The first High-Level Meeting (HLM) of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) took place on 14-15 September 2010, in Vienna, Austria, to discuss energy access, energy security and renewable energy. The meeting was co-organized by the: African Union (AU) Commission; European Commission (EC); Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria; Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany; and Government of Mauritius. The HLM of the AEEP brought together over 300 participants, including ministers, ambassadors and other high-level decision-makers from 21 European and 23 African countries, and commissioners from the AU and the EU, as well as academics, business leaders and members of civil society from across Africa and Europe.
On Tuesday, the AEEP meeting began with opening statements, followed by a panel discussion on political targets for energy access, security and renewables in 2020. Participants then heard three keynote addresses and convened in three panel discussions addressing: the future of the AEEP; the role of technology; and politics and markets. High-level participants also: endorsed the HLM Declaration and the AEEP Road Map, outlining the AEEP’s 2011-2013 programme of work; and launched the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), aimed at enhancing industrial and business cooperation in the energy sector between the two continents. On Wednesday, Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), delivered a keynote address. This was followed by an extensive, interactive debate on scaling-up access to modern energy services in Africa. Closing remarks were delivered by Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, Director-General for Development Cooperation, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria.
Main themes during the HLM included: the need to recognize energy as one of the keys to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the role of public and private sector finance and new financial instruments; the importance of a stable energy supply for economic and industrial development; the need for capacity building and knowledge creation on the potential of renewables; the role of policies and institutions in shaping stable and conducive investment environments; and the special attention needed to supply energy to the poor.