Business and Policy Leaders Round Table
“Catalysing Investment to meet today’s Energy Challenges”
The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) is a long-term strategic framework for cooperation between Africa and the EU on energy issues, under which the two continents share know-how, connect resources, and work to further enhance and coordinate energy policies. The overall objective of the AEEP is to increase access to reliable, secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy services for both continents, with a special focus on achieving the MDGs in Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa struggles to meet the demand of its growing economies, while at the same time closing the energy access gap. However, with its vast and untapped natural resources, Africa is an ideal place to develop new technologies and renewable energies. At the same time the EU is well-equipped to support capacity building, provide know-how on renewable and energy-efficient technologies, and help in the establishment of conducive regulatory frameworks for investment.
Long-term investments are needed to develop and stabilise energy infrastructures. In particular, a strong Africa-EU private sector collaboration - established, emerging and new businesses alike - is crucial to fill the persistent gap that exists in resources to meet the various targets and to diminish the over-reliance on public funding in the energy sector.
Against this background, African and European political leaders decided to convene a High Level Business and Policy Leaders Round Table at the Second High-Level Meeting of the AEEP in Addis Ababa, on 13 February 2014.
The Round Table will discuss options for better and closer cooperation between the policy and the business sector, in order to attract further private investments with a view to meeting the AEEP targets by 2020.
To that end, the Round Table will discuss how to:
- Accelerate long-term business investments in the energy sector;
- Support the emergence of a new generation of African and European business leaders in order to tap into their vast dynamics and creativity for the benefit of future energy sector development.
The Business and Policy Leaders Round Table will issue a communiqué with the recommendations of the Round Table that will contribute to establishing a joint vision for meeting the energy challenges of the 21st century and to help attain the AEEP 2020 Targets.
These recommendations will be annexed to the Addis Ababa Declaration and feed into further deliberations of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership and its strategic dialogue.
Round Table Panelists
The AEEP Business and Policy Leaders Round Table will consist of ca. 6-8 high level panellists from both the business community, as well as and the policy sector. A good balance of participation from Africa and the EU is envisaged.
Format of the session
The Round Table will take place on Day 2 of the Second High Level Meeting, i.e. on 13.02.2014. The 2-hour session will commence with a brief keynote address by a high-ranking energy personality.
The general structure will be:
- 15min: keynote address (high ranking energy personality)
- 70min: interactive session (moderated session with the panelists)
- 20min: conclusions by Moderator or session Chair (including questions from plenary)
The interactive session focuses on two issues:
- First, the Round Table should consider how to enhance long-term investment in the energy sector. In this context it will be key to determine what business and policy need from each other to make long-term investments in the energy sector happen;
- Secondly, it should address ways of increasing commitment to the professional development of young business leaders. These pioneering people often persuade with remarkable flexibility by thriving for new opportunities. Emerging business leaders can help to drive the convergence of the private, public and non-profit sectors.
Questions to be addressed
- What do both business and policy expect from each other to make long-term investments in the energy sector happen? How can an enabling environment be achieved? What are the key policy, capacity, financial and trade barriers to implementing and accelerating long-term investments in Africa?
- How can the creation of new business be stimulated and how can the potential of emerging business leaders be unlocked? What are proven support mechanisms for young start-ups and in how far can the public and private sector cooperate to support?
- Will a regional approach increase the chances of success in accelerating investments in Africa?
- How important is capacity building? Is the current situation satisfactory and if not, how to change it?
- What should be done so that renewable energy is considered as a key solution to solving a nation’s energy security challenges?
Ms Tumi Makgabo