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AU, EU launch energy partnership

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission (EC) launched on Monday an ambitious Africa-EU energy partnership to enhance cooperation in the field, a press release of the EC said.

Main elements of the Energy Partnership include promoting electrification in Africa and launching as soon as possible the process for the elaboration of an Electricity Master-Plan for Africa, further defining the Capacity Building Program in support of the African Power Pools. Besides, the two sides agreed that transparency for further private investments in the energy sector should be established.

They agreed to promote energy interconnections in Africa and between Africa and Europe and to further cooperate to identify energy projects of regional interest to be proposed for financing. The AUC and EC agreed to jointly elaborate a Road Map for the launching and implementation of a Renewable Energy Cooperation program and to present this road map for discussions at the second joint experts working group meeting in the first semester of 2009.

Calling upon the European countries and the private sector to further mobilize resources for investment in the energy sector both in the supply and demand side, the EC said it is planning to replenish the Energy Facility Program and provide additional contribution to the EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership. Both sides also stressed the importance of measures in the area of energy efficiency and energy savings.

On the operational aspects, they agreed that an energy meeting at ministerial level will be organized every two years, an energy forum involving civil societies, research institutes and private sectors in both continents will take place every two years back to back with the ministerial meeting and an informal Joint Experts Group on energy will meet at least once a year.

The AUC and the EC agreed to organize the first energy joint expert meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in October. The two sides also encouraged the involvement of other partners in the Africa-EU Energy Partnership like international donors and investors. (Xinhua)