A new high-level lobby group -‘African Energy Leaders Group’ has been formed to push for political momentum for sustainable energy transition in Africa.
The group AELG officially launched during the World Economic Forum in Davos, is composed of policy makers, investors and financing agencies.
President of Ghana John Mahama is co-chair of the advocacy group to which Nigeria’s billionaire Aliko Dangote and Tony O. Elumelu an energy investor are members.
The group says they are going to exert pressure on African governments, the private sector and other institutions to address energy challenges including; Availability, Accessibility and sustainability.
African Development Bank President Dr. Donald Kaberuka also a member of the group says, “Every African country is experiencing energy shortages and power outages and this burden costs the continent 2% of its GDP.”
Dr. Kaberuka notes that AfDB spends $5Billion annually however; half of the amount is spent on energy projects on the continent.
He adds that millions of Africans only see transmission lines above them but never access electricity.
“The advocacy group will push for creation of energy markets through urging Policy reforms among individual countries and regional blocs,” Kaberuka said this is a complex transborder initiative.
He says to achieve Energy objectives; specific reforms must be implemented for example ensuring that Regulators are independent in law and in fact, “Not simply independent in law but when it comes to dispute resolution they do not show that independence.”
“These are Issues which governments, international organizations and private sector have to work on together,”Kaberuka suggests.
Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella UN Special Representative on Sustainable Energy for All notes, “620 million Africans do not have access to electricity and by 2015 Africa’s population will reach 2.5billion.”
He says that in the past five years, 30% of new oil and gas discoveries were in Africa.
Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire says, “Africa energy solutions won’t be achieved unless there is interconnectivity between countries and bigger regional projects.”
At the WEF in Davos, the group shared insights on how to enhance the overall capacity to build public-private partnerships, leverage political support, and mobilize funds for sustainable energy and development initiatives in Africa.