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African civil society statement on Africa's energy needs

Kenya farm photo by Trocaire

Just days before Congress votes on the Electrify Africa Act, 18 African civil society organizations issued a statement calling on African governments and public and private financiers to find socially and environmentally sustainable solutions to Africa's energy needs. The statement, signed by groups from 10 African countries, was issued to coincide with the 2nd Annual Powering Africa Summit taking place in Washington, D.C. January 27-29. 

Read the statement in English and French.

The groups urged participants at the Summit, especially African Ministers, and representatives of the U.S. government, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, and BRICS New Development Bank, to "ensure that discussions around this meeting take into account poor and marginalized people’s access to clean energy, and critical issues of climate change and human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples." 

"We, as African civil society organizations believe that any initiatives meant to help Africa reducing its energy and infrastructure gaps should be done through innovative solutions, but, most importantly, should be socially and environmentally sustainable."

Signatories include:

Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement (LSD), Senegal
Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya
Citizens for Justice (CFJ), Malawi
African Resource Watch (Afrewatch), Democratic Republic of Congo
Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth (FOCONE), Nigeria
Jeunes Volontaires pour l’environnement, Togo
Foundation For Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD), Nigeria
Worldview, Gambia
Mazingira Network (MANET), Tanzania
Studies Monitoring and Support for Social and Environmental Responsibility (OEARSE), Democratic Republic of Congo
JUSTICIA, Democratic Republic of Congo
The Congolese Civil Society Watch for the Minerals of Peace in OSCMP/RDC, Democratic Republic of Congo
Green Development Advocates (GDA), Cameroon
Human Rights Council, Ethiopia
Narasha Community Development Group, Kenya
ONG Mer Bleue, Mauritanie
Global Rights, Nigeria
GARED Action Group and Reflection on the Environment and Sustainable Development, Togo
For more information on ways energy companies, donors, and governments can help ensure energy projects reach the people who need them most, see Powering Africa for the Poor, an article by Oxfam America.
Photo: Teresina (age 45) farms her land during a drought in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya, October, 2015. Image by Trocaire licensed under CC BY 2.0