Mr. Alfonso Bonilla Blanco, Uruguayan national took office as the Executive Secretary of OLADE for the period 2017-2019. The event took place on January 23, 2017, at the “Capilla del Hombre” (O Guayasamin Museum) in Quito, Ecuador.
Mr. Blanco Bonilla has a relevant career in the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. He was appointed as the 14th Executive Secretary by the Meeting of Energy Ministers of the Region, in a framework of over 44-year history of the organization. He will replace Dr. Fernando César Ferreira, who served as Executive Secretary during the 2014-2017 period.
The main board of the Ceremony was composed of the authorities of the energy sector of Ecuador such as the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mr. José Medardo Cadena, the Vice Minister of Hydrocarbons, Mrs. Rocío Pesantes, who was invited as Witness of Honor, and the Ambassador of the Republic East of Uruguay, Mrs. Lilian Silveira Zulma Faraco. The meeting was also attended by important personalities of the diplomatic corps of various countries.
In his farewell speech, Dr. Fernando Ferreira noted the progress carried out by the Organization during his term and described relevant moments in his experience as OLADE’s Secretary. He also stressed the issue of the gap in energy supply and distribution among Latin America and the Caribbean countries. He also said he implemented 187 projects related to different areas of the energy sector during his tenure.
The new Secretary of OLADE began his speech with words of gratitude to his family, the Government of Uruguay and Dr. Fernando César Ferreira for his work within the Organization and highlighted the great contribution his management has represented for the countries of the region. “All of our countries must thank Dr. Ferreira for his contribution to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean based on his recognized professionalism and capabilities,” he said.
Within its Management Plan Triennial, Mr. Blanco Bonilla stressed its interest in consolidating OLADE as the main technical reference organization in Latin America and the Caribbean on issues related to energy. It is important to stress that this should be carried out in a joint effort towards the support and technical assistance to its member countries to ensure supply and provide reliable, secure, sustainable and economically convenient conditions of energy; encouraging, supporting and coordinating processes aimed at the complementarity and regional energy integration. “OLADE should play an important role as a technical body of the sector, composed of the Ministries of Energy of the member countries.”
After analyzing the current situation and potentialities of the region in terms of renewable energy, untapped energy and work capacity, Mr. Blanco Bonilla noted the importance of project funding to develop these energy potentialities: “To look for ways to solve, support and articulate mechanisms to fund investment projects, that allow universal access is a major challenge for the short and medium term. OLADE must work and lead many of these processes generating synergies with other regional organizations and coordinating processes with multilateral credit banks, “ he said.
Mr. Blanco Bonilla made reference to the gap between the countries regarding access to modern energy sources in Latin America and the Caribbean, and also noted that this gap also occurs at the level of the sector’s information and informed about OLADE’s role facing this problem. “OLADE’s role in this regard is key to reducing the gaps between countries, promoting the processes of South-South cooperation and projecting -on a global basis- an information system that supports regional development processes.”
After Mr. Blaco’s speech the Vice Minister of Hydrocarbons, Rocío Pesantes addressed some words to the audience. In her speech, she emphasized on the target of the government of Ecuador to continue working on changing the energy matrix. “Our responsibility is to continue working towards new environmentally friendly alternative energy generation. We are focused on the transformation of the energy matrix. ”
Both Dr. Ferreira as well as the Vice Minister Pesantes included in their speeches sincere congratulations to the new Secretary and reiterated their support and wishes in fulfilling the objectives of his administration.
Secretary Blanco Bonilla was elected last November 25, 2016, during the XLVI Meeting of Ministers of OLADE; an event convened once a year by the organization in which its member countries get together to discuss the most relevant issues in the energy field for the Latin American and Caribbean region.
OLADE is an intergovernmental body of public nature, created on November 2, 1973, through the signing the Lima Agreement.
It is a cooperation, coordination and advisory entity with legal personality, whose main purpose is the integration, protection, conservation, rational utilization, marketing and protection of energy resources in the Region.
Tribute to former Secretaries of OLADE
The Taking Office Ceremony of the Executive Secretary of OLADE for the period 2017-2019 began with a video as a tribute to the former secretaries, presenting their pictures, country of origin and date of the administration of the 13 secretaries of OLADE. The video continued with a photographic tribute to the outgoing Executive Secretary Dr. Fernando Ferreira including the photo of his inauguration in 2014. Finally, there were displayed photos of the current secretary, followed by a welcome text on the screen that read: “OLADE gives the warmest welcome the elected Executive Secretary, Mr. Alfonso Blanco Bonilla, and we wish him the best in his administration that starts today.”