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International exchange paves the way for energy access at SESA policy dialogue in Accra


13 Oct 2023


Development Policy
The SESA - Smart Energy Solutions for Africa project, coordinated by ICLEI Europe and funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme, held its second regional event and policy dialogue in Accra (Ghana) from 9 - 13 October. The event, hosted by SESA consortium member the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development, offered insights into the successful implementation of SESA sustainable energy solutions in Accra and Kumasi (Ghana), in addition to highlighting the importance of peer-to-peer exchange. Municipal stakeholders from across Africa, Europe and India were brought together for a policy dialogue, opened by Irchad Razaaly, Ambassador of the European Union to Ghana, to identify barriers, business models, and policy gaps in energy technology solutions.
Maria-Elena Seeman, Public Manager for International Affairs, Partnerships & Urban Innovation, ICLEI Member Alba Iulia (Romania), found the exchange offered an opportunity to see different business models that emphasise a sustainable future:
“The Safisana Ashaiman waste to energy plant [business model] was inspiring in [showing] how a functional public private partnership can impact the sustainable socio-economic development of the local communities, and a good example that could be replicated in European cities.”
For Yogesh Mali, Executive Engineer for ICLEI Member Pune Municipal Corporation (India), representing the UrbanShift project, it was useful to hear how the barriers to implementing second life battery technology are overcome, as they are similar to those faced in Pune. This opportunity for peer-to-peer exchange on renewable energy solutions follows a European exchange, which took place earlier this year in ICLEI Member cities Cascais (Portugal), Barcelona (Spain), and Gothenburg (Sweden).
In addition to the policy dialogue and peer-to-peer exchange, the agenda included a series of workshops on climate financing, business, capacity-building, as well as site visits to launch innovative energy projects in Kumasi. The event was also supported by key partners within the SESA project, including ICLEI Africa, ICLEI Europe, Technical University Berlin (TUB), Smart Innovation Norway, and the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative.
Magdalena Sikorowska, SESA Project Coordinator, ICLEI Europe, underscores the importance of hosting such events:
"Implementing smart energy solutions lies at the nexus of technology, business models, and policy that works at the local and national level. Regional events such as this bring together experts to exchange best practices, identify barriers to implementation and work towards a sustainable energy future."
The SESA project aims to provide energy access technologies and business models for sustainable development in Africa. The SESA capacity building programme continues to add new courses. The next webinar on ‘Rural Internet Access: Solving the Challenge’ will be held online on 24 October, 15:00 – 16:30 CEST.
Find more information on the SESA Project here.
About SESA - SESA - Smart Energy Solutions for Africa is a collaborative project between the European Union and nine African countries (Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Nigeria) that aims at providing energy access technologies and business models that are easily replicable and generate local opportunities for economic development and social cohesion in Africa.  
Through several local living labs, the project will facilitate the co-development of scalable and replicable energy access innovations, to be tested, validated, and later replicated throughout the African continent. These solutions will include decentralised renewables (solar photovoltaics), innovative energy storage systems including the use of second-life electric vehicle batteries, smart microgrids, waste-to-energy systems (biomass to biogas), climate-proofing, resilience and adaptation, and rural internet access.
About ICLEI Europe - ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125 countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. ICLEI Europe provides members in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and West Asia with a voice on European and international stages, a platform to connect with peers, and tools to drive positive environmental, economic and social change. ICLEI Europe works closely with an extended network of local and regional governments and partners on a broad range of topics.
Press contact:
Valeria Eirin                            
Senior Officer, Media & Outreach                
ICLEI Europe                            
Tel: +49 761 368920   


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