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Integrating civil, scientific and stakeholder knowledge towards African sustainable energy policy

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Working with Africa towards a sustainable future

A unique collaboration between Europe and Africa aims to advance the sustainability agenda by encouraging interaction between the research community and non-governmental organisations.

Energy

Developed countries have a responsibility to help developing countries limit their environmental impact, which is heavily dependent upon energy production and consumption. The EU in particular has realised the need to engage in this type of activity beyond its borders. The 'Integrating civil, scientific and stakeholder knowledge towards African sustainable energy policy' (Sustainergynet) project targeted Africa with the aid of EU funding. More specifically, the objective was to enhance the involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs), also known as non-governmental organisations, in the policymaking process for energy. The first task was to gauge the current level of CSO participation. This was accomplished by interviewing experts on the ground as well as by researching relevant literature. Stakeholders were also invited to a workshop to initiate an open dialogue. The result is a set of summary documents prepared by the Sustainergynet team. Another key element of the project is the organisation of a conference to discuss initial recommendations and build momentum. Arrangements are also being made for an e-conference to boost participation. In order to spread the word, a dedicated website has been developed and a multilingual newsletter is distributed regularly. Moving forward, the hope is to break down barriers to CSO involvement and do a better job of exploiting relevant sustainability research results.

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