Démocratie participative

Ségolène Royal travels to Africa to discuss renewable energies and the Paris Climate Agreement

Ségolène Royal made an official visit to Africa in the week of 23-28 February, and again from 13-15 March. The Minister’s itinerary took in Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Nigeria, meeting with senior government officials to discuss projects to expand access to renewable energies in Africa, and implement the Paris Climate Agreement.

Developing projects to expand access to renewable energies

This trip allowed the COP president to :

  • Accelerate the deployment of Africa’s renewable energy plan, working toward the stated target of 10GW of renewable energy capacities across the continent by 2020, and 300GW by 2030. This ambitious initiative was officially launched by a panel of African Heads of State at COP21 ;
  • Reiterate the importance of putting Africa at the centre of our climate change adaptation concerns ;
  • Move forward with the Great Green Wall project, a plan to create a great swathe of greenery spanning the continent from East to West, helping to slow down the process of desertification and give local peoples the opportunity to farm more fertile soils, conserve water supplies and achieve a better standard of living, all while creating a new carbon sink ;
  • Call upon the Heads of State and other senior ministers to attend the signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement, to be hosted by Ban-Ki Moon on 22 April. This event will provide an opportunity to keep the climate cause at the top of the international agenda, and check on the progress of the concrete policy decisions made in Paris, before the agreement officially comes into effect.

On the agenda :

  • Egypt : meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, Environment Minister Khalid El Fahmy and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. During their meeting, Ségolène Royal offered to support Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in the coordination of a new project to build Egypt’s biggest solar power facility.
  • Ethiopia : meeting with Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn, and a tour of the biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa, at Ashegoda, During her interview with Mr. Haile Mariam Dessalegn, Ségolène Royal reiterated her commitment to the partnership established between France and Ethiopia focusing on renewable energies, soon to be expanded with the creation of new solar power facilities in areas currently off the grid, as well as geothermal energy projects.
  • Ivory Coast : meeting with Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank
  • Guinea : meeting with President Alpha Condé
  • Senegal : meeting with President Macky Sall and laying of the foundation stone at a new solar panel project.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo : meeting with President Joseph Kabila and a visit to one of Africa’s biggest hydroelectricity projects at Inga.
  • The government is working to improve irrigation for agriculture as well as hydroelectricity. French firm Alstom contributed to Phases 1 and 2 of the Inga project, which are now operational. The government is now looking to launch Phase 3.
  • Gabon : meeting with President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
  • Nigeria : meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Energy in Africa

  • the continent produces only 3% of global greenhouse emissions, and yet bears much of the brunt of global warming. The continent’s total emissions are nonetheless growing strongly (+75% since 1990),
  • 600 million people do not have access to electricity, almost half of the African population and 80% of people in rural areas,
  • access to clean energy is a key priority for development, public health and the environment : the use of wood and charcoal is accelerating the process of deforestation.