At the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in May, 2022 I had the opportunity to partake in a number of insightful events. One of my favorites was moderating the Sustainable Energy for Mobility panel session, hosted by Ampersand, where we got to learn about the latest innovation in electric mobility and the price tag for delivering an electrified African transit system for a more sustainable future. I also had amazing discussions with the technical expert terms behind executing some of Africa’s most ambitious energy transition plans.
One of the most exciting moments for me was having the opportunity to participate in the Africa Europe Foundation’s inaugural Women Leaders Network meeting. Some of the leaders I look up to most were right there in the room with me, so it was definitely special and I learned so much by watching them in action.
Based on our discussions about energy transitions, especially in light of the ongoing war, the WLN issued a statement on the heels of the forum about its beliefs, which include these fundamentals:
- Clean energy can act as a pillar for the delivery for peace, development, food and energy security, which are the foundations of climate resilience.
- Significant finance must be urgently deployed to expand clean energy technology both in Europe and Africa as the symbol of solidarity, rather than the cutting of aid and continued market capture of African resources.
- Investment in the (re)localization of clean energy supply chains, from mineral extraction, to production, manufacturing and assembly, in ways that do not exploit people or planet, can rapidly deliver low-cost energy and jobs for Africa, and is fundamental to truly sustainable global energy transitions.
- Women’s networks and youth movements which are the fabric of community action and social enterprise, are core constituents in the delivery of solutions, and thus require financial support for their local and global engagement.
- These immediate investments in clean energy, local supply chains, women and youth mobilization, are solutions to fill the immense trust deficit between the Global North and South, and thus are our truest tools in the fight for peace.
I was one of the lead writers for this statement, I’m honored to have penned something that such icons can stand behind about the role of energy and local supply chains in peace and resilience. More to come!