.as it affirms African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition
To ensure the sustainability of the energy sector in the continent, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, Mallam Mele Kyari has urged African countries to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to diversify their energy sources into a sustainable, low-carbon energy mix.
He also reiterated the need for African Union to adopt the African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition, which is a comprehensive approach that charts Africa’s short, medium, and long-term energy development pathways to accelerate universal energy access.
Kyari stated while delivering the keynote address at the event organized by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) in Wyndham Hotel, at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference in Houston Texas, United States
The theme for discussion at the conference is, ” Energy Transition in Africa: The Journey, Challenges and the Way Forward.” And the event is being attended by captains of the oil and gas industry as well as regulators in the sector.
Kyari who was represented at the event by the Executive Vice President, Upstream, Adokiye Tombomieye, described the theme as apt because the journey towards energy transition in Africa has been challenging.
According to him, The AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063 and it is a high ambition trade agreement, with a comprehensive scope that includes critical areas of Africa’s economy, such as digital trade and investment protection, amongst other areas.
It is the world’s largest free trade area bringing together the 55 countries of the African Union (AU) and eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
The overall mandate of the AfCFTA is to create a single continental market with a population of about 1.3 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product of approximately $3.4trn.
By eliminating barriers to trade in Africa, the objective of the AfCFTA is to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy.
He expressed worry that despite being home to some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, the continent of Africa has struggled to leverage these resources to drive sustainable development fully.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the lack of access to reliable and affordable energy has significantly impeded economic growth and development, particularly in rural areas.
The NNPC Boss said while African oil and gas industry has contributed to the continent’s economic growth for several decades, there is the need to ensure its sustainability.
In order to move towards a more sustainable future, Kyari told the gathering that the African continent must acknowledge that the industry is transforming rapidly.
He said, “As we gather here today, it is essential to acknowledge that Africa is at the forefront of the global energy transition. The journey towards a sustainable, low-carbon energy future presents challenges and opportunities for the continent.
“The energy transition is driving changes in the global energy mix, and it presents significant challenges for Africa (financing, infrastructure, policy/regulatory frameworks, skills and capacity).
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