Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Obasanjo: ‘Africa will Decide its Energy Future’

In the midst of a global oil-and-gas crisis, Africa must take charge of its own energy destiny, and use its rich resource assets for the benefit of its own people.

This is the call from former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. His comments come as the world scrambles to find new sources of oil and gas to meet its energy demand, especially western nations’ ban on Russian energy for invading Ukraine.

In this context, Obasanjo says African countries cannot be beholden to the unrealistic ideals of the Global North for an exclusively renewables-driven economy. He says this is particularly true when the developed world is itself accepting the need for hydrocarbons.

“Like the rest of the world, Africa must follow energy policies that promote socio-economic development and sustainable hydrocarbon use,” says Obasanjo who helped to shape the modern Nigerian oil industry.

“Africa is the lowest producer of greenhouse-gas emissions and needs to lift nearly half-a-billion citizens out of poverty,” says Obasanjo. “Responsible management of our hydrocarbons and investment in our economies is necessary to ensure a just energy transition and sustainable growth for our people.”

The European Union has reportedly said it intends to cut Russian-supplied oil by up to 90% by the end of 2022, and the announcement has already caused global energy costs to soar.

Africa is one of the potential new sources of energy to replace this supply, with an estimated 61 billion BOE (barrel oil equivalent ) being discovered in the continent over the past 10 years – almost twice as much as any other region.

Obasanjo’s call for Africa to assert its energy sovereignty comes ahead of the Africa Oil Week conference in South Africa, where energy companies, investors and governments will meet to negotiate deals that will shape the continent’s future.

The African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) has also called on member countries and other global institutions to use petroleum as a catalyst for energy security, sustainable development, and economic diversification in Africa through collaboration and partnerships.

Both Obasanjo and APPO have called for accelerated dialogue on the sustainable development of hydrocarbons, and the role of Africa as a supplier of global energy needs.

“There has been much talk at forums such as the World Economic Forum in Davos about a just energy transition,” says Obasanjo. “However, we must not allow Africa to be dictated to.”

The former Nigerian president expects the discussions at the Africa Oil Week to be “pivotal in charting a new energy course for Africa”.

“We will decide what is best for us,” says Obasanjo.

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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