African states must plan around energy sources that will be available in the next two to three decades and start investing in the development of them in line with the continent’s energy transition agenda, the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew OpokuPrempeh, has said.
He said in deciding which energy sources to invest in, African governments ought to consider the security of supply, affordability and sustainability.
DrPrempeh said this in speech read on his behalf by his Deputy, Andrew Mercer, during the Africa Energy Conference, 2022, organised by the Business and Financial Times in Accra on Tuesday.
It was on the theme “Africa’s Energy Future – Achieving Competitiveness and Sustainability to Support the Continent’s Development Ambitions.”
He said energy transition came with a lot of opportunities which African countries must harness for the development of their respective economies.
“The opportunity for industrial and commercial venture into renewables market has potential for revenue generation, job creation and energy security enhancement,” he said.
DrPrempeh stressed that African countries must find new and innovative ways to attract finance investment into the continent to reduce reliance on Western support.
He commended the Business and Financial Times for organising the conference, indicating that “Having reviewed the outline of topics to be discussed at this conference, I could not help but beam with excitement at the various themes and topics to be dealt with.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Business and Financial Times, Dr Godwin Acquaye, said “in previous years, we had Ghana Energy Summit which focused on transformative Ghana owned and stakeholder inclusive effort to accelerate and scale up the harnessing of key players in the sustainable energy management in the country.”
‘This year, we have scaled up to the Africa region with the onset of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to come together and deliberate on issues that are plaquing Africa on the energy front,” he said.
DrAcquaye stressed that as the world races to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, there was an increasing awareness of the value of initiatives and strategies to use regional trade integration to strengthen the energy sector and improve utilisation of the regions abundant renewable energy resources to meet the vast demand.
“African countries still suffer from huge deficits in energy generation and distribution, resulting in small businesses languishing for lack of power,” he stressed.
The Business and Financial Times, DrAcquaye said would increase and strengthen its policy dialogue platforms and engagements on energy for Africa, saying “This is why we are working with you, our partners in the sector today to unlock all of Africas’ potential, conventional and renewables, and develop energy mixes that will not only light up Africa but also power industries.”
“For this to happen, countries will need to scale up on-going efforts in the energy sector, institute a stronger political will and we as partners must work together, coordinate our efforts to drive critical policy, regulatory reforms of the energy sector to improve incentives for accelerated investments,” DrAcquaye, said.
The Ministry of Energy, Volta River Authority, Ghana Commercial Bank, Sethi Brothers Ghana Limited. Arthur Energy Ghana, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited and Nuclear Power Ghana.
The topics discussed included “The Future of Petroleum Industry Investment in Africa,” “Distribution Utilities and Energy Efficiency: The Prospects of Sustainable Performance Improvement for Africa’s Distribution Utilities.”
BY KINGSLEY ASARE