African women reject the European Union’s unnecessary meddling in Africa’s Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). African women are very concerned at the manner in which some European countries, France in particular, influenced some African leaders to hastily approve projects without having a transparent process with social, environmental and gender criteria in place.
At a board meeting in March in Conakry, the European Commission and France in collusion with a few African countries repackaged existing European Union projects for Africa, but which did not originate from Africa, as first batch of projects to be approved by AREI.
The way and manner these projects were introduced and approved- by bypassing AREI’s process being developed for social and Environmental criteria- is a very negative sign, setting the entire process off on a negative footing, refusing African people’s transparent decision making, and entirely against the principles by which AREI was created.
African women insist that European Union cannot dictate for Africans over any issue especially the one concerning universal access to clean, appropriate and affordable energy for all.
Women are particularly concerned about the unnecessary interference by European Union and France particularly as it can jeopardize the noble objective of AREI in providing people-centered and gender responsive clean energy solutions capable of addressing the chronic energy poverty which affects women in Africa disproportionately.
African women join their voices with other Civil Society Organizations in Africa to condemn the undue interference of European Union in AREI. African women stand for a strong and independent AREI, with full and meaningful participation of women’s organizations in all levels of the decision-making processes.
For and on behalf of African women
Ms Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environment Program (WEP), Collette Benoudji Coordinator Association Lead Tchad and Ms Titilope Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)
For further information:
Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st)
6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria