April 24, 2019
Name of Meeting: Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP) the 2nd JICA-USAID Partnership Seminar
Date: April 24th
Sponsors: JICA, USAID, METI
Location: JICA Headquarter, Tokyo, Japan
Mr. Matthew Rees, Deputy Coordinator of Power Africa, USAID
Mr. Onishi Satoshi, Special Assistant to Director-General for Trade Policy Planning Office, METI
Mr. Hiroto Kamiishi, Group Director for Energy and Mining, Public Policy Department JICA
Mr. Eiji Wakamatsu, Senior Deputy Director for Energy and Mining of Energy and Mining Group Team 2 JICA
On the margins of the fourth Japan-US Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP) meeting, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) co-hosted a seminar promoting energy development in sub-Saharan Africa. Hosted at JICA headquarters, the April 24th seminar was attended by more than 40 people from the Japanese private sector.
The governments of Japan and the US launched JUSEP on November 6th, 2017 for the purpose of promoting cooperation to strengthen energy security and promoting energy access, especially in Indo-Pacific region and sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa's electrification rate remains the lowest in the world at 44%. While the electrification rate is projected to improve to 61% by 2030, it is expected that 600 million people will not have access to electricity. Recognizing that the private sector is key to increasing access and the rate of electrification, the governments of Japan and the US are working together to promote industry engagement. The seminar highlighted Power Africa, a US government initiative led by USAID which aims to bring together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa now is the world's largest partnership for development, with 174 public and private partners who have committed $56 billion to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.
In his opening speech, Mr. Satoshi Onishi, Director at the Trade Policy Bureau of METI, mentioned the importance of JUSEP to both countries as well as for the Indo-Pacific region. Mr. Eiji Wakamatsu, Senior Deputy Director for JICA's Energy and Mining Group briefed the audience about JICA's efforts to increase energy access and promote renewable energy in Africa in the lead up to the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) VII in Yokohama (TICAD 7).
Following these explanations from METI and JICA, Mr. Matt Rees, Power Africa Deputy Coordinator, presented on ways that Power Africa can assist Japanese private companies to invest in Africa's energy sector. Mr. Rees explained the features of the Power Africa Toolbox and its advantages to Japanese private companies, including USAID's efforts to increase capacity and create new connections in Africa through capacity building, financing, information resources, transaction assistance, and policy and regulatory reform. After the presentations, fruitful discussions were shared between Mr. Rees and the participants from private companies.