AOW claims to heed African interests but has fundamentally and continually contradicted this. Relocating the 2021 edition of their conference from Cape Town to Dubai is one of several instances of their commitment to profits and politics over progress, hindering the advancement of an Africa-led energy narrative on African soil.
This scheme to rebrand themselves as friends to African energy, yet dismiss oil and gas as fundamental pillars of Africa’s energy development, serves as a flagrant and overt misrepresentation campaign, designed to confuse and redefine Africa’s energy narrative using someone else’s voice. To be clear, Africa’s oil and gas industry is not just important, but imperative for the continent to make energy poverty history by 2030 – a central pillar of the African Energy Chamber’s (AECs) mission.
This crusade against oil and gas is particularly harmful given that Africa has some of the largest hydrocarbon resources globally and is entering a new era of energy development. This year, Senegal will achieve first oil and gas from its respective Sangomar and Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG projects, while the Republic of the Congo awaits first cargo from its inaugural gas liquefaction plant, Congo LNG.
Now is the time to define Africa’s approach to climate justice and the energy transition, as demonstrated by the first-ever Africa Climate Summit organized last September. Greenwashing hydrocarbon development at Africa’s expense is not only incorrect but reprehensible, particularly when it undermines job creation and opportunities for African youth.
In this regard, AOW continues to overlook the severity of energy poverty in Africa. Six hundred million people on the continent do not have access to electricity. In order to bring clean cooking, sanitation and healthcare to the more-than-half-billion Africans across the continent who live in complete darkness at night, we must be allowed to explore and drill for our natural resources and engage in the energy transition in a way that is fair and pragmatic.
“AOW has shown time and time again that they are not willing to work with the African oil and gas industry by reneging on its promises to the people and the continent as a whole especially with their decision to go to Dubai, no Africans in their leadership, and certainly we don’t even know if they pay any taxes in Africa or comply with BEE and Local content laws.
The AEC will continue to deliver on its promise to make energy poverty history by 2030 during this year’s edition of African Energy Week (AEW), which will return to Cape Town and lead the continent’s energy trajectory for the fourth consecutive year.
AOW has continued to hamper Africa’s energy goals and this rebranding strategy is clearly a ploy to distort the continent’s objectives. AOW continues to masquerade as an ally to Africa’s development and success rather than focus on what’s truly important: eradicating energy poverty. This scheme sends the wrong message and only serves to hinder the continent’s energy progress and hurt Africans.
African Energy Chamber