Background and Objectives
The High Level Stakeholder Forum (held every 3 years) is one of the key strategic dialogue events organized by the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP). As a multi-stakeholder platform, the AEEP forum brings together high level policy makers, senior private sector, academia and civil society representatives for a cross-sectoral exchange and dialogue.
European Union’s Commissioner Neven Mimica has placed energy on top of the EC agenda, namely energy access, renewable energy and in particular private sector as cornerstones of EU engagement. The African Union Commission has energy as a main focus for economic development boost in the continent. Increased stakeholder engagement and private sector involvement are recognized as fundamental for the achievement of the SE4All and SDG targets for 2030.
Coming at a time of increased international attention on energy in Africa (including post-COP21 and announcement of SDG7), the main objectives of the second AEEP Stakeholder Forum are to:
Sharpen the role and contributions of a wide range of stakeholders
with a special focus to increase (private sector) investment in energy infrastructure;
Enhance the engagement of non-state actors
in sustainable energy sector development in Africa with emphasis on human capital for innovation, skills and capacity development in renewable energy; and
Provide a framework for dialogue
at an important gathering of African and European leaders and actors across key thematic areas for energy security and development.
The Forum is therefore a key milestone in delivering results post COP21, as well as an opportunity for the respective Commissions to feed into the meeting results of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the AU-EU College-to-College. This is the first stakeholder event with high level representation that seeks to forge new strategic linkages between the private sector, the scientific community and state acors, and thus further bolster energy relations between Europe and Africa.
Priority topics and modalities
The forum will run under the label “Business and Science: Leading the way to sustainable energy”. The most important singled out issues to be discussed will include:
- Increasing investment and innovation in energy infrastructure (private sector cooperation)
- Showcasing EU instruments and programmes for development cooperation in the energy sector
- Capacity building and skills development in renewable energy sector
- Furthering the discourse on climate and energy in Africa following COP21 in Paris.
- Tracking and monitoring of political Targets, including the role of scientific community
The two day Forum will be split into day one, 16 May being a technical thematic stakeholder day deepening on Energy Access, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Energy Security, whereas day two, 17 May will be dedicated to high level delegates and stakeholders. Delivery modalities will include a mix of plenary and specially structured panel discussions, targeted networking and Business match-making events as well as media relation campaigns with high-level stakeholders (state and non-state) from Europe and Africa. An exhibition and fair will be an integral part of the programme running through the forum days and the entire week.
Since the AEEP has played a central role as an agenda setter in the global energy scene, the Forum is seen as an occasion to further contribute to discussions around the role of energy within Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) (post COP21), Agenda 2030, possible linkages between AEEP and the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), as well as how AEEP actions feed into the SDG7.
The following are expected to be the highlight outcomes of the Forum. These deliverables will be endorsed by the high level segment of the conference:
- Africa-EU Energy Stakeholder Forum Communiqué
- Launch of “Mapping of Initiatives and Programmes in Africa Report”
- Release of an “Intermediate AEEP Status Report”
- Stakeholders’ call-for-action (actors’ ground actions)
Expected High Level Participants
So far there are indications of the following attendance (tbc):
- EC Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
- AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure & Energy
- Egypt Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy
- COMESA Secretary General
- President of the African Development Bank
- Italy Minister of Foreign Affairs
- German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
- CEOs of African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
- Secretary General of UNECA
- Special Representative and CEO of SE4All
- Heads of Agencies in Africa and internationally
- Senior representatives from private sector, civil society and academia
- Media (Europe and Africa)