Southern African Development Community Centre for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (SACREEE) was officially launched on the 24th October 2018, at Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia.
When giving a keynote address at the launch, Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Tom K. Alweendo said that the establishment of SACREEE came at an opportune time in the region where there is diminishing electricity generation capabilities. He remarked that SADC Member States are over-dependent on finite fossil fuels and traditional biomass. Hon Minister Alweendo explained that the population of the region has increased over the years, leading to increased demand for energy, whilst fossil fuels could not sustain the demand for energy in the Region, since they are not renewable.
He further mentioned that SADC's renewable energy resources are abundant and underutilized. Therefore, the establishment of SACREEE would unlock this potential by providing business focused guidance on the regional market opportunities and risks. Hon. Minister Alweendo said that SACREEE will continuously engage with SADC Member States to assist them with the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems. He said industries in the region use a lot of energy, and the use of renewable energy technologies and energy efficient equipment is critical for their competitiveness in the international arena.
For his part, the Director of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at SADC Secretariat, Mr. Domingos Gove, on behalf of SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, said that the establishment of SACREEE is an indicator of the SADC commitment towards Sustainable Development Goals in particular goal number 7 on increasing access to energy, as well as promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the energy space.
He informed the audience that, the regional integration of the SADC Member States through energy together with the other infrastructure sectors is critical and regarded as one of the priorities in the strategic documents of SADC; such as the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), the Regional Infrastructure Development Masterplan (RIDMP) (2012-2027) and the Regional Industrialization Strategy, Roadmap and Action Plan (2015-2063) as approved by SADC Heads of State and Government.
Dr. Gove reasoned that energy has a major role to play in the economic development of SADC region. He said that energy grows the economy and remains a fundamental enabler for industrialization. Energy has a direct implication in improving the quality of life of the people. Dr. Gove pointed out that the SADC Region is endowed with abundant energy resources, such as natural gas, hydropower, solar and wind. Therefore, this will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they are in the category of low-carbon energy sources.
The following Ministers attended the launch of SACREEE; Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy Namibia, Hon. Eric M. Molale, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Botswana, Hon. Mr Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Tourism, Mauritius, Hon. Kornelia Shilunga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Namibia, Hon. Ambassador Thembisile Majola, Deputy Minister of Energy, South Africa and Hon. Magna. Mudyiwa, MP Deputy Minister of Energy Power Development, Zimbabwe.