AEC demands boycott of firms shunning Africa’s oil sector
THe African energy Chamber has called for the region to boycott companies shunning the continent’s fossil fuels sector as part of net-zero ambitions, highlighting the growing concern of energyhungry African nations over the shift to clean energy by most Western producers.
African oil and gas investment has fallen sharply in the past few years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy transition away from oil and gas.
According to S&P Global Platts, the outlook for the sector in Africa is looking bleak, as many of the big international energy companies are starting to reduce their upstream footprints and funding sources for smaller oil and gas players dry up.
In a post published on July 13 on its website, AEC, which represents energy companies on the continent, urged African countries to boycott or refrain from working with international companies that discontinue investments and reject the African oil industry.
It said, “Financial institutions that discriminate against Africa’s oil and gas industry in the name of climate change are wrong and desperately need to change both their mindsets and actions.
“Institutions have insisted on ending oil and gas investments and development, promoting an immediate energy transition which will and continues to prove disastrous for the African continent and its people.”
According to AEC’S Executive Chairman, NJ Ayuk, the role of oil in Africa’s energy and economic future is still key for many underdeveloped African countries.
He said, “As the international community moves to boycott investments in the African energy sector, African people and African development stand to suffer.
“The role of oil in Africa’s energy and economic future is apparent, and consequently, should be defended as Western elites move to disrupt African progress.”
Equinor dropped its extensive exploration acreage offshore South Africa in 2020 and Exxonmobil pulled out of a deep-water oil prospect offshore Ghana this year.
Uganda’s maiden oil project has also attracted the growing attention of global environmental groups, which claimed it would harm the climate, local communities, water supplies, and biodiversity.
In March, more than 260 charities and organisations from 49 countries called on banks not to participate in loans to fund the construction of the line.
In mid-may, Nigerian Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said Africa needed an ‘inclusive, equitable, just and multidimensional’ energy transition, which will not be achieved by completely banning future natural gas projects.
The ‘shutting off of capital in energy infrastructure’ will not result in a just transition and the attitude towards natural gas needs to be looked at from an energy access and energy poverty point of view, according to Osinbajo.