• Lead-organizer: South Africa
  • 09:00 - 10:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: P3-F

Accelerating clean and sustainable energy access for all in Africa

Organizing partners

Department of Energy (DoE),
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),
Eskom, and
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


Energy is essential for socio-economic, human and technological development. Access to energy remains a fundamental and key ingredient to achieve sustainable development. Access to clean modern energy services is equally an enormous challenge facing the African continent. Africa accounts for about 3% of world energy consumption, the lowest per capita modern energy consumption in the world. However, solving the challenges facing the provision of universal energy access in Africa will require improve energy efficiency practices, harness untapped renewable energy potential and accelerate the introduction of Independent Power Producers. The South African Government is committed to reducing carbon emissions and provide clean energy sources.

Detailed programme

In support of the UN Secretary General?s Sustainable Energy Access for All initiative, South Africa together with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) showcased how the country is intending to address issues of climate change at COP 17 whilst ensuring that it provides sustainable development and reducing poverty in rural communities.

To this effect, South Africa demonstrated the role of renewable energy in improving health services delivery and simultaneously reduce the ecological footprint of COP17, by installing nineteen clinics in the iLembe district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province on the 8 December by President Jacob Zuma. In addition, solar water heaters and energy efficient lights were installed at two primary schools. A number of households in the municipality also received Philips energy efficient and clean cooking stoves together with solar powered torches, lanterns and energy efficient indoor lighting systems. However, with some 1.6 billion people in the world today living without access to electricity (according to IEA), it cannot be emphasized that for Africa to provide electricity and clean fuel technologies will require more partnerships and substantial amount of resource allocation, as demonstrated by the IEA study on the assessment of financial requirements to meet energy access for all.

Hounarable Ms Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy, Republic of South Africa;
Dr Yumkella, UNIDO Director-General (Speakers to be confirmed.)
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