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African Renewable Energy Alliance Celebrates 2nd Birthday

African Renewable Energy Alliance Celebrates 2nd Birthday

Johannesburg / Hamburg, 12 October 2011. Today, 550 members from 61 countries are working together to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy in urban and rural Africa in order to improve peoples’ livelihoods and to protect the environment. The African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) is a global platform for policy-makers, business, civil society and academia to exchange information and consult on policies, technologies and financing of renewable energy. Celebrating its second birthday, the AREA website www.area-net.org now offers service and information in English, French and Portuguese.

“Africa is already suffering the negative impacts of climate change. It is a challenge finding sustainable substitutes for fuel wood and charcoal to counter deforestation. This is why renewable, decentralised energy is absolutely essential for sustainable development. The knowledge and information exchange enabled by AREA will help us to find the best policy solutions to reach this goal,” says Wisdom Ahiataku Togobo, Head of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy, Ghana.

AREA was founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2009 by the World Future Council. The network develops sustainable solutions at regional, national and international level and plays a catalytic role in promoting knowledge transfer and international cooperation.

“African countries now have the opportunity to leap-frog fossil fuel- based energy production by utilising the advanced renewable energy technologies available. If we fail to take decisions immediately on renewable energy production and distribution, we undermine the right of millions of African citizens to develop a better life in the future,” says Ansgar Kiene, Director Africa, World Future Council and AREA Coordinator.

2012 marks the UN Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Every African citizen should have access to sustainable, renewable energy by 2030. AREA is committed to advocating the accelerated implementation of renewable energy solutions as a mandatory condition for the protection of our natural environment, the halting of climate change and the improvement of human health. Access to sustainable energy (electricity and heat) is vital for the achievement of all 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Gifty Baaba Asmah, Daasgift Quality Foundation, Ghana, calls for more people to engage in AREA: “I hope we can make this world a green and environmentally friendly world if we all keep working together in the future. Let us work together to change lives of our people. I believe we can do it together! It is time for us to put things into practice, and to establish and strengthen relationships for positive impact.”

“Africa has long suffered, but the inspiring and passionate words from many AREA members is a stimulus prompting me to believe that change on a large scale is possible. We at AREA can make it happen, through viable and genuine partnerships and through concrete action,” adds Hamadou Tidiane Sy, Founder and Editor, Ouestaf News, Senegal.

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