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Ministers Meet in Addis Ababa for U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial

June 16, 2014 - 4:15pm

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On 3-4 June 2014, Secretary Moniz co-chaired the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial (USAEM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the Government of Ethiopia. High-level delegations from over 40 countries, the private sector, and other stakeholders engaged in discussions about energy projects, policies, opportunities, and challenges during this two-day meeting. The Ministerial concluded with a shared commitment to develop a roadmap to catalyze sustainable energy development across African nations.

The USAEM is a direct outgrowth of President Barack Obama’s travel to Africa in June-July 2013, where he called for a new level of energy and commercial engagement with Africa. At President Obama’s direction, Secretary Moniz led a diverse U.S. Government delegation, which included U.S. Export Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, Overseas Private Investment Corporation President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield, U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia Zak, Millennium Challenge Corporation Vice President of the Department of Compact Operations Kamran Khan, and U.S. Africa Development Foundation Vice-Chairman of the Board John Agwunobi, and White House National Security Council Senior Director Gayle Smith. Through panel discussions, working lunches, and bilateral and multilateral meetings, the Ministerial provided a unique opportunity for the U.S. government and African energy ministers to discuss how we can work together more effectively as partners to address the energy challenges we face. The U.S. delegation highlighted a variety the financial and policy tools available to help foster the sustainable development of Africa’s energy resources.  

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz underscored the United States’ commitment to African nations' achieving their energy development goals and to the mutual economic opportunity that can be realized through this growth. He also announced the Power Africa “Beyond the Grid” initiative. This effort will forge partnerships between the U.S. Government and the private sector to demonstrate the benefits of off-grid technologies. These technologies can expand access to modern energy services and assure the reliability of off-grid energy systems. Secretary Moniz discussed how USAEM advances the agenda of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit to be held in Washington, DC on August 5-6, 2014. He also highlighted specific actions being implemented by U.S. Government programs such as the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn formally opened the USAEM, recognizing the critical role of energy in improving the wellbeing of its people. Ethiopian Water, Irrigation, and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu noted the significance of the USAEM for the advancement of energy cooperation between the United States and the nations of Africa. African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Elham Mahmood Ahmed Ibrahim provided a pan-African view of energy growth across the continent, highlighting new cooperation among African nations, most notably at the regional level and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin reviewed current trends in African and global energy, noting the recent developments regarding increasing production capacity and growing consumption. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, presented information on the scope and goals for the World Energy Outlook 2014, previewing a special report that will share results of a continent-wide focus on Africa.

Ministers discussed concrete steps to foster greater energy development and utilization. Ministers noted the diverse energy requirements that each African country, as well as certain barriers that are shared among many African states and others around the globe. Ministers also highlighted that continued investment in infrastructure and improvement of electricity access is imperative for Africa to reach its development goals.

Ministers and senior officials from the African Union, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Angola, the Republic of Benin,  the Republic of Botswana, Burkina Faso, the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Cabo Verde, the Republic of Chad, the Union of the Comoros, the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Djibouti, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Gabonese Republic, the Republic of the Gambia, the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Guinea, the Republic of Kenya, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Liberia, Libya, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mali, the Republic of Mauritania, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of Seychelles, the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Republic of South Africa, the Republic of South Sudan, the Kingdom of Swaziland, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Togolese Republic, the Tunisian Republic, the Republic of Uganda, and the Republic of Zambia attended the meeting. Multilateral participants included the United Nations, the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others.

Select accomplishments announced by ministers to date related to the USAEM will be available at: www.energy.gov/ia/initiatives/us-africa-energy-ministerial.

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