EU To Unveil Strategy For Addressing Energy Poverty In Africa In February - Commission

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EU to Unveil Strategy for Addressing Energy Poverty in Africa in February - Commission

The European Commission will present its strategy for addressing key challenges of insufficient access to energy in Africa at the 6th European Union (EU)-African Union (AU) Summit in February, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Friday

ST. PETERSBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st January, 2022) The European Commission will present its strategy for addressing key challenges of insufficient access to energy in Africa at the 6th European Union (EU)-African Union (AU) Summit in February, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Friday.

"Almost 600 million people in Africa live without access to electricity. Energy access is a top priority for the EU. Our new connectivity strategy 'The Global Gateway' will leverage over 300 billion Euros ($340 billion) for investments in transport, digital, energy, health (sectors), as well as in education and research. The Commission will come to the summit next month with a concrete offer to support energy access in Africa in this crucial decade," Timmermans said at the Talking Africa-Europe online conference.

The Africa-EU Green Energy initiative will also be launched in February, focusing primarily on green energy access and building the right environment for green investments, he noted.

Africa has been faced with a paradox in the energy sector, according to Timmermans, as African countries have great access to sustainable energy sources, yet suffer from energy poverty.

"Africa is ideally placed in terms of its natural resources and in terms of its geographic location.

The continent has everything needed to enter the global market for sustainable and higher value-added products. Think of green fertilizers or green steel, or cement," he said.

The EU official�further stressed the importance of the green transition for the coming decade given demographic changes, fluctuating weather patterns and global competition in new sectors of economy.

"Green investments is the only way we can deliver more jobs for Africa and Europe and more equitable trade relations between Africa and Europe. Of course, we have different starting points: Africa contributes the least to global greenhouse gas emissions and, yet, it is already suffering from the consequences of the climate crisis more than any other continent," Timmermans said.

Africa has been disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, which has impacted people's health and crippled critical sectors of the global economy, such as agriculture, leading to political instability and displacement, the official added.

Timmermans expressed hope that the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt in November will give an opportunity to create an even stronger alliance between Europe and Africa with the focus on Africa's priorities.