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South African Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe on Thursday attended the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum in Johannesburg to discuss how public and private sector can work together to boost investment and make the best use of their resources.

The Japan-Africa Public-Private Forum is co-hosted by the government of Japan and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in collaboration with South Africa.

Speaking at a Plenary Session themed on energy and infrastructure enhancement in Africa, Radebe noted: “For Africa to realise its full economic and social potential, the continent will require robust power infrastructure to deliver affordable, clean energy to all of its citizens, including those in rural areas.”

The Minister explained: “The Japanese private sector can work with African countries in recognition that Africa has a diverse energy landscapes throughout its many countries – each with its own resource potentials, needs and political and economic systems.”

“Our leaders can accelerate energy access in Africa by using existing initiatives to leverage synergies, overcome barriers, improve quality, reduce costs and increase impact. A number of existing regional and international programmes and initiatives exist that can be better utilised and synchronised to attract private sector involvement, improve continental energy access and thereby the prosperity and economic development prospects of not only Africa, but also the world.”

The Minister highlighted a few of the major programmes for South Africa that are critical towards contributing to the objectives of securing energy supply:

  • Refining capacity
  • Gas
  • Renewables
  • Regional focus – transmission corridors

“In alignment with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), the Japanese private sector can use the number of existing African initiatives to solve the continent’s energy challenges, especially since most of the initiatives focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions.

These initiatives include the Africa Union’s (AU) Renewable Energy Initiative, African Development Bank’s (AfDB) New Deal on Energy for Africa, AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All.

Read Radebe’s full statement here.