03 July 2015, Lagos – The Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has restated his commitment to the African Energy Leaders Group as it strives to encourage initiatives that will address energy challenges in Africa.
Elumelu, who spoke in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire at the meeting of the AELG, also called on African economic and political leaders to increase investments and intensify efforts aimed at ending “energy poverty” on the continent.
“Providing access to electricity for schools, hospitals, businesses and industries is the single most impactful intervention that can be made to transform the continent,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Heirs Holdings.
He added that the provision of access to electricity had tremendous implications for job creation, health, food security, education, technological advancement and overall economic development.
Inaugurated during the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the AELG brings together political and business leaders at the highest level to drive the reforms and investment needed to end energy poverty and to ensure sustainable fuel supplies on the continent.
To ensure that the AELG achieved its objectives, Elumelu, who is a founding partner and Co-chair of the group, announced a financial commitment to the group at the meeting.
He was quoted as saying, “I am making a pledge to provide $150,000 over the next three years to support the operations of the AELG secretariat. I want to call on the governments of the member states of the ECOWAS region, and AELG members and partners to also step up with significant multi-year commitments to sustain the organisation.”
Following Elumelu’s lead, pop star, Akon, who also attended the event to promote his Lighting Africa Initiative, pledged $200,000 to support the work of the AELG secretariat.
Other founding partners of the AELG are Ivoirian President, Allasane Ouattara; Ghanaian President, John Mahama; President, African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka; President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; President ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Ouedraogo; and President UEMOA, Cheikhe Hadjibou Soumare.
Providing access for all Africans to reliable, affordable energy services and efficient appliances by 2030 is a key goal of AELG.
Elumelu had been an advocate of the development of the power sector on the continent for year. In 2013, he had committed to investing $2.5bn in the power sector in Africa through President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.