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LETTER: May 29 2017 - DEEP CONCERN - Africa Renewable Energy Initiative
Complaint over the EU Involvement of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Validation of Projects without Due Screening
LETTER TO: African Renewable Energy Initiative Secretariat; AfDB; President of Commission of AU.

The International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE), a network of 150 non-governmental and independent organizations based all around the world including in Eastern and West Africa, would like to express its deep concern following the EU and France move in promoting projects in the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), an initiative that was entirely led and owned by African countries through its endorsement by all the African Heads of State and which aims to scale up renewable energy in Africa.

During its launch at COP 21 in Paris, we all applauded for this unique initiative that elicited great hope for the universal access to sustainable energy for all Africans. Unfortunately, to our utmost disappointment, we observed that the latest meeting of the Board members held in Conakry, Guinea on 4 March 2017, announced the validation of 19 projects, without due screening taking into account the principles, eligibility criteria and prioritization process as defined by AREI.

Following the resignation of Dr Youba Sokona, the head to the Independent Delivery Unit (IDU), the INFORSE network would like to propose that AREI is reorganized to regain full trust by African stakeholders in this important initiative. Specifically, we demand that:

1. The European Union and France step aside and do not participate in AREI with Board members, ensuring that AREI remains fully African-led and African-owned. AREI must be run by Africans for Africans. Interference in African governance belongs to another era.

2. Full accountability, transparency and participation must be provided for African states and for civil society in all aspects of AREI. The Initiative cannot and must not become a tool for one or two African States to benefit themselves or their European counterparts.

3. That the endorsement/validation by the Board of the 19 projects is suspended until a thorough review against AREI Criteria, environmental and social safeguards, prior informed consent by the States and citizens concerned, and active civil society participation are undertaken. It must be for individual African states and people, not European partners, to propose projects to AREI.

4. That all further funding and projects validated by AREI be genuinely “new and additional” to ensure the delivery of real outcomes for African people.

5. That active participation by all civil society constituencies is ensured at all levels of AREI including its governing bodies, its work-plan and project development, and project implementation on the ground.

We also support our African members, INFORSE West Africa and INFORSE East Africa, that call on all of the African Heads of State to take full action to ensure the full independence of the IDU and the reinstatement of its Head so as to make the AREI to be again an African-driven and an African-led initiative that will achieve the universal access to the genuinely clean energy that Africans need with full benefits and profits to the African people.

Yours sincerely, on behalf of INFORSE,

Gunnar Boye Olesen & Ion Zamfir, INFORSE-Europe / Sustainable Energy & Prietenii Pamantului
Secou Sarr and Djiminque Nanasta, INFORSE West Africa / ENDA Energie,
Estomih Sawe, INFORSE East Africa / TETEDO,
Raymond Myles, INFORSE South Asia / INSEDA,
Tetsunari Iida, INFORSE East Asia / ISEP, and
Roque Pedace and Emilio Lèbre La Rovere, INFORSE Latin America / REJIMA, LIMA

Coordinators of INFORSE
File: INFORSE_AREI_Concern_letter_May_29_2017.pdf
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