clear direction. He noted how the AEEP 2020 goals are in line with SDG7 and the Forum illustrates stakeholders coming together to find solutions.

Kipyego Cheluget praised the valuable contributions from Forum stakeholders and highlighted the need for job creation and continuing to pursue interconnections and policies to increase energy security.


The Call for Action outlines its objective of developing a comprehensive portfolio of activities in energy sector cooperation that contribute to the AEEP’s 2020 Political Targets. It underlines that while many of the targets are set to be achieved, or even surpassed, significant gaps remain that cannot be addressed by the public sector alone. It in this context that stakeholders in the private sector, civil society and academia have presented their commitments and ongoing actions towards achieving the AEEP goals.

The Call for Action highlights four key messages from the commitments received from stakeholders, stating that they signal the priority areas of implementation in the African energy sector from development partners and the energy stakeholder community. The key messages are the need to:

  • Recognize the importance of regional cooperation and harmonization, with commitments from six regional organizations to establish capacity development modules, and frameworks for regional cooperation in order to harmonize energy sector policy and regulatory frameworks in Africa, and promote cross-border development of renewable energy resources;
  • Understand energy’s vital role in climate mitigation and adaptation, access to water and the food nexus, with commitments linked to the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in climate mitigation and adaptation policies and programmes;
  • Promote job creation in the renewable energy market in Africa, with many stakeholders highlighting their focus on skills development for young entrepreneurs and women; and
  • Look beyond the household or single enterprise, in order to address energy access needs at the community level. It highlights that after over a decade of energy access programmes, stakeholders are shifting focus from households to integrating communal energy

The Call for Action concludes by calling on both policy makers and the development partners to: support actions being implemented on the ground, in order to scale up such efforts; and pledge to collaborate with policy makers to achieve a sustainable energy future for Africa.


Niklas Hayek, EUEI-PDF, introduced this session, which was jointly organized by the Finnish University Partnership for International Development UniPID and RECP. He explained that the Science Slam is taking place for the first time at an AEEP Forum, and that it aims to provide 11 selected young scientists and entrepreneurs with three minutes to pitch their ideas to the audience and enable them to receive feedback from senior scientists and entrepreneurs on their relevance, innovation potential and economic viability.

The scientific and technical panel comprised: Abdellatif Zerga, Director, Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences; Matthew Matimbwi, Executive Secretary, Tanzania Renewable Energy Association; Izael da Silva, Strathmore University; Emanuela Colombo, POLIMI; and Noara Kebir, MicroEnergy International, Germany.

Eva Kagiri, Senior Planning Officer FinCEAL Africa/Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID), invited the finalists to present their ideas.

Ahmed Abbas, Egypt, presented on his solar energy start up, saying it aims to develop, build and commercialize low-cost and reliable mobile solar water pumps to combat the high cost and environmental impacts of diesel-powered pumps and contribute to improved income for smallholder farmers. The panel’s response noted some of the project’s innovative aspects are its mobility and potential to scale up small-scale irrigation in Africa.

Assefa Ashagire Amare, Ethiopia, presented his mobile solar-powered green kiosk for charging mobile phones and other energy services in remote communities, noting several east and central African countries had positively received it. The panel described it as a useful solution, noting entrepreneurs could also offer other services.

Paul Bertheau, Reiner Lemoine Institute, Germany, discussed his research project aimed at providing policy makers in Nigeria with GIS-generated data to support rural electrification planning, noting the system helps identify household and industrial hotspots, hence enabling planners to identify the least-cost investment options. He said the company has already trained more than 100 officials in the planning approach. Feedback highlighted one of the useful features of the project as providing empirical data on off-grid solutions, which could prove a useful resource for planners.

N’tsoukpoe Edem, 2iE Corporation, Togo, presented his low-cost small-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) technology application to generate solar energy in rural settings. Noting the idea of downscaling CSP technology is interesting, the panel highlighted issues relating to cost, local capacity to produce the turbines, and availability of local financing.

Lois Macharia, Solafrique, Kenya, discussed her company’s idea to tap into the national grid to create community mini-grids operating from local businesses, noting a core feature is integration with a mobile money platform to provide access to energy for domestic clients, as well as an online payment platform for businesses and institutions such as schools. The panel described it as a “great proposal,” but noted the need for more insights on its bankability.

Andrea Isidori, EnergHere, Italy/Denmark, described his online platform (, which matches company data with renewable energy sources across Africa. Feedback included the need to further study the regulatory regimes in the different countries, as each presents different challenges.

Joni Karjalainen, University of Turku, Finland, presented Emission-Free Energy Pathways in Africa 2050, a futures scenario study imagining an African continent run on renewables only. Feedback included the need to more clearly define expectations from the audience and provide practical examples.

Narcisse Mbunzama Lokwa, AVONAX GROUP, Sweden/Congo, founded his innovative PV company after seeing his friend die in hospital in the DRC because there was no electricity. His PV panels capture more sunlight, produce more energy and are affordable even by those who live on less than US$1/day. Feedback praised the integration of the cost of energy, questioned whether the maintenance of the technology had been considered and whether jobs were being created locally.

Mercy Manyuchi, Motocharcoal Trading Company, Zimbabwe, called for saving lives and the environment, noting there was no reason for ‘cooking to kill’. She presented her high heating value, low-cost, Motocharcoal Briquettes that are made of waste. Feedback praised giving value to waste and suggested more work on bankability and expanding on logistics and the transformation process.

