On 5 October, Mamadou Fall Kane, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Senegal and Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Strategic Orientation Committee for Oil and Gas (COS-PETROGAZ), was joined by members of our Now Generation Network (NGN) for a discussion about Energy Transition in Africa
In this session, Mamadou Fall Kane said that Africa can achieve universal access to reliable and affordable energy, which is "the backbone to social and economic development". He highlighted how natural gas would play a vital role as a transition fuel in Africa:
The continent's proven natural gas reserves would be enough to meet 450 times the average energy consumption per capita in Africa, which is 180 kW per hour. But for this to happen, financing of fossil fuels projects should not be stopped.
Fall Kane also detailed the impact universal access to energy would have on the continent. It could facilitate, for example, better mechanisation, allowing Africa to increase its agriculture output and reach food self-sufficiency, even becoming a major food supplier.
Following Fall Kane's intervention, the discussion with NGN members revolved around options to overcome the challenges to energy transition and universal access to electricity, such as regulatory frameworks and the lack of a unified position around this subject in the continent.
Around half of the African population doesn't have access to electricity, and, for example, Japan alone as a country consumes more electricity than Africa. So I think there is pressure for Africa to bear the burden of energy transition while some countries consume much more energy.
~Hafou Touré-Samb, Now Generation Network Member
NGN members also raised questions beyond the economic debate on energy transition, such as compliance with human rights, gender equality and environmental responsibility.
The conversation covered the need to step back and understand how Africa found itself in a situation of significant energy deficit due to underinvestment in the sector in the past, so that countries can avoid these past mistakes.
It's been years and years of shortsightedness in government planning and development. You plan for three hundred million people, and the population skyrockets to a billion in ten years. It's been years of mismanagement in governance and a lack of transparency. Are we ready to change the model of development that brought us here?
~Emmanuel Taiwo, Now Generation Network member
The session concluded with a debate among the participants about how the new UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), to be held in November in Egypt, can be successful considering Africa's point of view regarding energy transition. Members of the panel agreed not only that African voices must be heard, but every decision should be followed by an implementation plan to be effective and make a difference in the continent. NGN members also highlighted the importance of unity to ensure Africa's needs are contemplated at the conference.
COP27 should be inclusive. NGOs must have a say in it. Africans should have the opportunity to express themselves.
~Oussama Ghajou, Now Generation Network member
Africa should have ONE voice at Cop 27.
~Irene Nagudi, Now Generation Network member
Mamadou Fall Kane was joined by:
- Gugu Nonjinge, South Africa
- Emmanuel Taiwo, Nigeria
- Oussama Ghajjoue, Morocco
- Irene Nagudi , Uganda
- Hafou Touré-Samb, Côte d’Ivoire
Watch the conversation: