As Africa and Europe seek to re-set their partnership, Friends of Europe is engaging with its partners across both continents about the long-term vision, as well as the diverging and converging issues at the heart of this established cooperation. Africa and Europe have a shared interest in accelerating work on the global agenda for sustainable development and facing together the pandemic as well as the climate and environmental emergency. The Covid-19 crisis is exposing the lack of resilience on the fundamentals of life and the urgency to rethink our common future as Africa and Europe.
As part of its Africa-Europe Days, Friends of Europe and partners are presenting an inspiring programme of virtual dialogues and an innovative platform of platforms focused on accelerating the impact and reach of the Africa-Europe partnership in the leadup to the Africa-EU Leaders’ Meeting on 9 December.
Friends of Europe will be discussing Africa-EU relations and global development through the prism of key fields including energy, agriculture, the digital economy, health, and transport and connectivity.
Global Policy Dialogues are run as part of the Development Policy Forum of Friends of Europe and partners.
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Scene-setting presentation by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the outcomes of the 2nd African Union Commission (AUC) – International Energy Agency (IEA) Ministerial Forum and latest findings on Africa stemming from its 2020 World Energy Outlook (WEO).
Sustainable Energy is a key priority for Africa and Europe. Despite being in the final Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs, the number of people without access to electricity across Africa is set to increase due to COVID-19. In the context of the 2021 AU-EU Summit, European governments and the private sector need to reinforce their work with African governments and institutions to develop integrated, sustainable and vibrant energy markets, including at the regional level.
To this end, crafting the right policies and regulatory environment to attract investment is eminently possible, and has never been more essential in providing the confidence required to leverage private sector finance. At the same time, both Africa and Europe face shared challenges in building the scale and capacity of the grid infrastructure needed to deliver a large increase in electrification, while integrating multiple energy sources and demands.
- How can government, business and civil society across Africa and Europe work together throughout this last Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs and advance a common agenda in preparation for the 2021 UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy?
- In which way the ‘Green Energy Initiative’ of the European Commission play a role in attracting investments towards Africa, improve energy access and accelerate the deployment of renewables? What are the difficulties and potential obsacles in making this initiative accelerate sustainable energy for all?
- In the context of the COP 26 Energy Transition Council, how can Europe and Africa work together and share best practices to support a number of countries across Africa to achieve ambitious energy transitions at the scale demanded?
Lead for Energy Finance & Clean Cooking at SEforALL
Head of Political Scenarios and Institutional Support for Business Development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia (Eni)
Africa Programme Manager at the International Energy Agency (IEA)
Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the Advisor to the Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (AfDB)
Co-Chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy, Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone, and former CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) and Director-General of UNIDO
Head of Programme Performance & Operations at Friends of Europe (on leave)
In the energy industry for the past 17 years, Francesca has held a number of management positions in the sustainability and public affairs area, both in the headquarters and in a subsidiary in Kazakhstan. As from 2019, she leads the Political scenarios and institutional support for business development team in the Public Affairs Directorate. The political scenarios activity is focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia, while her expertise covers renewable energy, power and cross business initiatives. In her role, she supports Eni in identifying and developing renewable energy, power and gas-to-power initiatives. She is also responsible for fostering relations with Development Finance Institutions, in cooperation with the CFO teams.
In advising SEforALL on strategy and interventions to support universal access to energy by 2030, Olivia leverages her experience of financing renewable energy technologies from R&D through commercial deployment gained through previous roles at REEEP and the Australian government’s lead solar energy agency, and as an independent advisor to governments and investors. As a finance lawyer, Olivia has worked with Baker McKenzie in Sydney and Hong Kong, Latham & Watkins in New York and in-house at Australia’s export credit agency, Export Finance Australia. She also undertakes several board and advisory roles and a Fulbright Scholar and U.S. Department of State Climate Change Fellow.
Maximilian Jarrett has 30 years of experience in the fields of international economic affairs, media production and strategic communications. In his current role, he helps expand the International Energy Agency’s reach and coordinate its work as it deepens its engagement across the African continent. He most recently served as the final Director-in-Charge of the Geneva-based Africa Progress Panel, which was chaired by the late Kofi Annan, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former UN Secretary General. Prior to that he worked for a decade with the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa coordinating programmes and initiatives with African states as well as the African Union and African Development Bank. He is an Honorary Fellow of Murdoch University in Western Australia and also an Honorary Fellow at the Research Centre for Governance, Leadership and Global Responsibility at the Leeds Business School in the United Kingdom.
In this capacity he oversees the Bank’s lending and non-lending activities in the renewable energy and energy efficiency space including the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and the Desert to Power Initiative. He was previously the coordinator of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Africa Hub hosted by the AfDB in partnership with the AU, NEPAD and UNDP. Daniel also coordinated the Africa Climate Technology and Finance Center project, the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program and the Bank’s involvement in the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. Daniel has extensive experience in energy policy and renewable energy. Prior to joining the AfDB, he worked for several years for the European Commission in both headquarters and the field, for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and in the private sector.
Kandeh Yumkella mobilises global action and plays a leading role for the planning and implementation of ground-breaking initiatives towards a sustainable energy future. Kandeh Yumkella is a distinguished development economist and an expert in agricultural economics with over 25 years of international experience. He is actively engaging relevant stakeholders in government, businesses, academia and civil society at the highest level to advocate for and promote sustainable energy for all. As former chair of UN-Energy, he brought a renewed and vital focus to global energy issues and led the coordination of the United Nations response to energy issues. Previously, Dr. Yumkella served as Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for two four-year terms. He is currently a member of the National Parliament in Sierra Leone.
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