Over the next 30 years, Africa will more than double its population, growing from 1.2 billion to 2.5 billion people. And with 50% of Africans younger than 25 years old, the continent’s working population is expected to surpass that of China by 2035, bringing about a massive migration from rural to urban areas.
The future rise of electricity demand, and the subsequent increase of carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuel imports is likely to impact many countries across Africa. With its rapid urbanisation and population increase, countries such as Morocco require ambitious targets for its future energy strategies to capture the immense potential of renewable resources available and putting in place decarbonisation policies.
In this context Enel Foundation and the Harvard Environmental Economics Programme organised a regional round-table in Marrakech on November 13-14, underscoring their joint commitment to engage relevant stakeholders in high-level discussions and to contribute to the international scientific debate.
The purpose of the roundtable was to provide an opportunity for industry leaders, policy makers, academic experts, and other key stakeholders to review important current developments in energy and climate change policy, with attention to North Africa and, to some extent, the African continent.
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The round-table was the 11th initiative of the Enel Foundation / HEEP collaborative project on Analysis and Management of Energy and Environmental Policy, and the first to be held in Africa. With attention focused on the expanding energy access in Africa, the topics that were covered include regulatory and grid integration across national borders; the potential of public-private partnerships to advance energy policy; new approaches to decarbonising energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the region; and the appropriate roles of the state and private corporations.
In additional to those participants who attended the previous workshop at Harvard’s Kennedy School in May, other key stakeholders from the African private and public sectors joined the discussion, representing organisations including the Ghana government, NERA and IRESEN. Enel’s Head of Climate Change and Renewable Energy Policies Mariano Morazzo presented the main results of the Project’s Energy Transition Roadmap in Morocco, in a joint session with Rim Berahab, Economist, Policy Center for the New South.
Giuseppe Montesano, Deputy Director of Enel Foundation, commented, “Following up on our longstanding commitment for Africa and the constant dialogues with local stakeholders, we wish to move forward leveraging on our partnership with Harvard Environmental Economics Programme.”
Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Programme and one of the world’s top 100 most influential climate policy experts according to Apolitical, added: “The workshop in Marrakech was interesting and substantive, covering a range of important topics affecting Africa and the rest of the world. We expect to continue these discussions as part of our efforts to inform policy and practice, particularly from the perspective of environmental economics.”