The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) project should provide the needed mechanism to ensure the continent makes the best use of its fossil fuels before they become globally unattractive, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, has suggested.
The just-ended UN climate conference in Glasgow, COP 26, pledged to speed up the end of fossil fuel subsidies and reduce the use of coal. However, many African countries continue to discover more oil and gas resources.
Speaking on a platform, “Climate Change: Securing Africa’s Future”, jointly hosted by ACET and AUDA-NEPAD to discuss the outcomes of COP26 for Africa, Dr. Mayaki said: “Rather than phasing out fossil fuels, we need to create an internal demand for oil and gas resources, since it serves as a benefit to big oil nations like Nigeria, Angola and Algeria.”
He added: “Traditional clients have set a target of ending fossil fuel use by a particular time, so I think AfCFTA could provide the needed mechanisms to ensure Africa makes the best use of its fossil fuel before it becomes globally unattractive.”
Dr. Mayaki, who is a member of ACET’s Transformation Leadership Panel, also called for the pursuit of renewable energy targets.
Nick Westcott, Director of Royal African Society and a board member of ACET, asked developed countries to accelerate funding to low-income countries to help tackle the effects of climate change.
He added that African countries have to work together in dealing with climate mitigation and adaptation, arguing further that countries should focus on energy transition as well as conserving energy biodiversity.
Leslie Ndlovu, CEO of Africa Risk Capacity, said pre-arranged financing should be mainstreamed and accessible to all Africans that need them. “Being able to achieve this is extremely important for Africa to be able to emerge out of the poverty trap and to better deal with climate shocks which inevitably will become increasingly more frequent and severe.”
Kingsley Y. Amoako, the founder and President of ACET, said African countries need to seize the opportunities from climate change to transform their economies.