EU to back West African energy security

Oct. 29, 2012 at 8:35 AM

BRUSSELS, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The European Union's development commissioner said Ghana is a valued partner for the promotion of sustainable energy solutions in Africa.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs is to leave Tuesday for a visit to Ghana to promote West African energy security. He said the European Union was mobilizing financial support to the region to back the United Nations' Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

"One of my priorities (of the visit) is to promote the development of sustainable energy in Africa," Piebalgs said in a statement. "Ghana is one of our most committed partners."

Ghana, through a European development fund, receives $588 million in financial support through 2013. The European Union has invested $582 million in energy programs in West Africa in the last five years.

Piebalgs' office stated that 70 percent of the population in West Africa doesn't have access to modern electricity. Power supplies are inadequate regionally and there isn't enough energy available to drive economic growth.

"We will ... support West Africa, firmly in line with the EU's objective to provide access to energy to 500 million people in developing countries by 2030," Piebalgs said.

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