Anti-poverty group ONE has responded to the announcement today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that more than a hundred commitments and actions have already been mobilized in support of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative. This included over 20 from African countries.
ONE’s Global Policy Director, Ben Leo, welcomed the announcement. He said:
“Modern energy access is central to the fight against poverty. A lack of access to clean, reliable and affordable energy is trapping millions in poverty and limiting growth and development. Yet despite the fact that we have the solutions that can increase energy access, until now, political leadership on this issue has been lacking. The announcement made today by the Secretary General is therefore very welcome, particularly because the commitments made to date under the SE4ALL initiative are expected to benefit more than 1 billion people.”
Ben Leo did, however, stress that this was the only the first step:
“It is essential that these commitments are now turned into concrete action that delivers for African citizens. Donors, governments, businesses and civil society must work together to provide access to modern energy for those without it. In particular to scale up energy access, donor governments should work to ensure that energy access projects and initiatives are prioritized within the upcoming African Development Fund and IDA replenishment negotiations. It is only through collaborative action that we will see an end to the day when 7 out of 10 citizens in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity.”