The African Energy Chamber says it has taken note of recent initiatives taken by the International Energy Agency to support Africa’s energy transition, saluting the leadership of the IEA on the issue.
According to AEC, such conversations echo its recent statement on African Lives Matter, questioning the OECD and IEA’s recent call to phase out fossil fuels.
“While the conversation of Africa’s energy transition continues, the Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty.
“Unfortunately, the Africa Ministerial Roundtable organised this week has sidelined key stakeholders and actors within Africa’s energy sector, preventing its ability to be truly inclusive and impactful on the ground. Africa’s energy transition will not be possible without the inclusion, and participation of, the continent’s petroleum and gas ministries and companies,” a statement by the organisation said.
The AEC said it strongly believed that key institutions like the African Petroleum Producers Organization, led by its Secretary General, Dr. Farouk Ibrahim, needed to be part of the dialogue, along with representatives of the petroleum ministries of oil-producing countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial, Libya, Congo or Gabon and key national oil companies such as Sonatrach, GEPetrol, Gabon Oil, NNPC or Sonangol.
“Energy poverty is as real as climate change, and the global debate on Africa’s energy transition tends to forget that hundreds of millions of African have no access to energy and still rely on firewood for cooking. Their needs must be at the center of the energy transition debate, which should not be made at the expense of any particular source of energy,” stated Nj Ayuk, AEC Executive Chairman.
He added, “This generation of Africans are not tickled by foreign aid and handouts that resulted in poor governance and mismanagement. Jobs, sustainable power and gas that drives development, along strong market-driven economies, are what Africans want. In order to accomplish a true African energy transition, petroleum producing countries, their National Oil Companies, civil society, African entrepreneurs and independent producing companies need to have a seat at the table.”
The AEC pointed out that it remained concerned that global conversations on Africa’s energy transition would result in a new foreign aid narrative by which Western stakeholders and investors would “blindly” push a renewable energy agenda at the expense of “proper private sector-led development supporting jobs and entrepreneurship.”
While the AEC said it supported diversified energy mixes and wished to see cleaner energy developments across Africa, it noted that solar and wind projects were still relying on global value chains which restrain their ability to support local content development.
As a result, most solar and wind projects on the continent continue to have local content participation of less than 50 per cent.
“Such issues need to be at the core of the energy transition debate so Africa’s cleaner future does not serve only the interests of big multinational corporations but also translates into private sector development and opportunities in Africa. It is time to put the voices of African businesses at the center of the debate,” it explained.
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