IRENA High-Level Africa Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy Adopts Communiqué

10 July 2011: The IRENA High-Level Africa Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy has concluded with the adoption of the Abu Dhabi Communiqué on Renewable Energy for Accelerating Africa's Development.

The meeting, which convened from 8-9 July 2011, at the Sheraton Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), was attended by 25 African ministers, 181 government delegates and 45 representatives from African and international organizations, industry and NGOs. The objective of the Forum was to discuss and inform IRENA's Work Programme for Africa on specific implementation challenges facing Africa with respect to renewable energy technologies, as well as practical approaches to generate the critical policy and technical information, advice and capacity that is required to support the extensive deployment of renewable energy in Africa. Participants discussed, inter alia: opportunities and challenges for renewable energy for Africa; strategic partnerships and how to further Africa's priorities for sustainable energy in partnership with IRENA; best practices and challenges in promoting renewable energy investment; preparing the ground for accelerating renewable energy deployment in Africa; and opportunities in international fora such as the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and the 17th session of the Conference of the Paries (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Abu Dhabi Communiqué on Renewable Energy for Accelerating Africa's Development recognizes that renewables are necessary in mitigating the negative effects of price volatility, supply insecurity and environmental degradation problems surrounding current energy sources, as well as their significant potential to accelerate African low carbon development, and address climate change mitigation and adaptation. Ministers and delegates therefore agreed to launch “a concerted effort among all participating governments, agencies, non-governmental bodies and the private sector to promote intensified utilization of Africa's vast renewable energy resources,” by mapping “Renewable Energy Readiness,” and further engage with IRENA as the key inter-governmental forum on renewable energy. [IRENA Press Release Containing Text of the Communiqué] [IISD RS Coverage of the Meeting]