Promoting Sustainable Energy for All in Zimbabwe

September 8, 2015

Hivos Southern Africa Hub, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development in Zimbabwe, promoted the uptake on renewable energy during the Zimbabwe Agriculture Show held August 24 to 29.

Hivos works collaboratively with the Ministry to promote renewable energy and convened a number of its civil society partners – including Oxfam, Practical Action, Zimbabwe Energy Council, SNV and ZERO – to advance SE4All at the show.

Hivos and the Ministry of Energy and Power Development co-created an exhibition space themed ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ to bring together governments, business and civil society to make sustainable energy for all a reality by 2030.

“We believe that Zimbabwe should adopt more renewable energy because it has an abundance of resources to enable such a scenario. Our collaboration with government is critical in influencing policymakers,” said Reginald Mapfumo, Hivos’ Green Projects Manager.

He added that the exhibition was an important way to influence public perception about the adoption of new technologies that are key to promoting SE4ALL.

Nearly one person in five on the planet still lacks access to electricity. More than twice that number, almost three billion people, rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. This is a major barrier to eradicating poverty and building shared prosperity.

“Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity, and an environment that allows the world to thrive,” said UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

Sustainable energy is also about new opportunities. It enables businesses to grow, generates jobs and creates new markets.

From job creation to economic development, from security concerns to the full empowerment of women, energy lies at the heart of all countries’ core interests.

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership between governments, the private sector, and civil society. Launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2011, it has three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030:

1. Ensure universal access to modern energy services.
2. Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
3. Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

These three objectives, each one important in its own right, reinforce each other in important ways. For example, affordable renewable energy technologies bring modern energy services to rural communities where extension of the conventional power grid is prohibitively expensive and impractical.

Bolstering energy efficiency can provide substantial cost savings to governments, businesses and households, while freeing up power for other more productive uses. Achieving the three objectives together will maximise development benefits and help stabilise climate change over the long run.