"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Chair's Summary of TICAD Ministerial Conference on Energy and Environment for Sustainable Development

[Place] Nairobi, Kenya
[Date] March 23, 2007
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

A. Introduction

1. The TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) Ministerial Conference on Energy and Environment for Sustainable Development took place from March 22 to 23, 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya. It was co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA), the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, with the co-hosting of the Government of Kenya and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Conference was held with the aim of bringing together the experiences and lessons learned in Africa and other regions, as well as putting forward proposals and recommendations for effective ways to address key energy and environment issues in the context of sustainable development. The Conference drew more than 500 participants from around 80 countries, as well as from around 30 international and regional organizations, and about 30 civil society/non-governmental organizations, and private sector. H.E. Mr. Mwai Kibaki, President of Republic of Kenya, officially opened the discussion by giving the Keynote speech. The Conference was presided by Mr. Takeshi Iwaya, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.

B. Current Situation and Issues of Energy and Environment in the context of Sustainable Development in Africa

2. A number of African countries face a vicious circle of environmental degradation, lack of energy generation and access, and poverty aggravation. We, the participants to the Conference, reaffirmed the importance of taking into account the inter-relatedness between the issues of energy and environment and other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, improving maternal health and promoting gender equality. We also shared the view that unless urgent national and international action is taken, the issues of environmental degradation and energy crises will become bottlenecks to achieving the MDGs. In this context, mainstreaming these issues in poverty reduction strategies is a necessary (if not sufficient) condition for sustainable development.

3. In this Conference on the issues of energy and environment in the context of African sustainable development, which require multifaceted and integrated efforts, we shared the outcomes of the most updated discussions in international fora, including the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), Forum on Energy Ministers in Africa (FEMA), and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). In order to build upon the outcomes and findings through these efforts by African countries themselves and their development partners, we discussed measures to step forward from three key perspectives, namely, "Building Ownership", "Promoting Regional Cooperation," and "Deepening Partnership." These three perspectives are closely inter-linked, and during the course of our discussions in each break-out session, we always kept in mind the need to address all these areas in a comprehensive and well-coordinated manner.

C. Key perspectives in addressing energy and environment issues for sustainable development in Africa

4. As the outcome of our discussions, there was a general consensus on the following points:

(1) Building Ownership: Community-based ("bottom-up") and National-level ("top-down")

(a) While the overall objectives and goals with respect to energy and environment are broadly similar for most countries, Africa is too diverse ecologically and socially to be treated as a single entity for purposes of prioritizing energy/environment action. Each African country is required to devise country-specific targets that are tailored to context-specific needs, including the particular needs in post-conflict situations.

(b) Building ownership on multiple dimensions is required. What is primarily important for an African government is to integrate the issues of energy and environment into their national plans for economic development and poverty reduction strategies. Only based upon this ownership can the regional/international commitments to urgent action become a reality.

(c) It is also important both to raise awareness on a community level and to build an enabling and effective environment and the institutional human capacity for sustainable and equitable economic development, in which energy/environment issues are addressed. Decentralization and community-driven development should be encouraged in this process. In other words, we need a two-pronged approach in building national ownership: from bottom-up and from top-down, and empowerment of the population on different levels including the women and the youth, is vital. Given these multiple steps to be taken, the necessity to get the support in terms of finance and technical assistance was strongly expressed by African representatives.

(2) Promoting the Regional Cooperation

(a) Africa is a rich mosaic of ecosystems endowed with huge potential sources of energy. Energy markets in Africa are small and fragmented and water resources and eco-systems are trans-boundary. Thus, an integrated regional strategy to benefit from the "economies of scale" has proven to be essential as spelled out in the NEPAD's Action Plans to be implemented by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the member States.

(b) It is very useful to share the experience from Asia such as the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Programme along with learning from best practice cases within Africa -- for example the ECOWAS White Paper, the Central/Southern African Power Pool, or Cooperative management for the Lake Chad or Lake Victoria.

(c) The challenge now facing these regions is to translate national and regional political consensus into investment programmes. Innovative approaches should be sought to meet the energy requirements of rural communities, peri-urban and urban populations. The importance of providing assistance by donors, international organizations and financial institutions such as the AfDB was underscored.

(3) Deepening Partnership: Public and Private

(a) Given the enormous energy and environment challenges in Africa, it is vitally important to deepen partnership amongst different stakeholders to optimize the use of available resources, which would include alignment and harmonization of donor assistance. Promoting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is also very significant in the sense that it broadens the foundation of partnership beyond official financial assistance.

(b) With the great potential in terms of energy and environment on the African continent, a perspective of private companies' Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and a perspective of energy/environment as business opportunities are both important, while it is also important for governments to acknowledge the contributions from the private sector and to create an enabling framework, i.e., secure governance aspects.

(c) Regarding the business opportunity, clean energy development has great potential for the private sector, including new businesses in off grid and community energy systems, in areas such as bio-fuels, new low cost off-grid lighting products and others. Business know- how and technical ingenuity of the private sector is vital.

D. Conclusion and the Way Forward

5. Based upon the two-day long discussions, we found that in addressing energy and environment issues in the context of African sustainable development, the three perspectives of "Building Ownership", "Promoting Regional Cooperation" and "Deepening Partnership" are critical. We also reaffirmed the role of the civil society in addressing these issues, based on a valuable input from the "Civil Society Dialogue," in which participants discussed how to address these issues from the pro-poor perspective.

6. We shared the fact that it is an urgent task for African countries and the international community as a whole, based on enhanced political commitment, to boost efforts on the issues of energy and environment in an integrated manner from the perspective of the Human Security, especially given their inter-relatedness with other MDGs, including those related to poverty, gender, primary education, and health.

7. It was further emphasized that the African continent is particularly vulnerable to global climate change, and how to address the issue of adaptation will be one of the key challenges for sustainable development in Africa.

8. The issue of energy access was unanimously recognized as a key challenge for Africa's development. In addition, the role and great potential of renewable energy and energy saving technology was acknowledged and underlined in three respects:

-expanding access and decentralized options;

-stimulating public private partnerships; and

-environmentally-friendly feature.

9. We found that given the complexities and multiplicities of issues of energy and environment in the context of African sustainable development, it is particularly important to share lessons learned from past and on-going experiences in African countries and other regions, although there is no one-size-fit-all solution, and flexible strategies and long-term perspectives are required in addressing actual cases. In this context, promoting further South-South cooperation, particularly the Asia-Africa cooperation, in the framework of TICAD would be pursued on the basis of Japan's initiative to share Asian experiences with African countries. Japan itself has a rich experience that can serve as reference to Africa, including the challenges it faced in overcoming industrial pollution.

10. The great significance of this Conference was the fact that a number of African Ministers in charge of development issues and foreign affairs, in addition to the participants including Ministers with great expertise in energy and environment, have gathered to focus on these impending issues that are inter-related and of great importance for sustainable development in Africa.

11. Based upon the findings of the Conference, we are determined to implement the outcome of this Conference in our respective spheres of responsibility, and to contribute to policy formulations for sustainable development wherever appropriate. In this context, TICAD co-organizers confirmed to ensure that the outcome of this Conference will be fully reflected into the preparatory process of the upcoming TICAD IV, which will be held prior to the G8 Summit in Japan in 2008. We also hope that the recommendations here will feed themselves into the discussions at the upcoming relevant Conferences including the G8 Development Ministers' Meeting and the Forum of Energy Ministers of Africa, and the UNCSD-15 discussion.