African Energy Ministers Conference-Promoting sustainable energy access for Africa


23-September-2011

The Seychelles delegation at the conference in Johannesburg

Our country was represented at the conference by Joseph Nourrice, the high commissioner of Seychelles to the Republic of South Africa on behalf of the minister responsible for Energy, Joel Morgan.

Other members of the Seychelles delegation were Conrad Mederic, principal counselor in the SA Mission and Mamy Razanajatovo, principal officer from the Energy Commission.

This conference forms part of a series towards Durban COP 17 for which a number of sectors have preparations in the making, this one being held back to back with the today Climate Smart Agriculture conference which ended on September 14, in South Africa.

The meeting examined the energy challenges on the continent, noting that the access rate remains unacceptably low resulting in negative impact on both human and social development. Some of these challenges manifest themselves as follows:

• The main objective is to provide affordable, clean and modern energy to as many African household as possible by 2030.

• Inadequate power infrastructure which hinders the long-term economic growth

• How to facilitate the spread of low cost and sustainable lighting solutions

• Access to sustainable cooking and heating solutions to also eliminate health and environmental consequences associated with the traditional biomass.

• How to develop large energy resources especially hydropower which can provide almost all of the energy needs of Africa

• How to develop interconnectors of electricity grids and establish the mechanism to trade in power

• How to mobilise funds for these larger projects, from governments, multi-lateral agencies and the private sector

• How to achieve energy efficiency of 40% by 2030, including an adequate energy mix  renewable energy in that same period

• The concept of Green Energy Revolution as a pattern of development. This is emerging after the Climate Smart Agriculture conference.

The Conference was also attended by financial institutions including among others, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The message was that there are funds available but that projects presented should be viable and have a regional dimension.

It was against this background that Seychelles, together with a number of small islands developing states (Sids) present pushed for inclusion of our specificity as a group needing special attention.

Seychelles tabled two projects; [1] The Energy Efficiency programme [2] Seychelles Renewable Energy Development Programme which have to be in a project proposal with feasibility studies. The project dateline for submission has been extended for one month.

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