We hope that all of you - our members and partners, and your families - are safe and healthy in these very uncertain times as humanity grapples with COVID19. For all of you who have been affected in one way or another, our thoughts are with you. We are all hoping that this will resolve soon and we can all forge on with the plans we had laid out in 2020. We wanted to share with you, an update of our work in the first quarter of 2020. As always, we'd love to hear from you regarding any of these updates. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you. Meanwhile, do keep safe.
From the ACCESS Secretariat,
Jacqueline Kimeu & Edith Karimi
ACCESS WORKSHOP ON DRE & CLEAN COOKING IN GHANA
ACCESS in collaboration with Hivos held a CSO engagement workshop in Ghana with the rationale of understanding how CSOs are using the civic space to represent the views of people without access to energy. The workshop provided a platform for government and CSOs to share experiences and learnings on how the policy environment is contributing or hampering progress towards achieving clean cooking and DRE targets in Ghana. The participants interrogated the successes and challenges, and what opportunities are presented by the civic space to strengthen their advocacy efforts. The keynote address was given by Mr. Wisdom Togogbo, the Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum who affirmed Ghana’s commitment to double access to clean affordable energy. You can read more about the workshop here.
ACCESS paid a courtesy call to the Ministry of Energy in Ghana. 2nd from right is Mr. Wisdom Togogbo, the Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum.
ACCESS MEMBERS MEETING IN GHANA
ACCESS members had a quick meeting along the sidelines of the workshop in Ghana. Among other deliberations, the members committed to working together to strengthen advocacy in the West Africa region. This includes participating in other existing forums such as the SDG 7 platform in Ghana that brings together stakeholders in energy access. The members also affirmed their commitment to working in their respective CSOs to strengthen the capacity of community members by raising awareness on clean cooking products and their benefits. This would be complemented by partnering with the government to advocate for financing towards DRE & Clean Cooking in the hard-to-reach areas.
ACCESS AT AFDB GHANA
From left to right: Theo Braimah Awanzam (AfDB), Edith Karimi (ACCESS), Bumi Camara (AfDB), Faustina Boakye (ACCESS), Jacqueline Kimeu (ACCESS) and Ezekiel Chibeze (ACCESS).
ACCESS Coordination Group members based in Ghana, Faustina Boakye and Ezekiel Chibeze accompanied the ACCESS secretariat on a courtesy call visit to the AfDB office in Ghana. While Ghana is ranked among other countries with the highest national electrification rate in Sub-Saharan Africa – 85% - there are still many remote, isolated, and island communities located within the Volta lake catchment where grid power does not reach.
The bank is focusing on these areas and ensuring that there is the Productive Use of Energy (PUE) to enhance the livelihoods of the populations. It was also noted that the Bank is currently working on their clean cooking strategy which will target to increase LPG usage and enable over 2 million improved cookstoves by 30% by 2030. The bank acknowledged that while they primarily work with governments, CSOs play a critical role in advocacy and creating awareness of the projects. The Bank committed to having the ACCESS Coalition represented in the AfDB Ghana Policy Forum which is currently in the process of constitution – this will be a platform for CSOs and other stakeholders to participate in assessing the progress of the Bank's projects.
CONSULTATION WITH THE AFDB OFFICE IN KENYA
ACCESS was invited by AfDB to participate in the ‘Evaluation of the Bank’s engagement with Civil Society’ at their Nairobi office. The evaluation was aimed at assessing the kind of engagement, the nature of civil society actors, the processes, weaknesses and strengths, and results achieved, to generate lessons and actionable recommendations. ACCESS provided views on behalf of its members.
AFRICAN REGIONAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (ARFSD 2020)
ACCESS attended the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020) forum that took place on 24th -27th February in Zimbabwe. The event was a prelude to the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) and was meant to assess Africa's progress towards achieving the SDGs around the five cardinal themes of: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. The International Coordinator together with other ACCESS members participated in the event and provided key messages and actions needed to deliver on SDG 7. The forum adopted a declaration dubbed 'Victoria Falls Declaration on the UN Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development in Africa'. It epitomises the priority areas and suggested policy measures on the implementation of the 2030 and 2063 Agenda going forward. You can read more on the ACCESS blog here.
Please see link for the full report .https://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/uploaded-documents/ARFSD/2020/key_messages_final_20-00350_-_en.pdf
NEW ACCESS MEMBERS
We'd like to extend a heartfelt welcome to the new members who have joined the ACCESS Coalition. These are:
Smiling Through Light (Sierra Leone)
Nepal Energy Foundation (Nepal)
Solar Aid (UK)
Rainforest Alliance (Kenya)
Sustainable Energy Forum (Kenya)
Ghana Alliance of Clean Cookstoves (Ghana)
The ACCESS secretariat will be sharing the TORs for the Southern and Western regional nodes in the month of April. If your organization is interested, please look out for the call. We'd love to review your applications. This will be communicated through the ACCESS mailing list.
ACCESS will be working with members based in Zambia and Senegal to document HOW CSOs are using the civil space to raise the voices of the people without access to energy.
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