Speaker at a conference on climate financing have called for more collaboration among African countries to unlock reliable funding opportunities for sustainable energy transition.
They said in the wake of the failure of developed countries to fulfil a $100-billion-a-year commitment for climate action to less developed countries, it was important for countries in Africa to put their expertise together to attract reliable funding avenues.
Additionally, they said that African countries must not be rushed to make a transition to cleaner energy since that would have dire financial consequences on local economies.
The speakers included the Manager, Project Evaluation at the Petroleum Commission, Ebenezer Koranteng Harmah; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ikeja Electric Plc, Nigeria, Folake Soetan, and Partner and West Africa ICP, Deloitte, Bola Adigun.
In separate statements at the conference held at the University of Ghana in Accra yesterday, they further indicated that the energy transition model used by developed countries could not be used for African countries that were still struggling to grow.
For instance, Mr Harmah said Ghana raked in $1.6 billion from petroleum revenue in 2022 and, therefore, any rush in energy transition would create financial loss to the country.
“Energy transition is great, the whole world is moving towards that and Ghana cannot be left out, however, there are a lot of implications in our quest to move towards cleaner energy.
“We currently are reliant on the oil and gas industry and if we say we are going to hastily transition, it means that we are going to lose out on this revenue,” he said.
For her part, Ms Folake said it was important for all countries in Africa to strive to achieve energy access because failure to do so would affect sustainable development.
In doing so, she said efforts must be made to put in place improved infrastructure along the value chain — from generation to distribution.
Ms Bola also said that even as African countries strived for the right financing for sustainable energy transition, there must be the political will to push through policies that would help to achieve net zero.
“The various governments must also ensure that there is ease of doing business, aside from implementing policies that will attract private capital,” she added.
The Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, said the government was committed to sustainable energy transition because the sector had the potential to transform the economy, improve living standards and ensure growth.
“The financing of sustainable and just energy transitions in Africa is a moral and economic imperative.
By investing in renewable energy, we can empower communities, foster economic growth and create a sustainable legacy for generations to come,” he added.
The Director of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Prof. Peter Quartey, added that discussions on strategic financing of energy transition was key to opening opportunities for investment.
He urged African countries to make judicious use of scarce resources by prioritising investment in infrastructure that would facilitate the transition process.
Prof. Quartey also called for a more collaborative effort that would ensure the gradual progress and creation of opportunities “to catch up to the global shift”.
A Professor at the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute (EUI), Kenneth Amaeshi, also said that African countries needed to harness the rich resources within the continent to finance the transition.