UN Seeks Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Energy

UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna, Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev/UNIDO
UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna, Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev/UNIDO


Anthony A.K. Kamara Jnr. | The AfricaPaper


PHILADELPHIA, PA – Representatives from the United Nations, the U.S Department of State, the private sector, academia and development partners will converge in Philadelphia on Monday, Dec. 10, to participate in a high–level panel discussion seeking solutions to the “Challenges of Implementing Sustainable Energy for All at the Global and Local Levels.”

Organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF), the symposium will be held at the Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center located in the historic section of the “City of Brotherly Love.” The United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia in Sept. 17, 1787.


Dr. George Assaf, UNIDO Rep. in New York Photo: UNIDO

“The event is unique in that it seeks to effectively disseminate experiences and lessons learned at the global level to inform regional and local level implementation,” said Dr. George Assaf, UNIDO Director and Representative to the United Nations in New York who will be moderating the symposium. “It is essential to identify success stories at the local level, such as those from the U.S. and other countries, which have potential relevance across regions and states, as well as internationally.”

Energy experts will discuss and engage citizens at the local level to discuss innovative ways to meet the world’s growing demand for sustainable energy access at a time when reports suggest that one in five people worldwide lack access to electricity.

Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, 80 percent of the continent’s population continues to use traditional biomass and only 42 percent have access to electricity. The situation is even worse for Sub-Saharan Africa where only 31 percent have access to energy; the lowest rate of any region in the world as reports suggest. Lack of adequate, accessible and affordable energy does not promote economic growth and poses a challenge in satisfying basic human needs.

Energy advocates are convinced that social and economic development is only possible when access to modern and clean energy services is made available to the billions of people who continue to suffer from energy poverty.

SE4ALL & Purpose

Launched in 2011 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Sustainable Energy Access for ALL (SE4ALL) initiative seeks to bring governments, the private and public sectors and civil society in a meaningful partnership in an effort to achieve the three interrelated global targets of universal energy access, improving energy efficiency and growing the share of renewable energy – all by 2030.


On her organization’s collaboration with UNIDO, SEF’s President, Jennifer Hopkins, stated that their organization is “very excited to be partnering with the United Nations and sharing the lessons we have learned more broadly over the last decade in translating the broad vision for the Sustainable Energy Fund into actual increases in energy efficiency and renewable energy.” She further noted that she looks forward to hearing from others and their experiences in implement the Sustainable Energy for All agenda.


The UN Industrial Development Organization is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and

environmental sustainability. Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) is a private nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization focused on reducing financial, educational and regulatory barriers to a sustainable energy future.

Anthony A.K. Kamara Jnr will continue coverage of the event for our readers.

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