MRU Stakeholders to Discuss Renewable Energy, Clean Cooking

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The Mano River Union-MRU Secretariat in partnership with The Energy Nexus Network-TENN is convening the “MRU Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Renewable Energy and Clean Cooking”.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is supporting the logistical coordination of this event.

This event will build on the outcome of the First High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Renewable Energy and Clean Cooking Conference for the MRU countries, held in November 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Expanding access to energy in the sub-Saharan Africa is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Energy as an enabler for socio-economic development plays an important role in facilitating economic growth and social wellbeing.

However, 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity and about 900 million lack access to clean cooking solutions. The current lack of access to reliable and affordable modern energy is slowing down economic growth and seriously affecting service delivery in many development sectors, including health, education, and food production/processing. With significant population growth and massive urbanization, governments in the region are under tremendous pressure to achieve economic growth, provide jobs and social services and at the same time meet climate change targets. Consequently, decisions on energy sources to respond to all those needs will determine the economic transformation and prosperity in the region, with serious implications on climate change, which is already disproportionally impacting the region although it accounts for less than 4% of GHG emissions, and just 2% of energy-related global CO2 missions. 

It is against this background that the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat in collaboration with The Energy Nexus Network (TENN) decided to work with the MRU Member States (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) in a sub-regional initiative to develop the renewable energy sector and scale clean cooking solutions. The initiative culminated into the first “High-level Multi-Stakeholder Renewable Energy and Clean Cooking Conference for the Mano River Union” held in Freetown in November 2019. Participants included Ministers of Energy, Parliamentarians, and Renewable Energy Private Sector Practitioners from MRU Member States and development partners. To build on the outcome of MRU-I Renewable Energy and Clean Cooking Conference, TENN continues to work with the MRU Secretariat to mobilise support from the World Future Council-WFC/Global Renewables Congress-GRC, and the International Renewable Energy Agency-IRENA to accelerate action on renewable energy and clean cooking solutions, including action to support a feasibility study on the formulation of an Integrated Renewable Energy Action Plan for a common strategy on renewable energy and clean cooking solutions for the MRU Sub-region.