High-Level Industry Stakeholders Discuss African Energy Security in Inaugural AEW 2022 Panel

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  • High-Level Industry Stakeholders Discuss African Energy Security in Inaugural AEW 2022 Panel

Representing the first of many panel discussions set to take place during the 2022 edition of African Energy Week this week, a panel of high-level speakers discussed Africa’s role in global energy security.

African Energy Week (AEW) 2022 got off to an exciting start with opening remarks by a suite of high-level industry stakeholders. Following the opening ceremony, the conference’s first panel discussion explored Africa’s role in global energy security and the rise of oil and gas as a tool in geopolitical leverage.

Moderated by NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, high-level speakers included H.E. Puot Kang Chol, Minister of Petroleum for the Republic of South Sudan, Hon. Frank Fannon, Former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director at the International Energy Agency, Andrew Inglis, CEO of Kosmos Energy, and Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive of Oando Group.

Energy security sits at the top of many countries’ political agendas, particularly as the lingering effects of Covid-19, global geopolitical tensions, and shifts in energy supply cause unprecedented supply challenges while demand for energy increases.

“What is best for the continent is to create solutions and produce our own energy pipelines throughout Africa,” said H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons for Equatorial Guinea.

For the continent to be able to scale up energy security and drive industrialization, electrification, and socioeconomic growth, significant investment will be required across the entire energy value chain.

“Local institutions do not have the investment capacity to close deals alone. We need to use natural resources as a bargaining tool. Natural resources on their own will not eradicate poverty. We should ensure that the EU exports our gas”, said Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive of Oando Group.

However, before Africa leverages its resources to appease global energy needs, the continent first needs to utilize its own resources for its own development.

“Underinvestment has contributed to energy poverty even in other parts of the world. There are new technologies that will help investors leverage in ways that were impossible 200 years ago”, said Hon. Frank Fannon, Former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.

Currently, over 600 million Africans are without access to electricity and over 900 million without access to clean cooking solutions, yet over 125 billion barrels of oil and 620 trillion cubic feet of gas are ready to be exploited. As such, priority needs to be given to resource maximization if energy security is to be attained.

“There is no doubt that the markets have tightened due to the invasion of Russia in Ukraine. It is clear that we need to find ways to break down the 600 million. There are immediate opportunities to address industrialization. To support change, big multilateral banks have an important role to play in unlocking private capital. The question is, how do we drive that capital to where it needs to be?” said Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director at the International Energy Agency.

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