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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Osinbajo backs Africa’s case for just energy transition

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says only strong partnerships and coordination among African countries can guarantee the mobilisation of resources required for a just energy transition.

Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, in Abuja, said the vice president sent a recorded message to an African Union event at the ongoing COP27 in Egypt.

The message was for the unveiling of the 4D Digital Green Industrial Corridor and launch of the African Union Transition Fuels Oversight and Regulatory Management Accelerator (TRANSFORMA).

TRANSFORMA is a 4D initiative to fast-track the Digital Green Industrial Corridor between the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) member states.

According to the vice president, the case of the African continent, particularly with respect to the just energy transition, is cogent and irrefutable.

“Tackling the combined challenges of COVID-19 recovery, climate change and overall sustainable development requires significant resources that can only be delivered through strong partnerships and coordination.

“For instance, the Climate Policy Initiative estimates that Africa needs about $2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to implement our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

“This translates to about $277 billion per annum but annual climate finance flows in Africa stand at only $29.5 billion.”

Osinbajo said that  adding innovations like the 4D Digital Green Corridor and TRANSFORMA, by creating ready platforms for Pan-African collaboration, were critical to finance and more broadly, resource mobilisation on the continent.

He said that it was exciting to see that the launch came as other initiatives such as the African Carbon Market initiative was being announced.

“Many of our challenges and priorities are shared. African governments are tasked with eradicating poverty, providing opportunities for our expanding populations, delivering robust healthcare solutions and unlocking prosperity for future generations.

“Beneficial role of Pan-African cooperation on these issues has been established.

“Reports from the World Bank estimate that the AfCFTA could raise income on the continent by over $450 billion by 2035 and lift 50 million people out of extreme poverty. Importantly, the continent could see foreign direct investment increase by between 111 percent and 159 percent under the AfCFTA.

“Maximisation of this potential which is what the 4D Digital Green Industrial Corridor and TRANSFORMA propose to do  must be a priority.’’

Osinbajo emphasised the need for stakeholders to be united in order to attract more attention.

He said that it was clear that the joint advocacy on principles for a just transition was getting stronger, adding that home-grown solutions must do the same.

“Our case as a continent, particularly with respect to the just energy transition, is cogent and irrefutable.

“We cannot accept a global energy transition that leaves millions of our people in the dark, exposed to harmful pollutants due to unclean cooking, or poor and unemployed because of limited industrial activity.”

The vice president said, like the U.S, China, Japan, and other developed economies where gas remains a major pillar of their multi-decadal decarbonisation strategies, Africa deserved the policy flexibility and support to leverage natural gas for the speedy resolution of its energy needs.

“Natural gas has a key role to play in Africa as a transition fuel to facilitate the delivery of electricity access and clean cooking solutions, the scaleup and integration of renewable energy into the energy mix and the switch from dirtier fuels like diesel and petrol.”

On Nigeria’s energy transition efforts, Osinbajo said that the country was  well-aligned with the goals of the Green Recovery Action Plan, and was seeing clear synergies with the mandate of Transforma.

He said that in 2020, as part of our Economic Sustainability Plan to drive post-COVID recovery and economic growth, Nigeria unveiled the National LPG Expansion Implementation Programme.

The vice president said it was in realisation of the potential of LPG and other NGLs to address energy access, climate and industrial bottlenecks.

“It has been estimated that economic activities stimulated by the domestic utilisation of Nigeria’s recoverable gas reserves could support 6.5 million full-time equivalent jobs and produce $18.3 billion in gross value addition annually, with over $5 billion of this amount directly from capturing the economic value of NGLs.

“TRANSFORMA is indeed a welcome development, and we recognise the value that the transcontinental policy and implementation vehicle offers in mobilising larger investments, improving shared learning and producing larger economies of scale for individual nations like Nigeria and also for the entire continent.”

Other leaders who spoke at the event included President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia.

By Chijioke Okoronkwo

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