July 14, 2024
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Africa Must Leverage on Vast Resources to Address Energy Poverty

The CEO of Ghana National Gas Company Limited, Dr. Ben K.D. Asante, has called on African leaders to utilize the abundant resources available to address the enduring energy poverty issues in the continent.

He stated this at the 14th Multi-Year Expert Meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, Switzerland.

Energy News Africa quoted Asante saying that to achieve this goal, there is a need to make deliberate efforts in balancing the export and local utilization of resources within the continent.

Dr. Asante stressed that this resource utilization is a crucial foundation for ensuring sustainable, affordable, and accessible energy.

He outlined several key drivers for development across the continent, including prudent resource management, creating a conducive fiscal environment for capital access, and nurturing local intellectual capacity.

Dr. Asante highlighted that Africa’s share of the global gas market was six percent in 2021, and it’s projected to increase to over 11 percent by 2050, with production expected to rise from 260 billion cubic meters in 2021 to 585 billion cubic meters in 2050.

Despite these promising projections, he acknowledged several challenges in developing and using Africa’s energy resources. These challenges include limited access to project capital, insufficient infrastructure, unattractive fiscal and taxation requirements, unclear institutional and regulatory frameworks, a shortage of necessary intellectual capacity, inadequate participation of the local and private sectors in the energy industry, and non-cost-reflective commodity prices.

Dr. Asante also discussed Ghana’s oil and gas industry, emphasizing the country’s commitment to using gas for power generation, particularly to increase electricity access in rural areas. He stressed the importance of tailoring policies to meet the specific needs of individual countries.

Furthermore, Dr. Asante promoted Ghana as an attractive investment destination and encouraged participants to consider investing in his country.

The 14th expert meeting serves as a neutral platform for sharing successful strategies and policies implemented at national, regional, and international levels to effectively manage commodity price volatility. It assesses the links between commodity price fluctuations and key macroeconomic indicators in commodity-dependent and developing countries (CDDCs) and explores the connections between commodity price volatility and food security in net-food-importing countries.

The meeting in Geneva also discussed market and technology-based instruments for managing price risks. The next session, to which the Ghana Gas CEO has been invited, is scheduled to take place in Belgium.

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