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EU, France Accused of Hijacking Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

In a resignation letter obtained by Climate Home, the top official of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), Youba Sokona, accused donors of a deliberate strategy to “railroad” Africans into rubber-stamping projects selected by Europeans.

Matters came to a head in Conakry, Guinea, on 4 March, where the board approved 19 projects worth €4.8 billion ($5.2bn). By Sokona’s account, the Europeans present “managed to effectively force through” the list, overriding “a string of reservations” expressed by some African members.

“There was evident contempt for, and abandonment of, the AREI principles,” he wrote.

When launched, the AREI was vaunted as a scheme to bring clean power to the continent, on African terms. But many of the projects chosen by European Commission representatives are neither new, renewable nor owned by Africans.

Sebastian Fuss

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