Stakeholders recommended ‘’Universal Energy Access’’ as first priority in post 2015 agenda
Participants of the Regional consultations meeting on energy pointed out ''universal energy access''as the most pressing energy issue and recommended the development of an energy access sustainable development goal as the first priority.
This has been highlighted during the Africa Regional open dialogue on energy and post 2015 development agenda which was held on 19th March 2013 in Dar-Es-Salaam and brought together 120 different groups including government, civil society, private sector, academia and youth.
The meeting was organized by the government of Tanzania through the Ministry of energy and minerals in collaboration with the UN and the Norwegian Embassy with the aim to capture challenges and opportunities and how to effectively integrate energy into the post 2015 development agenda.
During the meeting, participants insisted that energy sector is the backbone for any economy and a prerequisite for industrial and technological advancement and that no any economy can move without a sustainable and equitable energy sector.
''Energy is a critical component of our lives. Without energy we can’t even dream of economic growth. But despite its central role, not everyone has access to modern energy services’’. said Dr Alberic Kacou, UN Resident Coordinator.
''Tanzania power per capita is at 85 kWhs per annum. With this amount of power per capita Tanzania will not achieve the goal of Vision 2025. It’s a mandatory to have a capacity of producing 3000MWs by 2015, and a minimum of 10,000MWs by 2025.All we need is energy for growth and social prosperity''. added Hon. Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, Minister for Energy and Minerals in Tanzania
However some participants commented that in African context, energy means more than electricity, and creating access to energy should be open to development of all sources, depending on a mix of solutions e.g. decentralized and centralized energy solutions for those who currently lack access, priority given according to countries’ specific challenges, capacities and circumstances.
Apart from the fact that all countries need good energy sources for sustainable energy supply, participants advised developing countries to strengthen the energy sector via use of cleaner smaller-scale energy solutions which are environmental friendly such as solar panels, small hydro power, natural gas and biomass.
They also highlighted Issues of availability, affordability and quality of energy, especially for the rural population and raised the need to see biomass as part of the modern energy sector in the future.
During their discussions, participants also mentioned that national goals should prioritise energy and government policies should focus on integrating the issue of energy across all sectors while creating enabling conditions including education, research and development, policies and regulations, management of resources and infrastructures.
''We need to develop innovative and competitive business models that could attract financial resources for energy from all sources internally and externally’’ added one of the participants.
While concluding, participants agreed to continue working towards integration of energy into the post-2015 development agenda, by actively engaging all stakeholders in the ongoing global conversation, while supporting stronger action towards sustainable energy and monitoring.
The meeting was part of the Global thematic consultation on energy which will inform the design of the post-2015 development agenda.
The energy consultation is coordinated by UN Energy and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. The process is co-led by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and World Bank, with support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP).