Call for abstracts: EU-Africa Partnership for Energy Access and a Green Transition


The Africa Portal is pleased to announce the launch of a thematic series titled “Partnership for a Green Transition and Energy Access: Strategic priorities for European Union-Africa”, funded by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Regional Programme on Energy Security and Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We invite researchers to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words related to the theme EU-Africa Partnership for Energy Access and a Green Transition. A panel of experts will select six abstracts and invite authors to develop these into policy briefs (length: 2300 words). The panel will evaluate the policy briefs and a final selection of the four best briefings will be published on the Africa Portal.

A monetary token will be awarded to the authors of the six initially selected publications.

Deadline for abstract submission: Friday, 22 May 2020 (see guidelines for submission below).


The United Nations Agenda 2030 and its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect a growing global consensus that human prosperity is intrinsically linked to the health of natural systems, with specific SDGs targeted at terrestrial and marine ecosystems, as well as addressing climate change. At the same time, the world is transitioning rapidly towards a new climate economy wherein social, technological and governance innovations that support green, climate resilient economies contributes not only to improved, more sustainable livelihoods, but also holds economic and geostrategic advantages for leading regions and states. These imperatives are evident in European instruments that address its strategic approach to industrial, environmental, and international cooperation policies.

The new European Consensus on Development, adopted in 2017, is a blueprint that aligns the Union´s development policy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Environment and climate change are prominently integrated across the five pillars of this new policy framework (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership) and are the focus of the “Planet” pillar.

The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan is designed around the recognition that scaling up the circular economy from front-runners to the mainstream economic players will make a decisive contribution to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and decoupling economic growth from resource use, while ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the EU and leaving no one behind. Critically, the Action Plan emphasises that “the EU can only succeed if its efforts drive also the global transition to a just, climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy”. Similarly, the EU’s Green New Deal identifies tackling climate and environmental-related challenges as the current generation’s defining task. Global partnerships are again emphasised as central to the EU’s strategic approach and leadership on the green economy and efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The EU-Africa Summit, scheduled for October 2020, provides a key opportunity to reframe the political, social and economic partnership between the EU and Africa. Indeed, the European Commission’s communication on the Green New Deal, released in December 2020, explicitly states that the Comprehensive Strategy with Africa, and the 2020 Summit between the African Union and the EU, should make climate and environmental key strands in relations between the two continents. The report highlights that the Africa-Europe Alliance for sustainable investment and jobs will seek to unlock Africa’s potential to make rapid progress towards a green and circular economy, including sustainable energy and food systems and smart cities. It further commits the EU to strengthening its engagement with Africa for the wider deployment and trade of sustainable and clean energy, arguing that “renewable energy and energy efficiency…are key to closing the energy access gap in Africa while delivering the required reduction in CO2”.

Finally, co-operation around climate change and enhanced resilience was an important theme in the most recent commission-to-commission meeting between the African Union Commission and the European Commission, convened on 27 February 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the resulting joint communique, the two Commissions underscored the need to work together in the development and implementation of programmes aimed at facilitating the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions, enhancing capacity and development of clean technologies, improving access to climate finance and promoting investments in climate change related projects.


Scholars and researchers are invited to submit abstracts for policy papers on the theme of EU-Africa Partnership for Energy Access and a Green Transition. Authors may address the theme broadly or focus on specific topics (renewable energy financing, climate adaptation, technology transfer, circular economy, etc) appropriate to the theme. This initiative is aimed at promoting broader uptake of African perspectives on the key priorities related to EU-Africa partnership for energy access and green transition and hence submissions that reflect African scholarship and/or African perspectives in the EU-Africa partnership would be prioritised by the selection panel.

Please note the key dates of the process below.

  • Submission of extracts: Friday, 22 May 2020
  • Notification of abstract acceptance and invitation to submit policy brief: Friday, 29 May 2020
  • Submission of policy briefs: Friday, 3 July 2020
  • Publication of policy briefs: August 2020

Guidelines for submission

The applicant is required to submit: 1) an abstract, 2) a short CV, 3) evidence of written work.

The length of the abstract should not exceed 500 words. It should be written in English and submitted via email to The subject line of the email should read: ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: EU-Africa.

The abstract must contain the following elements:

  • The working title of the policy brief
  • A clear description of the topic of the policy brief
  • The aim of the policy brief
  • At least 3 potential policy recommendations based on the briefing concept

It is necessary to provide a 2-page CV that includes the following:

  • Name and surname of the author
  • Organisation/institution and contact details (address, phone, e-mail) of the author
  • A list of the author’s most relevant recent publications and/or projects

Please also submit two samples of recent written work where the applicant was the sole or lead author.

For enquiries, contact:
Alex Benkenstein
Programme Head, Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme, SAIIA

For more information and to apply visit site here