By Chioma Iruke
Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (AEC), NJ Ayuk has assured Africans of an impartial energy transmission within the continent.
The Chairman who spoke at the opening ceremony of the African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 which held at multiple venues at the V&A Waterfront, South Africa, noted that despite the transition, Africa is not going to give up her natural resources, instead Africa’s renewable energy resources would be leveraged to drive socio-economic growth and address energy poverty.
“Cape Town, South Africa, has always been the welcoming home of the African energy industry. They said it was not possible, and it could not be done in Africa, that it was not the right time to meet together and talk about the issues we face as Africans. At the end of the day, it is about people, and this is why we are hosting the event in Cape Town.
“We are going to have an energy transition, there is no question about that, but it has to be just, and we are not going to apologize for that. While some people believe we should give up our natural resources, at this time, Africa is going to be the voice of humanity. As we hold various dialogues in Cape Town, it is time for us to stand together. We have to take some responsibility to do better, drive better,” Ayuk stated.
Ayuk further highlighted that the “AEW 2021 firmly believes in the value of multi-sector integration, recognizing that every energy resource on the African continent has a role to play in driving socio-economic growth and alleviating energy poverty. By emphasizing African voices in global energy dialogue and promoting the role that Africa’s indigenous companies will play in driving development, AEW 2021 has placed Africa at the centre of the discussion.”
Also speaking at the event, Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers Association (APPO), urged world leaders to respect the continent’s decision on fossil fuels, insinuating that calls from developed countries for Africa to abandon fossil fuels were selfish, as knowledge of climate change was known in the 1900.
“We at APPO believe that Africa’s position in fossil fuels should be respected. As early as the 1900’s, we knew that emissions from fossil fuels were affecting the climate, but concerns were ignored and suppressed by industrialized nations who needed the fossil fuels. A century later, when these countries have succeeded in developing, people suddenly remembered that these fossil fuels are bad.
“While not denying the changing climate and Africa’s contribution, why must we abandon fossil fuel resources and fail to make use of these resources like the developed nations already have? Since the world seems to be united in tackling the menace of climate change, it is only fair that the world works with the African continent, especially oil and gas, to enhance fossil fuels in a practical manner to make fossil fuels environmentally friendly,” he said.
Also speaking at the opening address of AEW 2021 are African Ministers including; H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons, Republic of the Congo; H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea; Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy, Namibia.
Others are H.E. Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energies, Niger; H.E. Ernesto Max Elias Tonela, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mozambique; H.E. Diamantino Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Angola; H.E. Puot Kang Chol, Minister of Petroleum, South Sudan; H.E. Mohamed Oun, Minister of Oil and Gas, Libya; and Hon. Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy, Ghana as well as Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director & CEO, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria.