Africa Energy Bank to Decide Headquarters in March 2024, Launch Before June - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

Africa Energy Bank to Decide Headquarters in March 2024, Launch Before June

By Lukman Abolade, Senior Correspondent

The highly anticipated multi-billion-dollar Africa Energy Bank, spearheaded by the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) with support from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), is slated to be operational before June 2024, with the announcement of its host country headquarters expected in March of the same year.

Omar Ibrahim, the Secretary-General of APPO disclosed this during the just concluded Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) held in Lagos, Nigeria.

“I want to inform this meeting that at the last ministerial, conference of the APPO Ministerial Council approval was given to us by Afreximbank.  To ensure that by the end of March, we take a decision on which country is going to host the headquarters of the Africa Energy Bank. We have also been given a mandate to ensure that the Africa Energy Bank becomes operational before the end of the first half of this year,” Ibrahim announced.

The establishment of the Africa Energy Bank is expected to mark a pivotal moment in Africa’s energy landscape. The bank aims to address the growing financing challenges capable of imperilling the development of the continent’s vast energy resources in the context of the energy transition.

As the developed world amplifies its calls for phasing out fossil fuels to combat climate change, Africa confronts the persistent challenge of energy poverty. With more than 600Million people lacking access to electricity and 900Million lacking clean cooking solutions, urgent action is needed to address this crisis Africa’s energy technocrats and experts say.

In response, stakeholders are advocating for the swift expansion of Africa’s oil and gas sector, acknowledging the potential of these resources to alleviate energy poverty. However, despite the pressing need and opportunities presented, global investors are displaying hesitancy towards investing in hydrocarbons. This reluctance leaves the continent without the critical investment required to unlock the full potential of its natural resources.

Acknowledging the progress made by certain countries like Nigeria and Algeria in advancing their energy sectors, Ibrahim emphasized the need for Pan-African cooperation. He underscored that no single country can tackle the challenges alone, advocating for a unified approach towards infrastructure development and knowledge sharing.

“We do not believe that Nigeria or Kenya or Mozambique or any of these individual countries S has what it takes to be able to say that it has mastered the technology of the oil and gas industry. I must admit that some countries have gone very far. Nigeria is one.  Algeria is another.  But, this notwithstanding, Nigeria cannot do it alone. And that is why we are coming together as a continent to establish or develop these various institutions so that it may be established in Nigeria, Algeria or Angola,” he noted.

Central to the discussion was the development of pipeline systems such as the Central Africa Pipeline System (CAPS), which aims to connect 11 African countries, facilitating the transportation of oil and gas across the continent. Ibrahim emphasized the importance of regional connectivity, highlighting the economic opportunities it presents for all African nations.

“We commend Nigeria for its leadership with the Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline, the West African Gas Pipeline.  We are focusing today on developing the Central Africa Pipeline System, CAPS.  It’s going to bring the 11 African countries together to be led by pipelines for oil, for gas, Don’t say that, we are in West Africa.  It is going to benefit you.  Because once that network has been done, you are in a position to take the West Africa gas pipeline or, um, Trans Saharan gas pipeline.  Take from there to Chad, which is in Central Africa. And if you don’t get a market in Europe or Asia, you have a market in Central Africa,” he argued.

Ibrahim addressed the misconception surrounding energy access, insisting that it plays a crucial role in driving economic productivity. He stressed the need to empower African communities with access to energy, not only for lighting but also for enhancing their economic activities. The vision of APPO, as outlined by Ibrahim, is to transform Africa’s energy landscape, ultimately leading to sustainable economic growth and development.



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