Global Energy Day Aziz Rabbah Calls for African Renewables Revolution

Rabbah made the remarks in a keynote speech at the Moroccan 2018 Global Energy Day, an annual gathering of public officials, academics, and entrepreneurs in the energy sector. The conference opened today in Rabat with discussions on energy challenges for Morocco and Africa.In his speech, the Moroccan minister mentioned the need for a collaborative African vision to “fully participate in the rapidly changing world of energy and new technologies.” For Rabbah, Morocco and the rest of Africa ought to be full participants in global changes if they are to minimize their overwhelming dependency on other regions. “We may not end our dependence given the context of the world we live in, but we have to reduce our dependence level and count on our own ability to mobilize our own resources.”Africa and Morocco “have been left on the margins of the ongoing digital revolution,” the minister said, referring to the continent’s lagging energy and high-tech sectors. “We consume but we don’t participate; we don’t create enough.”Mastering energy sources is a necessary step towards sustainable and inclusive development. However, the minister noted, Africa is unfortunately the region with the highest number of people without access to energy. And when they do have access, he added, it is of very limited quantity and quality.To bridge the gap between available resources and the demand for energy, the continent must “launch an African industrial revolution.” The revolution would entail investing in human resources by funding research.Referring to the conference’s theme—Building a Citizen Partnership for Affordable and Clean Energy—he concluded: “We need to reclaim social trust between different actors and social classes and rethink our place in the global challenge.”

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