World Bank President, UN SG To Co-chair SE4ALL Advisory Board

L - R World Bank President Kim, SG Ban and new SRSG Yumkella

VENTURES AFRICA – Following the announcement that Sierra Leonean born UNIDO Director General, Kandeh Yumkella will serve as Special Representative of the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy For All Initiative, Mr. Ban Ki-moon announced two additional appointments.

“I have invited World Bank President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, to serve with me as co-chair of the SE4ALL newly formed Advisory Board. As co-chair, Dr. Kim will offer strategic guidance to the work of the initiative,” said Secretary General Ban.

UN observers say this is not only unique but the first time a World Bank President and a UN Secretary General will come together to co-chair a High Level group underscoring the importance of the initiative and the new approach and innovative platform for public policy envisaged moving forward.

Dr. Kim said he was honored to serve the Secretary General’s invitation to co-chair Sustainable Energy for All new Advisory Board in his response to Mr. Ban’s announcement. “The World Bank Group will step up its actions in partnership with governments, the private sector and civil society, mobilizing its financing, policy expertise and convening power to achieve these goals,” noted Dr. Kim as he congratulated Mr. Ban on establishing the initiative. Additional members from the private sector, civil society and governments around the world will soon be named to the SE4All’s advisory board.

Mr. Ban also announced that Charles Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America also accepted his appointment to lead the Initiative’s Executive Committee with the responsibility of providing operational oversight for the work of the Chief Executive Officer who will assume full responsibilities for the planning and implementation of the initiative to achieve its ambitious but achievable objectives.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Yumkella, President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank and Charles Holliday of Bank of America have all agreed to serve in leadership positions for this important initiative. Sustainable development is a top priority for both the United Nations and the World Bank, and I welcome our close collaboration. Successful multi-stakeholder partnerships like these are the way of the future in meeting our shared global challenges,” underscored Mr. Ban.

“The private sector” said Mr. Holliday, “is a crucial partner in this initiative and is fully ready to participate in this new platform and build on the tremendous results achieved to date.”

The summit also saw the following significant new commitments. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with a commitment of $5 billion in 5 years to SE4ALL related work in the Latin American and Caribbean region reflecting IDB’s leading role in the region’s energy sector.

In Africa, Philips committed to installing 100 “Light Centres” across rural Africa. These centres, which are the size of a small soccer field and lit using a new generation of highly efficient solar powered LED lighting, will ‘extend the day’ in areas previously without electricity, thereby providing new opportunities for African communities.

The World Economic Forum Green Growth Action Alliance has announced the creation of Large End User Renewables Purchasing Group. The Green Growth Action Alliance, in close coordination with Sustainable Energy for All, will help secure financing by facilitating the pooling of funds or renewable energy purchases. This will provide confidence to lenders and enable long-term power purchase contracts with developers.

Furthermore, Sustainable Endowments Institute Billion Dollar Green Challenge is encouraging universities and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of $1 billion in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. Participating institutions will reduce operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating regenerating funds for future projects.

The world’s largest producer of solar panels, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd., has committed to donating up to 300 kilowatts of solar panels to the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, to help the hospital reduce its dependence on expensive diesel generators and improve access to electricity.