AEEP: 10 Years of Successful Cooperation

Thursday, October 26, 2017

AEEP: 10 Years of Successful Cooperation

In the lead up to the 5th AU-EU Summit, the Africa EU Energy Partnership proudly looks back at 10 years of successful cooperation and significant achievements in what has proven to be a critically important and dynamic sector. Energy has risen to the top of the political agenda in both Africa and Europe, and the AEEP has developed as a key player and agenda setter along the way, helping the European and African Union form a shared voice in international energy processes.
Africa-EU Energy Partnership AEEP 10 Years

Looking back

In 2007, European and African leaders identified the need for a sector specific cooperation that focused on energy in the context of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The Africa EU Energy Partnership was born with the specific objective to facilitate high-level dialogue between the two continents on sustainable energy development and achieve the following concrete targets:

  • Provide 100 million Africans with access to modern and sustainable energy services. 
  • Double the capacity of cross border interconnections. 
  • Improve energy efficiency in all sectors and increase renewable energy capacity.

To achieve these targets, African and European leaders equipped the AEEP with a mandate and operational structure to bring politicians together with different stakeholders, such as academia, civil society, private sector and the youth, to discuss sustainable energy policies, priorities and targets.

Guided by its Steering Group, the AEEP has created a platform for high-level dialogue between the two continents, generating information and analysis on Africa’s energy sector, supporting project preparation, and providing policy support and skills development. The AEEP has also been a strong advocate for coordination and harmonisation in the sector by facilitating high-level discussion series on the topic, and through its publication Mapping of Energy Initiatives and Programmes.

It regularly brings together key sector stakeholders to share experiences and to network. Moreover, with the launch of the Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) in 2010, the AEEP has created a strong implementation arm to support the development of renewable energy markets in Africa.

Many of the AEEP’s 2020 political targets are either achieved, exceeded, or on good track. Based off current growth rates, it is expected that by 2020, an additional 223 million Africans will have received an electricity connection, far exceeding the original target of 100 million. Moreover, all renewable energy targets are on track, with conservative projections calling for an additional 28,000 MW of renewables to be operational by 2020. Many new cross-border connection projects in the pipeline continue to improve energy security on the continent, while energy intensity has decreased steadily, leading to higher rates of energy efficiency.

Beyond activities under the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, the AEEP has risen to the status of an agenda setter in the sector, and takes part in major international processes like the COP21, SEforALL and the AREI.

The Future of the AEEP

With remarkable progress achieved over the past decade, there is still significant work to be done in the energy and development sector. The AEEP is in a unique position to rely on its ample experience and wide-ranging network of stakeholders, to look to the future and realign priorities to fit the changing stakeholder landscape and dynamic developments.

While sustainable energy remains the focus, crosscutting themes such as youth empowerment, job creation, gender mainstreaming and climate will be part of the AEEP’s agenda. Moreover, the AEEP will work towards revitalising high-level dialogue focused on private sector investments in renewable energies in Africa. In addition, it will support research and innovation networks to challenge the sector with state of the art research on sustainable energy development from both Europe and Africa.

The AEEP is looking forward to the future, in order to realign the Partnership to the present landscape, address old and new challenges, and increase momentum and opportunities for future cooperation that facilitates access to sustainable energy in Africa.

Against the background of the AU-EU Summit and the COP23, the Partnership finds itself in an exciting time to display achievements, and kick-off its next phase. It is with a renewed momentum that we look forward to the next ten years of the AEEP, supporting an African energy sector transformation with sustainable energy access for all.