The EU is committed to supporting the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7 in Africa, aiming to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Africa-EU Energy Partnership
The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) is a long-term framework for strategic dialogue between the EU and the African continent, aimed at sharing knowledge, setting common political priorities and developing joint programmes on key energy issues of interest to Europe and Africa. It is one of the partnerships adopted under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), signed by 80 African and European Heads of State and Government at the 2007 Lisbon Summit.
The overall objective of the AEEP is to improve access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy for both continents, with a special focus on increasing investment in energy infrastructure in Africa.
The commitment to the partnership was renewed by both the EU and the African Union during the 6th EU-AU Summit in Brussels on 17-18 February 2022, where an investment package of approximately €150 billion was announced to support the continents’ common ambitions for Agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063.
The investment package is part of the Commission’s Global Gateway strategy to support investments in sustainable infrastructure worldwide. Through Global Gateway, the EU supports a number of flagship projects in Africa, including in the energy sector.
The Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative
In the context of the 6th EU-AU Summit, the EU also proposed a new Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative within the Global Gateway Investment package. It will support large-scale sustainable electrification programmes on the African continent with the goal of transforming the prospects of African people and helping the economy to grow, by addressing three priorities:
• increasing the number of African people, businesses and industries having access to affordable, modern and sustainable energy services
• support investments in renewable energy generation
• promote energy efficiency
By 2030, the EU-Africa Green Energy Initiative aims to provide at least 100 million people with access to electricity and €3.4 billion in EU grants will be delivered through Team Europe to support renewable energy, energy efficiency, the just transition and the greening of local value chains. Part of this will be used to leverage private sector investments via guarantees and blending under the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFDS+).
The initiative also proposes to promote new opportunities for cooperation on clean hydrogen production in Africa through four modes of cooperation: research, regulation, investments and trade
Other support actions
One of the most effective ways to support the transformative path toward sustainable, affordable and accessible energy in Europe and in Africa is the promotion of joint research and innovation efforts in renewable energy and energy efficiency. To reach this objective, the European Commission is supporting the LEAP-RE project .
The European Commission, EU countries and the EU financial institutions also support the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI). It contributes to the Africa-owned and led initiative, Africa Renewable Energy Initiative which was launched at COP21 in Paris 2015. It aims at harnessing Africa's abundant renewable energy resources to support their development strategies and leapfrog towards low-carbon economic development.
Africa-Europe High Level Platform on Sustainable Energy Investments
The Africa–Europe High Level SEI Platform was launched in 2018 at the African Investment Forum in Johannesburg, serving as a “Task Force Energy” under the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs.
It brings together decision-makers from the 2 continents, from the public and the private sectors and from academia, to discuss barriers and propose recommendations for investments in sustainable energy to spur growth, prosperity and employment in Africa.
The SEI Platform produced a report in 2020 with recommendations on how to boost sustainable energy investments between Africa and Europe.
EU- South Africa cooperation
The EU and South Africa have a strategic partnership since 2006. The partnership is broad, comprehensive and dominated by mutual political, trade and development interests, including sustainable energy and climate change. Both sides are working together on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The EU, together with Germany, France, the UK and the US, signed an International Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) with South Africa on 2 November 2021. Under the JETP, they will provide financing of more than €3 billion to support's South Africa’s climate commitments.
In addition, to support policy reforms, a green recovery, and unlock green investments in South Africa, the EU launched a €280 million Just and Green Recovery Team Europe Initiative for South Africa on 27 January 2023, under Global Gateway.
- Factsheet: EU-Africa: Global Gateway Investment Package - Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative (November 2022)
- Communication on new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs (COM(2018)643 final)
- Factsheet: Strengthening the EU's partnership with Africa (State of the Union 2018)
- Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP)
- Sub-Saharan Africa (DG INTPA)
- EU in South Africa (European External Action Service)
- Global Gateway Investment Package
- PRE-LEAP-RE project