Strategy Document (draft version): Energy Information and Communication Network for SE4ALL in Africa

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Publication Date: 
19 December 2013

Energy enables. Access to energy is an essential component of economic and social development. It facilitates individual development through improving services for households and communities, and conditions in education, health and water and sanitation. It is an enabling factor for the development of economic activities through mechanization, and modernization of technologies and communication services. Improving access to energy and increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency will result in improvements in the other sectors and improve the welfare of millions of people.

Africa has a considerable potential of fossil and renewable energy , but still suffers from severe energy deficit.  Energy resources are currently under-utilized and energy supply is inadequate. As a result a substantial part of the population in Africa still does not have access to modern energy services, but depend widely on biomass energy. This results in health issues due to the use of biomass energy for cooking and heating, and in lack of opportunities to get out of poverty.

In sub-Saharan Africa there are 585 million people without electricity and 653 million people without clean cooking facilities, both mainly in the rural areas. An investment of $48 billion per year will be needed to provide universal energy access by 2030 and only $4-5 billion per year of that amount is needed for clean cooking facilities. Energy strategies in Africa and other parts of the world mainly focused on centralized electricity development plans. Clearly continuing on that path will not be sufficient for Africa. There is a need for an integrated and cross-sectoral approach for achieving sustainable energy access for all.

In September 2011 the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL) was launched by the Secretary-General of United Nations Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the UN General Assembly and its Global Action Agenda was presented in April 2012 providing pathways for concerted action towards sustainable energy for all. The SE4ALL Initiative will facilitate and catalyse action around three objectives on sustainable energy development to be achieved by 2030: (1) Ensuring universal access to modern energy services; (2) doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and (3) doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.