Just launched: Global Initiative on Renewable Energy
Energy efficiency needs to become an integral part of our nation’s psyche. Like we have achieved with smoking in public places, certain energy wasteful practices need to be seen as antisocial and even illegal!
Visionary words from the South African Minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at the launch of the SADC region’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, (REEEP), in Magaliesberg on 20 July.
Coinciding with National Energy Efficiency Week, the REEEP is set against a background where 80% of people in Africa do not have access to reliable electricity.
‘A big challenge for Africa is that the private sector and governments work together to takeÂ greater responsibility for thisÂ access, and that we do so through the transfer of skills and not merely the transfer of technology, which creates dependencies,’ adds the Minister.
‘Partnerships are essential in achieving sustainable development, and we need to ensure that energy contributes to this development.’Â
‘We’re racing against time in so many ways, to ensure that energy is accessible, clean, affordable, reliable and secure, and the REEEP’s action- and outcomes-based approach will help achieve our targets.’
REEEP, a global initiative launched by the British government at last year’s World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johanesburg, provides an open and flexible framework within which partners can take joint actions to promote the uptake of sustainable energy. In welcoming the Minsiter, the British High Commissioner, Ann Grant, emphasized the temporary housing of the secretariat and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s role in supporting the REEEP initiative following non-committal talks and discussions at the WSSD.
Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is among those participating in the two-day event at the Mount Grace Country Hotel, Magaliesberg, South Africa, co-ordinated by Cape Town based AGAMA Energy.
The Minister will be joined by senior representatives from energy and environmental ministries, electricity regulators, NGOs, the private sector, and financing organisations, from Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa, as well as representatives from AGAMA Energy, Minerals and Energy Policy Unit and the REEEP secretariat.
This is the sixth in a series of regional REEEP meetings taking place in Nairobi, Accra, Manila, Johannesburg, New Delhi, Campos de Jordao, Beijing, Washington and London.
Speaking before the Magaliesberg meeting, the head of the REEEP Secretariat, Dr Amal-Lee Amin, said the REEEP would promote development in Southern Africa.
‘The REEEP’s overriding objective is to accelerate the global uptake of sustainable energy sources and technologies in order to deliver key development goals. The meeting in Magaliesberg will build on the success of our launch meetings in London, Washington, Kiev, Nairobi, Accra, and Budapest,”’ said Dr. Amin.
‘It’s almost a year since the REEEP was launched in South Africa. Now is the time to take stock and commit to work programmes in Southern Africa and other regions that form our partnership,’ she said.
Mr Glynn Morris, Chief Executive of AGAMA Energy and facilitator of the REEEP meeting, said the REEEP’s international members and know-how would boost sustainable energy in the Southern African region.Â Â
‘The REEEP can make a significant contribution through drawing the region together in capacity-building, market research and awareness-raising, establishing blueprints and demonstration projects for sustainable energy, and championing the benefits of regional trade in sustainable energy,’ he said.Â Â
For more information please visit www.REEEP.org or call Gail Jennings on 083 658-5386.
For information on AGAMA Energy please visit www.agama.co.za or call +27  21 701 7052.