Windhoek - SADC member states should prioritise the signing of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) Inter-Governmental Memorandum of Agreement (IGMoA), Chairperson of the SADC Committee of Ministers responsible for Energy and Mines, Tom Alweendo, has said.
This comes at a time where only eight out of the 16 SADC member states have signed the IGMoA. The agreement constitutes the formal founding act and status of the establishment of SACREEE by SADC member states.
Alweendo, who is also the Namibian Minister of Energy and Mines, said failure by member states to sign the IGMoA was affecting the operationalisation of SACREEE.
“The pending signing of the IGMoA by all member states has severe opportunity and credibility costs. It had become a question of survival for the institution. Several funding commitments of development partners have been lost and no legally binding partnerships could be signed.
“Due to the absence of long-term contractual arrangements, it is difficult to recruit and retain senior experts at the centre,” said Alweendo during the meeting of SADC Ministers of Energy and Water at Safari Court last week.
“The Austrian Development Agency and UNIDO have indicated their intention to withdraw their support by June 2019 if no progress is made in operationalisation of SACREEE. I therefore, implore you, Honourable Ministers, to prioritise the signing of the SACREEE IGMoA to empower this centre to execute its mandate without hindrance,” he said.
He said SACREEE, which was established to assist member states in promoting renewable energy, was bringing notable progress in the region.
“The benefits of SACREEE are enormous, including cleaner and sustainable energy generation, contributing to industrialisation and employment creation as well as youth empowerment, to mention but a few. In that vein, SACREEE is already implementing several notable projects with the support of development partners including, the European Union, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UNIDO. Just last week, SACREE held the 1st SADC Industrial Energy Efficiency Conference here in Windhoek in support of the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063,” said Alweendo.
Information from the SADC Committee of Ministers responsible for Energy and Mines shows that SACREEE has been mandated by SADC member states to coordinate the implementation of the Southern Africa Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan (REEESAP). The REEESAP is a regional framework from which SADC member states will develop their own renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and action plans and thus kick-start national processes to accelerate energy security, access and transition in the region, including development of national action plans.
The eight member states which have already signed the IGMoA are Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mauritus, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Zambia and Zimbabwe signed during the joint meeting of SADC Ministers of Water and Energy last week.