Africa Energy Week 2022 will host a Youth Energy Roundtable in collaboration with the…

With energy being the backbone of any economy, it is essential to prioritize investment and development of the energy and power sectors in Africa. Currently, one of the greatest threats to the African continent is energy poverty, with 75% of those without access to electricity in the world living in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the continent is also one of the richest in the world in terms of energy. Over 125 billion barrels of oil and 620 trillion cubic of natural gas, coupled with abundant renewable energy resources, have positioned the continent well to eradicate energy poverty by 2030. Thus, for the continent to develop , industrialize and strengthen its economies, while guaranteeing the population reliable, affordable and sustainable access to electricity, capitalizing on this wealth of resources, as well as on the greatest asset of the continent: the youth, is essential.

The African continent’s energy transition must reflect Africa’s reality and not limit the continent’s ability to develop and grow

For the continent to develop and monetize its resources, recognizing the role of young people as drivers will enable Africa to accelerate its development. Representing one of the most skilled and willing work forces in the world, African youth are poised to usher in a new era of innovation, investment and business, not only in the energy industries in upstream, intermediate and downstream, but in all facets of the value chain. In commerce, for example, an industry with one of the strongest growth potentials on the continent, young people have and will continue to play an important role. With the implementation of the AfCFTA in January 2021, new opportunities have arisen for the free trade of goods and services, opening up new prospects for employment, skills development and solving the unemployment crisis. evident among young people on the continent. Specifically, in the hydrocarbon, mining and power sectors, the AfCFTA, leveraged by the youth, will unlock new opportunities for growth and development across the continent, and already a number of organizations and stakeholders provide the support needed to boost trade. The African Export-Import Bank, the Development Finance Institution and the International Finance Corporation, for example, continue to be key funding partners for the continent’s youth. As new financial institutions form, these opportunities are bound to multiply.

Meanwhile, at a time when the need to transition to a cleaner energy future is a global priority, boosting youth-led innovation and development will ensure that the continent’s transition does not come at the expense of the development. For Africa, oil and gas will continue to play an important role in fueling economies, industrializing the continent and ending energy poverty by 2030. While renewables will play a key role, it is clear that the transition must be implemented in a fair and equitable manner. fair way. Entering this picture, young Africans represent the drivers of Africa’s energy transition as they are well placed to ensure that the transition is well balanced, prioritizing both people and planet.

“The African continent’s energy transition must reflect Africa’s reality and not limit the continent’s ability to develop and grow. Africa’s youth is its strongest asset and as such should be at the center of all decisions related to energy as well as the energy transition. For a continent rich in a variety of natural and mineral resources, and now equipped with the tools to grow intra-African trade through the AfCFTA, ensuring that young people are at the forefront of development will mean through long-term, sustainable and beneficial growth,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC), adding that “it is against this backdrop that we will be hosting the Youth Energy Forum at AEW 2022 to empower young people to seize opportunity, advance and lead the energy transition. ”

The key to eradicating energy poverty by 2030 lies in the continent’s youthful population. For Africa, a continent with the youngest and most dynamic population in the world, unleashing the true potential of youth will spark newfound growth and innovation. As such, the 2022 AEW Youth Energy Forum will drive this same narrative, focusing primarily on empowering young people to grow the energy and power-related sectors.

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