Conversation Series

Unpacking the Just Energy Transition: A Development Priority for Africa

TOKYO: On 25 August 2023, UNU will host a conversation with Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP.

On 25 August 2023, UNU will host “Unpacking the Just Energy Transition: A Development Priority for Africa”, a conversation with Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This event starts at 18:30 in the 2F Reception Hall at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. 

Despite efforts over the last decade, the transition to sustainable energy on the African continent has made little progress due to a variety of challenges, including poverty. Africa's just energy transformation is no longer an option; it is an urgent requirement. To accelerate this transition, African governments and their development partners must step up and offer the appropriate incentives alongside a supportive regulatory ecosystem.  

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has pledged to cooperate with governments and local communities to enhance access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million Africans under its Climate Promise. There is also an urgent need to raise collective ambitions and commit to moving far faster to address Africa's energy insecurity to ensure a fair and just transition to clean energy and improve the quality of life for residents across the continent. 

Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa will join UNU Rector Tshilidzi Marwala to discuss action and future possibilities for an equitable energy transition in Africa, which is critical for improving people's health, supporting social stability and raising labour market productivity on the continent. 

The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation; you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all event attendees are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks while exchanging ideas and making new contacts. 

Please note that this event will be in English. Advance registration (by 24 August) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

Please also note that entry into the venue will not be allowed after 18:45. Additionally, please be prepared to present identification at check-in.

About the speaker 

Ahunna Eziakonwa is the Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP, at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General. She leads over 4000 staff implementing a US$1.2 billion annual development programme in 46 African countries. She is deeply passionate about equality, inclusion, reshaping narratives on Africa, mobilizing for youth entrepreneurs and the dignity of Africa’s people. Her vision “Africa’s Promise: The UNDP Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa” employs an opportunity lens to development practice in Africa. She established the Africa Influencers for Development (AI4D) to ensure that Africa’s money works for Africa’s development; the Africa Young Women Leaders Initiative; Africa Innovates Magazine; and the Africa Borderlands Centre.  

She leads UNDP Africa socioeconomic response and recovery from COVID-19 and co-chairs the UN Africa Regional Collaborative Platform which oversees implementation of the Secretary General’s regional UN reform. She spent 10 years as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Uganda and Lesotho. As Chief (Africa) at UN OCHA, she led response to natural disasters, emergencies and transitions to recovery. Before the UN, she worked for “Initiatives of Change” serving as international coordinator of its “Creators of Peace – Women’s Initiative”.

She is an alumnus of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Executive Programme and has a bachelor's degree in education from University of Benin, Nigeria. 

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