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Can energy access end poverty?

June 13, 2016

On June 15, 2016, an interactive debate, "Will energy access alone end poverty?: A debate with rural leaders, the private sector and scientists" will be held during European Development Days at Tour & Taxis in Brussels, Belgium from 14.15-15.30 in Room D3. The debate will be co-hosted by the Smart Villages Initiative and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

This debate on poverty and energy access is significant given the upcoming revision of the European Consensus on Development: what is the relationship between poverty and energy access? How can we ensure that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will have a significant impact on global poverty? What actions must the EU, the private sector, scientists, and rural leaders take to ensure that no one is left behind?

Over one billion people currently do not have access to electricity, and three billion people are without clean cooking facilities: these are the people who have been left behind. Many are women and young people who also lack access to education, healthcare, and clean water. Global initiatives such as SE4ALL are crucial, but there remains a significant gap between the goal of universal energy access by 2030 and the present rate of progress.

In this debate, we will ask: what is the role of the EU, the private sector, rural leaders, and scientists? What are the priorities, concerns, and aspirations of those living in rural villages in the developing world? Will energy access alone ensure that people around the world have better lives? Can technology transfer transform the lives of the "bottom billion"?

In this interactive, inclusive, and engaging session, participants will discuss and debate development policy and energy with several compelling speakers, including:

  • Ms Eliza Anyangwe, Journalist and Founder,

  • Ms Soma Dutta, Programme Coordinator, Women's Economic Empowerment Energia International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy--Global / India
  • Dr Bernie Jones, Co-leader, Smart Villages Initiative--Global / United Kingdom
  • Mr Martin Saning'o Kariongi Ole Sanago, Director General, Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement (IOPA)--Tanzania
  • Mr David Lecoque, Policy and Business Development Officer, Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE)--Global / Belgium
  • Ms Tri Mumpuni, Executive Director, People Centered Economic and Business Institute (IBEKA)--Indonesia
Further information

Location: Room D3, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C, 1000 Bruxelles

Time: Wednesday June 15, 2016 14.15-15.30

Registration: Please register for the event here.

Please see our page on the European Development Days web site:

The Smart Villages Initiative will also be present throughout European Development Days (15-16 June) with a stand in the EDD Village.

Richard Hayhurst Associates

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