OPEC Promises to Aid Africa’s Energy Transition

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr Haitham Al Ghais, has said that the coalition will help Africa achieve its energy transition plan amid market uncertainties.

During his address at the African Energy Week in South Africa, the Secretary-General emphasised OPEC’s global outlook and the key challenges faced by the global oil markets, and Africa’s key role in the organisation.

He also provided key insight into the organisation’s strategies for driving stability across Africa and the role the recent Declaration of Cooperation plays in improving stability.

“With the real potential of a global recession, there was a consensus among the Ministers. I would like to thank the African heads of delegations for their ongoing support to provide lasting stability in global oil markets,” he said.

Touching on the state of play of the global oil outlook and the organisation’s outlook, he stated, “Our actions in the short term most certainly have an impact on the longer term.

“On October 21, we will be launching the next edition of the OPEC World Outlook. This flagship publication provides a detailed overview of the long-term forecasts for global energy markets.

“Energy demand will continue to rise dramatically. Despite a minor decline, the oil will still share the largest share of the energy mix by 2025. The combined share for oil and gas is expected to remain above 50 per cent by 2025.”

He explained that, in addition to market challenges, climate change would continue to have significant impacts on global economies.

“OPEC supports SDG 7, which seeks to increase access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all. Energy, like education and healthcare, should not be considered a luxury but a basic human right. The overarching issue of climate change and energy transition will have massive implications for Africa.

“Countries around the world continue to adapt to the rapidly changing dynamics of the industry. In this context, Africa is in a very fragile position. African countries stand to be on the losing end of the consequences of climate change. OPEC will continue to advocate for Africa.”

Mr Al Ghais noted that Africa has a key role in OPEC, highlighting that, “With seven members, Africa makes up more than half of OPEC’s overall membership. This increasing presence led to the establishment of the first-ever high-level OPEC-Africa energy dialogue. Through this dialogue, we look forward to enhancing our focus on this continent and its energy future.

“Africa’s energy future is bright, and the opportunities are vast. As of 2021, Africa’s proven oil reserves amounted to over 120 billion barrels. There are increased opportunities for enhanced intra-African trade. Despite the many challenges that lay ahead, we will continue to see Africa’s energy sector thrive and develop for years to come.”

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