Solomon Oyewo, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, presented his vision of a 100% renewable energy Africa, noting that it could be achieved by 2050. Feedback included taking into account the large diversity found within the continent and providing a more complete picture of what the project aims to achieve.

Zukane, Mbuih, Waste for Development W4D Project, explained how his project rears chickens and pigs, using their outputs to produce biogas that is then provided to local orphanages. He said W4D needs to be scaled up. Feedback included praise for his business case, the inclusion of a charitable aspect and the comprehensiveness of the project.

Kagiri invited participants to indicate their favorite project through applause. Solafrique Kenya and Lemoine Institute, Germany, were awarded best prize in the technology and research categories, respectively.


Nine young journalists from Africa and Europe: Wendy Agbo, Nigeria; Nils ELZENGA, the Netherlands; Silenou Demanou Blondel, Cameroon; Cristina Belda Font, Spain; Taremwa Diana Karakire, Uganda; Lenyaro Liabilwe Sello, South Africa; Elena Roda, Italy, Olfa Jelassi, Tunisia; and Tom Saater, Nigeria, spent the two days of the Forum preparing media material, including tweets, press releases and photographs to spread the word about the work of the AEEP.

In their report back to the closing plenary, they underscored the importance of partnerships with the media; called for the reality, opportunities and challenges of the African continent to be shown more prominently in the European media and for discussions to be translated into action; noted the importance of collaboration and training within the media; and showed a video about the two days of the Forum.


Izael da Silva, Strathmore University, read the Milan Stakeholder Communiqué for adoption by the Forum.

In the Communiqué, participants: agree on the role of sustainable energy in realizing a climate-friendly global energy transition; welcome the opportunity to discuss how business and other sectors can work together towards a sustainable energy future for Africa, with energy being a precondition to social and equitable development; and acknowledge that such a future is not the sole responsibility of the public sector.

The Communiqué: commends progress on the 2020 AEEP Targets; acknowledges the need for future efforts; and suggests that the Targets should be revised and aligned with other initiatives. It: provides commitments to supporting capacity building, coordinating and harmonizing efforts, and including women and youth; and acknowledges energy and its role in protecting climate. The Communiqué also calls for a multi-stakeholder approach in the energy sector in Africa, pledging to provide enabling frameworks for stakeholders to participate in political processes related to energy, and urges information exchange and collaboration.

CLOSING REMARKS: Muloni welcomed the fruitful discussions during the two days and noted that the final Communiqué had captured the essence of these discussions. In his vote of thanks, Zaccheo expressed appreciation to POLIMI, the AEEP Co-Chairs, the Secretariat team and all participants for their efforts in making it a successful Forum. He closed the Forum at 5 pm.


CEM7: Energy ministers from the 24 participating governments of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) will gather for the seventh CEM (CEM7) to discuss the full implementation of the CEM 2.0 vision of a more ambitious and effective CEM ready to respond to climate and clean energy challenges. The CEM aims to play a critical role in the Road from Paris to help countries deliver on their respective national clean energy goals and to build confidence and the capacity to increase ambition over time.  dates: 1-2 June 2016  location: San Francisco, CA, US  contact: CEM Secretariat  email: [email protected] www:

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2016: Hosted by the European Commission, the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will promote energy-saving initiatives and the generation of power from clean, secure, efficient and renewable sources. The week will include a Policy Conference; a Networking Village and exhibition; Energy Days on energy efficiency and renewables; and an Awards Ceremony for outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewables.  dates: 13-17 June 2016  location: Brussels, Belgium  contact: Executive Agency for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME)  www:

The European Development Days 2016: The European Development Days (EDD) are Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation. On their 10th anniversary, the EDD will focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, making it one of the first major conferences dedicated to the issue. Organized by the European Commission, the forum brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.  dates: 15-16 June 2016  location: Brussels, Belgium  email: [email protected] www:

Africa Carbon Forum 2016: The 8th Africa Carbon Forum will inform participants of the latest investment, finance and development opportunities relating to climate change, and discuss, among other things, opportunities for Africa in the post-Paris global landscape, and innovative projects, programmes and investment opportunities for climate-resilient development, such as the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and African Initiative on Adaptation and Loss and Damage.  dates: 28-30 June 2016  location: Kigali, Rwanda  contact: Vintura Silva, UNFCCC  email: [email protected] www:

G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group Meeting #3 and G20 Energy Ministers Meeting: The third meeting of the Energy Sustainability Working Group under the Group of 20 (G20) Chinese Presidency aims to advance the implementation of the G20 Principles of Energy Collaboration and strengthening cooperation on energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The one-day meeting will be followed by the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting.  dates: 28-30 June 2016  location: Beijing, China  www:

Fourth Annual Conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform: This conference will meet under the theme ‘Transforming Development through Inclusive Green Growth’ and is being convened as part of Global Green Growth Week 2016, to be held from 5-9 September 2016 in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. It will highlight research and policy considerations affecting pro-poor inclusive green growth and strengthen the Green Growth Knowledge Platform’s (GGKP) objective of delivering pro-poor, socially inclusive green growth through best policy practices and strategically aligned efforts by international organizations.  dates: 6-7 September 2016  location: Jeju City, Jeju (Cheju-Do), Republic of Korea  email: [email protected] www: