The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) CEO has called for concerted action by African states for the development of an African strategy to meet the continent’s energy needs.
Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, who is attending the 2023 Africa Development Conference (ADC) at Harvard University, USA, explained that rather than the absence of policies, the major factor mitigating a common energy strategy in Africa is the lack of political will to implement a coordinated continent-wide framework.
“Indeed, an assessment of Africa’s situation will reveal that there currently exists a policy overkill, with each country holding diverse positions on how to advance the continent’s energy agenda,” he said, among other things.
“As important as it is to pull each other along in the attainment of our energy goals, progress is hampered by the fact that Africa remains a huge continent with different countries espousing fragmented ideas on how to meet the energy needs of our respective countries,” he added.
To circumvent this challenge, Mr O-A Danquah called for greater collaborative effort amongst different countries in streamlining energy blueprints, as there currently are too many moving parts with varying strategies being implemented by different governments and administrations.
He stated further that, while there’s the need for African countries to take the lead with clear pathways and policies, actual success will only be realized if bold actions are taken to back them.
Elaborating further, the GNPC CEO highlighted Ghana as one of a few countries, south of the Sahara, on track to achieve full access to electricity and is also frantically harnessing its natural gas resources to power homes and industries over and above what pertains in many other African states.
Ghana can therefore be held up as an example of a country with a clearly defined energy direction, that can be copied by others because it is yielding results.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who was the guest speaker at the event shared his views on the broader theme of reimagining Africa’s growth on our terms.
He indicated that at the heart of this vision is the transformative power of technology. In his view, the greatest bane to the development of Africa is our inability to solve the basic problems of the absence of a unique identity for our population, functioning property address systems, financial inclusion, payment systems, efficient public service delivery, etc. that underpin our economic activities.
Vice President Dr Bawumia intimated “For many years after independence we have been trying to transform our economies without data and transparent systems. Without data and systems African countries cannot participate in the fourth Industrial Revolution”.
According to the Vice President, for Africa to realize it’s full potential and set itself apart, it is important Africans broke the shackles of an impossibility mindset and embrace the mindset of possibility.
The two-day event which ended on Sunday 16th April 2023 was on the theme “Reimagining Africa’s Growth On Our Terms,”.
The 2023 ADC, which is in its 14th year at Harvard University, offers a platform for facilitating global discourse on the primary issues of Africa’s development. The conference, designed to support Africa’s expedited structural transformation, brings together influential players to discuss and share progressive policies and practices and enhances partnerships between governments and investors in rebranding and reshaping Africa in the international development arena.