13.6.2024, 17:45 - 19:00 Hrs, Deutsche Parlamentarische Gesellschaft
Against all odds – How economic cooperation in the Sahel can succeed

The Sahel region has enormous potential for renewable energies, yet it is one of the regions with the greatest energy poverty in the world. The process of industrialization in the region is progressing slowly. According to the UN, 51% of the population in the Sahel has no access to electricity, while energy demand is increasing by more than 4% annually. The local energy crisis is closely linked to the (security) policy, economic and humanitarian situation. A stable energy infrastructure is a driving force for economic growth; many sectors, jobs, education and health services ultimately depend on access to energy services. According to estimates by the African Development Bank (AfDB), energy poverty in Africa costs the continent 2-4% of GDP each year. Around 80% of businesses in Africa have to deal with interruptions to their electricity supply, which limits economic performance in the countries.

In order to meet rising energy demands and achieve sustainable socio-economic growth, the expansion of renewable energies is essential. Given its potential, the Sahel could become the first region in Africa to initiate and drive forward an industrial revolution based on renewable energies. Investments in renewable energy would thus not only contribute to the electrification of private households, but also enable the development of local green value chains that create jobs, leverage global value chains and accelerate the realisation of the SDGs. It is also important to clarify the extent to which this can succeed in view of the political framework conditions in some Sahel countries, such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

What measures are required to meet the energy needs in the Sahel? How can infrastructure development and the process of industrialisation in the Sahel be driven forward? How can a switch to renewable energies succeed? And how can Germany support this despite the current political developments in the region and cooperate with Sahel countries in the energy sector? What role can investments by German companies play?

To discuss these and other questions together, the German Africa Foundation and Fokus Sahel organised to an expert discussion.



Sabine Odhiambo,
Secretary General, German Africa Foundation

Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Fugger,
Director West Africa, EWIA Green Investments GmbH
Nouhoum Keita, Executive Director ASFA 21 FALEA (Action Solidarité pour les 21 villages de la commune Faléa), Mali
Christoph Rauh, Director Africa I, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, (BMZ)
Marthe Zio, Specialist for ecological construction, CESAO (Centre d’Études et d’Expérimentation Économiques et Sociales de l’Afrique de l’Ouest), Burkina Faso

Olaf Bernau, Member of the steering committee of Fokus Sahel


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