African Development Bank (AfDB) says Africa’s natural gas reserves have become a new major source of gas supplies to Europe and Asia.
Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, AfDB’s President, in a statement, said this at the international panel session on the theme: “Security versus Energy Transition – Global Perspectives for Sustainable Energy Future”.
Adesina, represented by Mr Lamin Barrow, Director-General, AfDB Nigeria Country Department, said this was especially important as importing countries dealt with the fallout from the Russian war on Ukraine.
He said: “Africa is, therefore, a solution to Europe’s and Asia’s energy and transition needs.
“So, as we think about energy transition and a sustainable energy future, we should think holistically, with due attention to energy equity and justice.
“Given that Africa has contributed less than three per cent to historical global greenhouse gas emissions.
“With about 80 per cent of the world’s platinum reserves, 50 per cent of cobalt reserves, 40 per cent of manganese reserves are endowed with huge graphite and lithium resources.
“Africa is well-positioned to contribute to the revolution in green industrial value chains.”
According to Adesina, the continent is a crucial source of minerals and metals needed for these value chains, including Electric Vehicles and utility-scale battery storage.
He urged countries on the continent not to focus on exporting but add value to manufactured primary products.
“Africa is an ideal place to build lithium-ion batteries to power cars in Africa, Europe, and other parts of the world.
“We must unlock Africa’s potential for green hydrogen, estimated at $1 trillion.
“It is worth noting that some African countries have already started developing green hydrogen projects.
“To spur the development of green infrastructure in the continent, the AfDB, with its partners, Africa50 and the African Union (AU) Commission, have inaugurated the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA). “
According to him, AGIA seeks to raise $10 billion to accelerate Africa’s just equitable transition to Net Zero emissions.
Adedina said: “We all have a collective responsibility to do our part in limiting global warming.
“What Africa needs is climate justice to achieve universal access to energy without compromising energy security. There must be equity and justice in the energy transition.
“Hence, international dialogue on Africa’s energy transition must be pragmatic. and not based on ideology.
“While Africa must accelerate the development of its huge renewable energy resources, it should be given adequate time, and space, to transit effectively by utilising its natural gas as a transition fuel, like other parts of the world.”
By Lucy Ogalue