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Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn addressing the first session of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) Board of Directors on January 29, 2017, on the sidelines of the 28th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, emphasized the need to implement rapidly the clean energy projects earmarked under the auspices of the AREI.

Doing so, the Premier said would enable the continent to bridge the gaps evident in the power supply chain. In the absence of adequate and sustainable energy provisions, Prime Minister Hailemariam further said the prospect of Africa’s industrialization cannot be materialized. Ethiopia fully accepts the agenda items stipulated under AREI, and remains committed to do all it can to ensure the full measure of its implementation, he added.

Currently, Ethiopia, Egypt, Chad, Namibia and Guinea make up the Board Members of AREI.

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) draws its support from the African Development Bank, the governments of France and Germany among others.

Ségolène Royal, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International Climate Relations, also participated in the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the African Renewable Energy Initiative. The members of the governing body thanked the Chairperson of the COP 21 for her work and report on this initiative identifying 240 projects likely to contribute to the installation of 45 GW of new renewable energy in Africa.

The AREI is an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative of the African Union. It aims to harness Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It seeks to promote enhanced well-being and sound economic development by ensuring universal access to sufficient amounts of clean, appropriate and affordable energy; as well as helping African countries leapfrog towards renewable energy systems that support their low-carbon development strategies. In so doing the initiative will ensure access to energy while addressing climate change. It is to be Africa’s bold effort at transitioning to green growth.

AREI was launched at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and is receiving strong international support from development partners who have committed to mobilizing at least USD 10 billion cumulatively by 2020 to harness Africa’s renewable energy potential and expand energy access across the continent.