The Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment, Aziz Rabbah, took part Thursday in Paris, at the Ministerial Conference of the International Energy Agency (IEA), held under the theme “Building the future of energy”.
This conference brings together, every two years, the energy ministers of the IEA member countries as well as the associated countries, including Morocco, and the representatives of some thirty major international energy companies.
Morocco is the first non-OECD country to join the IEA in 2016. Since then, both parties have done a “very good job,” said Rabbah, who leads a delegation comprising officials from his department and representatives of the organization of National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), the National Office of Water and Electricity (ONEE) and the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE).
The minister stressed the importance of this conference especially as its debates cover many topics related to the African continent, where more than 600 million people do not have access to electricity. Africa is a “huge potential” for energy investment, he noted in this regard.
“Africa today is of interest to the international debate and the different actors,” said Rabbah, emphasizing the necessary involvement of partners able to create added value while taking into account the “local content” namely the development of African enterprise, subcontracting at the continental level, the development of areas hosting major African energy projects and employment in the continent.
The minister also stressed that the Moroccan experience in the energy field was highlighted during this conference including the efforts that have allowed the Kingdom, in the space of 20 years, to switch from an electrification rate from 20% to 99% today, noting that Moroccan know-how in the field of renewable energies has been repeatedly emphasized during the debates.
The interventions also focused on the issue of encouraging investment in energy and electrification in Africa while ensuring affordable access for all citizens. Discussions also touch on the clean energy transition and climate change, among others, said Rabbah.
For his part, Amani Abu Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, Digitization and Tourism of the African Union, said in a similar statement that the two morning sessions of this two-day conference focused on ways to promote the role of women as entrepreneurs in the energy field.
Important ideas were formulated at the meetings, she said, adding that the role of young people was also highlighted through the testimony of two women who presented their experiences in the use of technology to design solutions that guarantee access to energy in remote areas.
The work of this ministerial conference of the International Energy Organization is divided into working sessions around themes on challenges and opportunities for Africa, energy prospects in Africa and policies and programs for sustainable energy development.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Energy, Mines and the Environment took part in the first meeting of the High Level World Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency (The High-level Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency), held at the headquarters of the IEA in Paris. Morocco is a member of this Commission created last June at the initiative of the International Energy Agency.
On this occasion, Rabbah commended the efforts of the Commission, with the support of the IEA, to accelerate progress on energy efficiency.