Kathmandu workshop shapes Energy and Economic Growth research agenda
Senior policymakers, researchers and energy stakeholders gathered in Kathmandu last week to talk through the energy-related challenges and opportunities facing South Asia. The region remains mired in widespread energy poverty and pervasive power cuts that constrain productivity and leave households in the dark.
Attended by more than 50 delegates from countries incluing: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, the high-level workshop was part of a new, pioneering global research programme, Energy and Economic Growth (EEG). The five-year programme aims to fill the evidence gap around energy and economic growth in South Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries.
Dr. Bindu Lohani, former Vice President of the Asian Development Bank, opened the event with a call to action: “Intuitively, we all know that energy is linked to economic growth. But when you make policy, we want to know the exact link… EEG could generate tremendous knowledge in these areas.” He challenged policymakers to take advantage of the opportunity to provide inputs into EEG’s research agenda.
Keynote speeches were delivered by renowned policy makers and academics: Mr. Suman Prasad Sharma, former Secretary to Nepal’s Ministry of Energy; Catherine Wolfram, Research Director for EEG and Director of Energy at the Centre for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley; and Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok.
Leading public and private sector figures participated in three panel discussions on energy access and supply, regional energy cooperation, and the enabling environment for a well-functioning energy sector. Topics discussed ranged from the availability and quality of data to climate change, gender, regional coordination and policy and institutional reform.
EEG is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and managed by Oxford Policy Management in partnership with the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley. This workshop follows an earlier one held in Dar es Salaam for East African countries.
These workshops, combined with series of ‘State of Knowledge’ papers on energy and development, will help define the research agenda for EEG going forward. To keep up-to-date with the programme’s activities, please complete the EEG updates sign-up form.