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Only Africa decides its energy future – African Markets

Africa is divided. On the continent there is talk of a clean energy transition, however, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that African countries cannot be forced to follow the unrealistic ideals of the North, for an economy powered exclusively by renewable energy.

Obasanjo Stance

In the midst of a global oil and gas crisis, Africa must take control of its own energy destiny and use its rich resources to benefit its own people.

This is former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s wake-up call. His comments come as the world struggles to find new sources of oil and gas to meet its energy needs after Russia invaded Ukraine.

In this context, Obasanjo argues that African countries cannot be forced to follow the unrealistic ideals of the Global North for an economy powered exclusively by renewable energy. He asserts that this position is unrealistic, while the “developed” world itself accepts the need to use hydrocarbons.

According to Olusegun Obasanjo.

“Like the rest of the world, Africa must pursue energy policies that promote socio-economic development and the sustainable use of hydrocarbons.”

“Africa is the smallest producer of greenhouse gas emissions and needs to lift nearly half a billion citizens out of poverty.”

“Responsible management of our hydrocarbons and investment in our economies are necessary to ensure a just energy transition and sustainable growth for our populations.

The European Union has said it aims to cut Russian oil supplies by 90% by the end of 2022, and the announcement has already sent global energy costs skyrocketing.

Africa is one of the potential new energy sources to replace this supply, with around 61 billion boe (barrel of oil equivalent) discovered in the region over the past 10 years.

Obasanjo’s call for Africa to assert its energy sovereignty comes ahead of the conference, Africa Oil Week (state retreat), to be held in South Africa, where energy companies, investors and governments will gather to negotiate agreements that will shape the future of the continent.

The African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) has also called on member countries and other global institutions to use petroleum as a catalyst for energy security, sustainable development and economic diversification in Africa through collaborations and of partnerships.

Obasanjo and APPO called for an accelerated dialogue on the sustainable development of hydrocarbons and Africa’s role as a supplier of the world’s energy needs.

“There has been a lot of talk in forums like the World Economic Forum in Davos about a just energy transition”.

“However, we must not let Africa have no say.”

“The discussions at AOW will be instrumental in charting a new energy path for Africa. We will decide what is best for us.

Said Olusegun Obasanjo.

The energy transition

Paul Sinclair, vice president of energy and director of government relations at AOW, said Africa is committed to a just and fair transition to renewable energy.

“Critics make the mistake of thinking that Africa has abandoned renewable energy strategies. This is not the case”.

“The energy transition is just that, a transition that is part of Africa’s goal to reach net zero.”

“However, oil and gas are needed for the foreseeable future.”

Sinclair says Obasanjo’s comments must be seen in light of the socio-economic challenges facing many African economies.

Obasanjo was one of Africa’s foremost postcolonial leaders, overseeing Nigeria’s transition to representative democracy. Since leaving government, he has been a prominent statesman, active in shaping geopolitical issues – including energy.

Obasanjo also helped shape the modern Nigerian oil industry, ushering in political reforms that saw the country become an energy superpower on the African continent.

“Creating an African oil industry that benefits Africans requires strong policies and regulations.”

“There are lessons learned that we can apply across the region. I look forward to discussing these opportunities for Africa.

The African continent remains one of the most unexplored places on earth for oil and gas deposits. However, the continued discovery of new energy resources suggests that the continent has plenty of energy below the surface.

According to the United Nations, it is estimated that half a billion Africans live below the poverty line, while at the same time, Africa is only responsible for 3.8% of global CO2 emissions.

Many African countries argue that they should be allowed to exploit their natural resources through low-carbon management strategies, while developing renewable energy sources. This will require countries to develop an energy matrix suitable for growth and progress.

Africa Oil Week and the Green Energy Africa Summit

Africa Oil Week offers four days of pioneering information, ranging from ministerial panels to strategic insights aimed at boosting upstream African investment to benefit the continent.

At the heart of the event are some of the most compelling insights into the upstream strategies of governments across the continent. These vast and varied networking opportunities have resulted in an unprecedented return of delegates year after year.

The AOW is world famous for bringing together the most experienced delegates every year. In 2021, AOW hosted over 30 ministers and heads of government, over 2,000 C-level delegates, representatives and hundreds of SVPs and VPs from Africa, exploration and new ventures – making the event Africa’s most influential energy conference.

As long as Africa Oil Week retains its own identity as a purely hydrocarbon-focused event to champion upstream development, the Green Energy Africa Summit will play its part in creating enabling environments to ensure direct investments are deployed. strangers. in groundbreaking projects that will reduce the energy deficit in Africa.

What do you think of this situation? Should Africa backtrack on the energy transition? We want to know your opinion, do not hesitate to comment and if you liked the article, share and give a “like / like”.

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Image: © 2020 NicoElNino / Alamy Stock Photo

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