From Uche Usim, Abuja
To avoid Africa lagging behind in the energy transition race, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva and the Egyptian Energy Minister, Terek el Molla are pushing for a multifaceted timetable that will attract more investments for the continent.
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The amplified voices of two Ministers drew strength from the collective decision of African Petroleum and Energy Ministers to present a common front at COP 27, in Egypt, in November, wherein Africa will be allowed to continue exploiting its hydrocarbon deposits for the development of the continent.
According to Sylva; “Nigeria will continue to drive the direction of the narrative for the African energy transition programme. We have stood out to say no to a single track energy transition programme and had and will continue to support a transition agenda that will promote gas and renewed investments in the hydrocarbon sector for Africa”.
Both leaders are of the views that for the energy transition programme to be meaningful, Africa must be factored into the global energy transition programme in such a way that takes care of the peculiar African situations.
Sylva added: “Nigeria will continue to advocate for gas as a transition fuel for Africa. We have said that we cannot move at the same pace with the rest of the world because we contribute less than 2% of the global greenhouse gas emission. We are not the problem and we cannot be made to pay for the sins we did not commit.
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“For anyone to say that we (Africans) should abandon our abundant hydrocarbon deposits for the uncertainties of renewable energy is most unfair. As we speak today, we still have people without clean cooking fuels. In Africa, we have over 600 million people without basic energy, so how do we meet their energy base load? We can only achieve this through gas. It’s only through a multi-prong approach that we can achieve this. It is obvious that we cannot move at the same pace with the rest of the world as far as the energy transition programme is concerned”.
At the just concluded Cerraweek, in Houston, United States of America, a fortnight ago, Sylva and El Molla led other African Ministers to a meeting where they resolved to project a common front in the energy transition timetable for Africa.
The African Ministers resolved to speak and present a common front for Africa in the global energy transition agenda.
“We have huge hydrocarbon deposits in the continent and must we abandon it because some people have said we should? Some African countries like Ghana, Angola and others are just coming to the table and should they just abandon what they have because some countries are saying we should develop renewable energy? That will be an unfair decision,” Sylva said.
“We are not saying we won’t be part of the transition train for renewable energy but what we are saying as Africans is that we should be allowed to develop our natural resources and enjoy the God given resources. Am happy that the world is beginning to listen to Africa and we are happy about that and we intend to build on that momentum at COO 27, in Egypt by coming out with a common position,” he noted.