Novembre 7, 2022

Collective commitment and dedication towards access to energy and water will improve the quality of life of SADC citizens

Ministers Responsible for Energy and Water from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have expressed collective commitment and dedication to improve the quality of life of the SADC citizens through equitable access to energy and water resources, in line with the aspirations espoused in SADC's Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and Vision 2050.

The Joint Meeting of Committee of SADC Ministers Responsible for Energy and Water, met on 4th November 2022 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and considered progress in the implementation of the Energy and Water programmes and projects which seek to find sustainable solutions to ensuring  security of Energy and Water supply.

Hon. Olivier Mwenze Mukaleng, Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chairperson of the SADC Joint Committee of Ministers responsible for Energy and Water, stated that the region should support and secure access to all kinds of energy and water for economic development at the same time developing regulatory frameworks which will limit environmental and social impact associated with these endeavours.

Hon. Mukaleng said Energy lies at the heart of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. On this note, the Minister called for  speedy energy transition in the region, by making sure that everyone has access to reliable, sustainable, modern, and affordable energy services in line with  the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG ) seven (7), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

In his remarks, His Excellency Mr. Elias M. Magosi, the Executive Secretary of SADC, emphasized the urgency of accelerating the implementation of SADC's industrialisation and market integration programmes, as outlined in the SADC RISDP 2020-30 and Vision 2050. He stated that energy and water are enablers for industrialisation and are vital pillars in the region’s collective efforts to enhance regional collaboration. and integration.

H.E. Magosi emphasised the significance of clean, dependable, reliable and affordable energy and water for the SADC region, and noted that failure to attain these will spell doom for the people.

In the energy sector, the deliberations focused on security of energy supply, energy infrastructure development and progress on targets from the previous Ministerial meeting decisions. The Ministerial meeting further reviewed the regional power generation and transmission projects, petroleum and gas programmes, renewable energy and energy efficiency issues, energy sector regulatory activities implemented by the subsidiary organisations and the International Cooperating Partners supporting SADC Energy programmes.

The Ministers noted and reviewed status on progress of implementation of activities and programmes, and made assessment status of power supply and demand in the region and made commitment to accelerate the implementation of Regional Priority Generation Projects.

On Performance of the Regional Electricity Market, Ministers urged the region to expedite domestication of the approved market frameworks to increase the participation in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) regional markets and accrue the benefits of regional energy trading.

Ministers called for the establishment and operationalisation of the Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility (RTIFF) which aims to provide a long-term solution to energy financing challenges within the region to be supported by Southern African Power Pool, International Cooperating Partners, Private Sector and other interested investors;

Ministers urged the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), and the Regional Energy Regulatory Authority (RERA)  to intensify implementation of the key activities aimed at assisting the region in identifying effective means to improve the energy sector.

Ministers urged the region to switch to cleaner fuels, such as diesel with a low sulphur level, in order to improve air quality in the region while promoting decarbonisation of the energy sector.

In terms of policies and governance of the regional energy sector, Ministers urged Minister States that have not signed the Agreement Amending the SADC Protocol on Energy to do so for the Protocol to enter into force and further appealed to Member States that have not yet acceded to such Protocol to do so.

In the water sector, the Ministers evaluated the implementation of Phase V of the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Development and Management and other programmes and projects executed by SADC-affiliated subsidiarity organizations and River Basin Organisations (RBOs).

In addition, the Ministers reviewed the status of the regional groundwater management programme, the SADC Water fund, cross-border water supply and sanitation projects, projects in the Water Chapter of the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP), and River Basin organisation programs.

Furthermore, the Ministers from both energy and water sectors jointly discussed the Water, Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus Programme and urged Member States to set up coordination mechanisms for Nexus initiatives in their respective countries and directed the Secretariat to fast track the development of the Nexus Framework. 

The Ministerial Meeting was attended by SADC Ministers or their representatives from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives from International Cooperating Partners and Implementing Agencies and was preceded by a three-day meeting of Senior Officials responsible for the two sectors.