Africa 2030: Empowering the continent through innovation, green tech solutions and capacity building

Under the auspices of the Italian G7 Presidency

Side Event to G7 Rome Energy Ministerial 2017

Sunday 9 April 2017, MAXXI – Rome, Italy


In the framework of the G7 Energy Ministerial Meeting and under the auspices of the Italian G7 Presidency, Enel Foundation, RES4Africa and the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) hosted a side event dedicated to Africa, with the main purpose to analyse the current status of the power market and facilitate the dialogue on how to accelerate sustainable energy access in the continent. Africa’s transition to sustainable energy relies on the appropriate enabling policy and regulatory frameworks on the one hand, and on bottom-up innovation dynamics and business models on the other hand. The empowerment of both will advance energy access in Africa and consequently unlock vast investment and development of opportunities on the continent. 
The event relied on an interactive exchange between relevant stakeholders from both African and G7 countries belonging to national governments, multilateral development organizations, businesses, academia, civil society, and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

The discussion focused on policies, regulatory improvements, as an opportunity to share experiences on how to improve access to energy, strengthen energy supply, improve energy efficiency, create job opportunities and consolidate the growth of local economies in rural and urban African contexts. The focus was on Africa-led input to the G7 Energy Ministerial as well as a contribution to and synergies with the German led G20 on energy in Africa later in the year.

The day included three sessions: ‘An African transition towards sustainable clean tech solutions’, ‘Innovative solutions for a secure and sustainable energy access’ and ‘Education and multi-level capacity building’. The event also showcased selected innovative sustainable energy business models to illustrate concrete solutions that provide affordable, secure and sustainable energy to rural communities in Africa.

 The G7 Energy side-event also represented a relevant occasion for the opening of three free opening initiatives from the 11th until the 15th of April in the D corner of MAXXI National Museum of Arts of the 21st Century in Via Guido Reni, Rome:

  • Riccardo Venturi’s photographic exhibition, an internationally recognized photo reporter and Lorenzo Colantoni journalist and video maker. The exhibition Next Africa is managed by Ilaria Prili and realized by the Akronos Association. The photographic exhibition comprising photos and videos of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, chosen as icons of the redemption and renovation of a whole continent.
  • Some innovative showcases among which a real Mini-grid by SAET, a powering system able to bring energy supply to remote rural areas far from the national grid (i.e. rural areas, small islands or emergency areas).
  • The workshop led by Liter of Light, a 2011 founded NGO that promotes the worldwide diffusion of eco-sustainable lighting, training rural populations and fostering a circular economic system based on renewable energy.

The showcases will bring tangible proof on how the production and use of renewable energy can consolidate local economic growth within African rural areas.

The installations involved  also Rome’s educational institutes with guided tours and the workshop organized by Liter of Light.