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12.03.2007 General News

Germany To Partner Africa On Energy Supply

The German Development Minister, Ms Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, has stated that Europe will carve a comprehensive, long-term energy partnership with Africa which will benefit both parties.

Speaking at the end of the Africa-Europe Energy Forum in Berlin, she said "the aim must be to improve the climate for investment, to increase the amount invested in energy and to bring transparency to oil and gas revenues."

She added that the development of renewable energy must be reinforced in view of climate change.

About 300 experts from Europe and Africa met at the invitation of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission, to help intensify cooperation between Europe and Africa in the energy sector.

The two-day dialogue produced recommendations which will be on the agenda of the Council of the European Union in May, this year.

It is also in the spirit of Germany's Presidency of the EU and G8, during which Germany hopes to whip up the enthusiasm of the EU, G-8, and particularly in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, to be keen on pushing forward the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU before a December 31, 2008 deadline.

A communique issued at the end of the conference and posted at the website of BMZ, said the conference called for the strengthening of cooperation between Africa and Europe, as Africa was considered a rich energy source.

"Strengthening cooperation between Africa and Europe is mutually beneficial: reliable energy supply, climate protection and sustained poverty reduction are goals that can only be reached in a joint effort. Expanding the use of renewable and particularly efficient energy sources can make a major contribution in this regard," the communique said.

The conference also recommended that financial resources provided through development co-operation were not sufficient to meet Africa's energy needs and therefore new paths for financing should be pursued, saying that Africa's own resources, especially from oil sales, donor resources and private-sector resources must all be used.

 

The conference noted that Africa was particularly suffering under climate change, even though the continent was contributing very little to emissions harmful to the climate.

"Natural disasters, deteriorating water supply, and an increase in tropical diseases are just some of the consequences. This is an area in which the industrialised countries in particular are called upon to help finance the necessary adaptation efforts," the comminique stressed.

There was agreement that it was not only cooperation between Africa and Europe but also regional cooperation and solidarity within Africa which needed to be strengthened and supported.

Story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey

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