Climate and Energy in the Africa-Europe partnership: Leading the way to the AU-EU summit

Past event online

Climate and Energy in the Africa-Europe partnership: Leading the way to the AU-EU summit


To facilitate an open and frank dialogue on key, often contentious, issues between our two continents, AEF is organising three high-level “Talking Africa-Europe” specials focusing on the priority issues of Climate and Energy (January 20)Migration and Mobility (January 27) and Vaccine Access and Equity (February 3).

This debate will build on the aftermath of COP 26, which have left unhappy both climate activists and made African partners keen to address the key challenge of insufficient access to energy on their own continent.  By addressing the best ways to take care of ensuring energy transition for all, this debate aims to foster an honest and frank dialogue about the best pathways to energy transition for the two continents and its people, that ensures both access to energy for all and climate concern.

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bigstock/azur13



Participants connect online
Climate and Energy in the Africa-Europe partnership
Expand Climate and Energy in the Africa-Europe partnership

COP 26 decisions have left unhappy both climate activists and African partners keen to address the key challenge of insufficient access to energy on their own continent. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all citizens of both continents has to be a common goal.

The debate will address the best ways to take care of ensuring energy transition for all. This debate aims to foster an honest and frank dialogue about the best pathways to energy transition for the two continents and its people, that ensures both access to energy for all and climate concern.

End of debate


Thierry Breton
Thierry Breton

European Commissioner for the Internal Market

Show more information on Thierry Breton

In his current portfolio, Thierry Breton oversees the smooth functioning of the Single Market whilst leading the EU’s work on a new digital and industrial strategy. Before joining the European Commission, Breton was at the forefront of the telecoms and digital industry, as CEO of various companies, including Atos, France Telecom and Thomson Multimedia. In addition to his extensive experience in the private sector, Breton also served as the French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry, as well as Vice-President of the Poitou-Charentes Region and advisor to the French Minister for Education René Monory.

Ambroise Fayolle
Ambroise Fayolle

Vice-President at the European Investment Bank (EIB)

Show more information on Ambroise Fayolle

Vice-President Fayolle’s areas of oversight include financing of environment, climate action and the circular economy, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), development, financing operations in France, Germany, the ACP countries (Africa and the Pacific – except the Caribbean States and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), OCTs and South Africa. Vice-President Fayolle also oversees the relations with international financial institutions, coordination with multilateral development banks (MDBs), the relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Photo of Mo Ibrahim
Mo Ibrahim

Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation, Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited, Founder of Mobile Systems International (MSI) and Celtel International, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Mo Ibrahim

Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim built his fortune in telecommunications, landing him a place on the Forbes 2011 Billionaire list. One of his many successful ventures was Celtel International, operating as one of Africa’s leading mobile telephone companies which pioneered mobile services in the continent. In 2006, he established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in order to support good governance and exceptional leadership on the African continent. His approach is two-fold: to reward responsible leaders through the annual Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, and to highlight countries with good governance through the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). In shedding light on democracy and human rights in African nations, Ibrahim aims to re-brand Africa and change the perceptions many have of the continent.

Photo of Damilola Ogunbiyi
Damilola Ogunbiyi

Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy

Show more information on Damilola Ogunbiyi

Damilola Ogunbiyi is a sustainable energy advocate and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. She is also a Commissioner for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty. Before joining SEforALL, Ogunbiyi was the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, where she successfully negotiated the construction of solar mini-grids and the deployment of home systems across Nigeria. She also worked as a Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President Buhari on Power and was the first female to be appointed as the General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board.

Photo of Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson

Former president of Ireland, Chair of the Elders and Honorary Co-President of the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF)

Show more information on Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson is a prominent Irish politician, widely recognised as having reinvented the office of the presidency during her time as President of Ireland. Mary’s passion for human rights and gender equality have seen her in the role of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy in three roles. Through the Mary Robinson Foundation, as well as her current position at The Elders, she has been a leading voice in the climate justice debate. Mary serves as Patron of the International Science Council and Patron of the Board of the Institute of Human Rights and Business, is an Ambassador for The B Team, in addition to being a board member of several organisations including the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Aurora Foundation.

Vera Songwe
Vera Songwe

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation Women Leaders Network (WLN)

Show more information on Vera Songwe
Photo of Frans Timmermans
Frans Timmermans

European Commission Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal

Show more information on Frans Timmermans

In his current role, Frans Timmermans oversees the EU’s ecological transition making Europe the first climate-neutral continent. He started his career in the Dutch Ministry of Affairs where he served in several roles both at home and abroad. He eventually served as the Dutch Minister of European Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In between, he also gained experience working in the Commission. Prior to his current position, he was the First Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Better Regulation, Intern-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Laurence Tubiana
Laurence Tubiana

CEO at the European Climate Foundation

Show more information on Laurence Tubiana

Laurence Tubiana is CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), in addition to her roles as Chair of the Board of Governors at the French Development Agency (AFD) and Professor at Sciences Po, Paris. Prior to joining the ECF, Laurence was France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21, and was therefore a key architect of the landmark Paris Agreement. Following COP21, she was appointed High Level Champion for Climate Action by the UN. Aside from founding and directing several organisations in the field of food security and sustainable development, Laurence served as Senior Advisor for the Environment to the French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin. In 2013, she chaired the French National Debate on the Energy Transition. In 2018, President Macron appointed her to France’s High Council on Climate Change.

Kandeh Yumkella
Kandeh Yumkella

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

Show more information on Kandeh Yumkella

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.

Track title


Stop playback
Video title


Africa initiative logo