By Eugene Davis and Clara Mlano
The Minister of Energy Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has called for the establishment of an African Energy Bank to primarily serve as a source of funding for the continent’s energy projects.
The bank the Minister adds will be the citadel for the financing of Africa’s energy projects in the wake of the energy transition.
Speaking at the opening panel session at the 2023 African Energy Week on the theme “Global Energy Security; The Imperative of African Energy Development” the Minister said the energy transition conversation from an African perspective is confronted with militating factors including; limited technological capacities, low productivity, weak capital markets and high input costs and therefore an African Energy Bank will be in a pole position to address these challenges. “The Bank will understand the peculiar circumstances of the African continent and will therefore support our efforts,” he said
In addition to these, he indicated that Africa is particularly saddled with a high energy deficit, inadequate human capital, and a lack of green energy infrastructure. Deliberate efforts he intimated must be put in place to address these challenges.
“Currently, about 600 million people are without access to electricity in Africa. Without a clear and purposeful drive towards cheaper electricity, the figure will rise to 800 million by 2030, whilst the continent sits on what shall effectively become stranded assets. Our position is that we cannot starve amid plenty” he said.
He continued “Ghana is of the uncompromising view that an energy transition plan worth its salt must take into perspective all the sectors of our economies with deliberate efforts channeled at achieving decarbonization, energy security, access and efficiency to accelerate industrialization and yet lower carbon dioxide emissions and energy demand”
Further, he asserted that he is pushing for linkages between upstream and downstream to be established on the continent to ensure value maximization and retention. “Expanding the refining capacity and storage for crude oil and petroleum products and providing the appropriate infrastructure for petrochemical production and transportation of gas and petroleum products will provide these linkages.
The minister, who is also a Member of Parliament for Manhyia South stressed that oil and gas exploration and production will be continued in the next few decades to ensure the availability of natural gas for these purposes. “We are cognizant of the implications of hydrocarbons on the environment and have already included Carbon Capture and Storage and other green interventions in our Energy Transition Framework to duly take care of emissions,” he added