The first Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa was attended by over 400 participants, adopting a Call for Action urging governments of the EAC Partner States, Development Partners, Private Sector, Financial Institutions and all relevant stakeholders to each play an active role in ensuring that energy needs of citizens in the region are effectively addressed.
The participants call upon governments of the EAC partner states to strengthen individual and collective national commitments toward addressing the special energy and climate resilience needs of the East African region in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“We call upon the EAC Partner States and Development Partners to strengthen the capacity of EACREEE to be the lead institution in the EAC region in promoting equitable universal access to modern, efficient, reliable, cost effective, renewable energy to all households, businesses, industries and institutions in order to stimulate sustainable socio-economic development of the region,” the document reads in part.
The Call for Action also urges the EAC Partner States, in consultation with private and civil society organizations, to develop and implement a coherent regional renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access policies, including integrated regional and national energy access strategies, which are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
The participants have further called upon the EAC Partner States to put in place an enabling environment to enhance public private partnerships for investments in grid extension, decentralized and distributed generation systems to increase rural electrification, energy efficiency and sustainable and inclusive industrialization.
The Forum has also called upon financing institutions to develop flexible and innovative financing mechanisms to support renewable energy and energy efficiency investments and services, in particular for decentralized energy options; urged Development Partners to support capacity building of local financial institutions on assessing renewable energy business plans and project risks, and sensitizing potential investors/entrepreneurs on conducting feasibility studies and preparation of bankable project documents.
As a way of addressing gender gaps, the Forum has called upon EAC Partner States and Development Partners to support gender-inclusive programmes specifically those aimed at empowering women, youth and the disadvantaged in sustainable energy entrepreneurship, productive uses of energy and strengthening their involvement in sustainable energy development leadership and workforce.
The Forum has also recognized the great potentials of geothermal energy resources in the EAC region and called upon EAC Partner States to develop programmes to enhance capacity for exploitation of these resources.
The Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa was held in Kigali, Rwanda from 19- 21 March, 2018 and attracted key players from governments, Development partners, academia, and others. The participants resolve to establish the Sustainable Energy Forum as a high level biennial event, to be hosted in any of the East African cities, with the objective of providing a platform for discussion on practical solutions to energy challenges in the EAC region and reviewing progress made.
The Forum has been organized by the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the EAC Secretariat, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and the Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda (MININFRA), and is hosted by the government of Rwanda.