ARDA Discusses Energy Security For Africa

Arda Africa
Arda Africa

With some of the most prominent and respected figures in the international energy sphere among the 24 speakers and panelists and more than 500 delegates at the Annual Conference of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) in Cape Town this week, among the biggest concerns is: how does Africa’s energy security survive along the road to Energy Transition?

ARDA Executive Secretary, Anibor Kragha says that the continent’s energy security cannot be sacrificed to meet a fast-track global agenda for phasing out of fossil fuels to bring the international levels of emissions within the standards demanded.

Kragha’s views are in sync with those of ARDA President, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) of Ghana, who is on record as emphasising that Africa’s significant future energy demands will still require major investments across the Downstream value chain to deliver cleaner fuels and value-added petroleum products to the growing population.

Africa faces the hard fact that it has enormous resources both in the presence of oil and gas, and a massive capacity to refine them in state-of-the-art facilities, for use in maintaining the health and growth of the African industrial sector.

Examples showing the use of income from fossil fuels to provide never-before-enjoyed electricity stem from the development of solar infrastructure for disadvantaged rural African communities. This strengthens the view that transition should emanate from the provision of renewable energy sources through the revenues derived from fossil fuels.

It is widely argued that energy transition cannot be an overnight fix in Africa, with its enormous dependence on fossil fuels, and also considering its minimal 3% contribution to the world’s total of greenhouse gases from what comprises 17% of the global population – a point emphasised by Mr. Kragha in his opening address to the conference.

Kragha says strong emphasis has to be given to the question of financing of energy transition, which cannot be supported in the absence of revenues from current sources of energy. ‘You cannot impoverish Africa in the pursuit of energy transition.’

Speakers at the conference included Mr. Richard Ngola, Director of Downstream, representing H.E. Mr. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons in Congo-Brazzaville; Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid; Anibor Kragha; Dr Abderrezak Benoucef, Head of Research at OPEC; NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; Daniel Evans, Vice President of S&P Global;

The 2024 conference also hosts the first-ever ARDA Investment forum dedicated to the development of a consolidated register of bankable, sustainable pan-African energy infrastructure projects.

In his welcome address to the conference, Mr. Kragha emphasised that all future petroleum projects need to be developed decade by decade, via a sustainable plan. ‘We must work forward with Intention, and have a clear finance plan to deliver projects, with definitive environmental, social, and governance benefits in place. It is also essential that Africa assesses the strength of its human capital to undertake the new developments.’

ARDA’s objective of securing critical project financing has received a boost from Puma Energy’s Fadi Mitri, who showcased his company’s innovative solutions bridging Africa’s energy security gap and called for ARDA to lead the charge in the creation of a dedicated African Downstream Energy Infrastructure Investment Fund.


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