Regional countries have been urged to develop and implement coherent regional renewable, efficient and access energy policies, in consultation with private and civil society organisations.
This was one of the resolutions from the Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa 2018, which ended in Kigali on Wednesday.
The three-day international event was convened to seek ways of fostering economic transformation of the six partner states of the East African Community (EAC), through equitable access to sustainable energy.
Participants said development and implementation of a coherent regional policy should also include integrated regional and national energy access strategies, which are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate change Agreement.
“We call upon EAC Partner States to put in place an enabling environment to enhance public private partnerships for investments in grid extension, decentralised and distributed generation systems to increase rural electrification, energy efficiency and sustainable and inclusive industrialisation,” said Michael Ahimbisibwe, the executive director of the Uganda-based East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE).
The forum was jointly organised by the EAC Secretariat, the Ministry of Infrastructure and other development partners.
Jesca Eriyo, the EAC deputy Secretary General in charge of finance and administration, said: “Renewable energy will help us to deliver the SDGs. There is no single goal that can be delivered without renewable energy. If you talk about goal number one; how can you fight poverty without sustainable renewable energy?”
“Quality education will require good electricity and that too is through renewable energy. For every person who sits in an office to work, you need sustainable electricity to power your computer and enough light to be able to read and use the tools given to you to deliver.”
The outcomes of the forum, she said, will be taken to the EAC Summit and the East African Legislative Assembly as well as the East African Court of Justice in a bid to raise advocacy for the drive to attaining equitable access to sustainable energy for all.
The meeting also called upon governments to strengthen individual and collective national commitments toward addressing the special energy and climate resilience needs of the region in the context of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Besides calling upon partner states to put in place an enabling environment to enhance public private partnerships for investments in grid extension, systems to increase rural electrification, and inclusive industrialisation, the forum also urged countries to “put in place mechanisms to reward good innovations in renewable energy and energy efficiency.”