During the 3rd Biennial International Conference on Hydrocarbon Science and Technology held in Abuja, Omar Farouk, the Secretary-General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), highlighted the challenges faced by Africa in the wake of the swift energy transition advocated by developed nations.
Farouk emphasized that African nations were being pressured to halt fossil fuel exploration.
Nevertheless, he contended that countries like Nigeria have a responsibility to leverage their abundant oil and gas resources for economic development.
APPO, an inter-governmental oil and gas organization with 18 member countries, convened this conference under the theme, ‘The Future of the Oil and Gas Industry: Opportunities, Challenges, and Development.’
Farouk acknowledged that “the biggest victims of a speedy energy transition shall be the developing countries, especially those from Africa.”
He noted that should anticipated breakthroughs in renewable energy technology not materialize as expected, and if the oil and gas industry is abandoned, global energy supplies could suffer shortages, with richer countries securing the available energy.
Farouk stressed that Africa faces three major challenges in light of the energy transition: funding, technology, and markets.
African nations have long relied on foreign funding, technology, expertise, and markets in their oil and gas industry.
He asserted that while the world is embracing an energy transition, Africa must use its oil and gas resources to provide energy, a crucial catalyst for socioeconomic development.
The Secretary-General observed that the developed world has begun to view oil and gas as having no future in the contemporary world.
This belief has led to policies and actions aimed at discouraging investment and research in the fossil fuel industry while promoting renewable energy growth through substantial research and development investments.
Farouk highlighted that this stance is predominantly adopted by economically and technologically advanced countries that have historically been responsible for the majority of emissions contributing to climate concerns.
Africa, he argued, must navigate the challenges posed by the global energy transition while ensuring the responsible use of its oil and gas resources for its economic and energy needs.