Africa’s energy transition, industrialisation top Cairo meeting, as calls made for environmental clean up


At the third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2023 in Cairo, Africa Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) made a strong call to offending countries to cleanup the climate mess inflicted on the continent.

APPO Secretary General, Omar Farouk, said it was important to get offending countries to focus on cleaning the mess they made rather than begging for money to deal with climate relief.

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Farouk stated at the panel discussion held on Saturday that: “if we are talking about just energy transition, what I thought we were going to sit down and tell those who created this mess is that please as you first asked to produce National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and commitments, we are also asking you that in the next 50 years, commit to removing just 20 percent of what you have put in there, so that we can also be able to get industrialized.

“So for whatever reason we don’t do that, we are ready, waiting to be given some pittance which don’t even come and find these countries give us this money is like they are doing us a favour.”

He also expressed concern over the way African countries go for discussions at the global forum unprepared and most of the times the issues affecting the continent are defined as financial or money matters.

Farouk took part in an energy discussion, which included Oando PLC Executive Director, Ainojie Irune, Trinity Group Chairman, South Sudan Akol Ayii and the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) Director of Projects & Asset-Based Finance, Helen Brume.

The discussion was held under theme ‘African Energy Transition and African Industrialisation.’

Adding to the discussions, Irune, who heads an exploration and Production Company in Nigeria said Africa and its leaders must not get impatient about developing the continent that was truly blessed with everything needed to ensure that the transition of Africa served its people.

“To challenge the current tide that is against us we have to look within. A lot of these ideas are great and will move us forward but the most critical component for me is how do you build an Africa that understands that everything it needs is within itself. If as governments we can come together . . . we would have accelerated to a point where Africa, speaking with one voice, becomes a powerful bloc to be reckoned with across the world,”

He said that the only reason the conversations have been on just energy transition was because of the sufferings of the African people.

“. . . And we would not sacrifice that for some energy or climate issue. It is head toss, if we do we die, we don’t want to die. . . A lot of the winning happens when we focus on the core things … our governments need to get serious. You can’t transition without Africa,” he said.

Afreximbank through Brume underscored the bank’s pivotal role in enhancing collaboration across the African continent.

She spotlighted the EPC programme, strategically crafted to empower local contractors and retain crucial knowledge within the continent.

She reiterated the bank’s commitment to unlocking the continent’s energy potential, tackling emissions, and bolstering industrialization.

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