The 2024 annual OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue was held today in Cairo where participants conducted open and transparent discussions on a wide array of key topics related to energy and oil, including energy security, risk of underinvestment, climate change and energy transitions.

In his remarks, HE Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, posited that “dialogue with Africa is a key pillar in OPEC’s global energy dialogue programme which includes many other key regions, countries, and international organizations,” adding, “We at OPEC firmly believe that cooperation and dialogue among all energy stakeholders are absolutely essential factors in effectively addressing our common energy challenges.”

HE Al Ghais noted that “in terms of climate change and energy transitions, developing countries around the world, including those in Africa, continue to balance priorities between the dire need to support the development of their national economies, while also adapting to ever-shifting dynamics related to climate change.”

Contributing to the dialogue HE Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization, stressed that “we always need to consider Africa’s context as analysis shows that the African Energy demand could increase by 30% - compared to 10% in global energy demand - by 2040. Access to reliable, affordable and clean energy in Africa remains the priority for the continent, calling for concessional finance and investments for more generation, production, interconnections, local transformation and domestic trading of our energy resources in consideration of the AFCFTA and that to close the energy poverty on the continent and promote growth and wellbeing.”

She further stated that “the African energy transition programme and the African Single Energy Market both championed by the African Union Commission set out the vision and the path for Africa-wide at accelerating access and the transition, making use of Africa’s huge and relatively untapped energy resources.”

Speaking for the African Petroleum Producers` Organization, APPO, Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim stated that the 3rd High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue provided a platform for stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to advancing the energy agenda in Africa and explore innovative solutions to overcome existing challenges. He emphasized the importance of fostering partnerships, leveraging technology, and mobilizing resources to accelerate progress towards achieving universal energy access and promoting inclusive growth across the continent. Dr Farouk updated the Meeting on the progress towards the establishment of the Africa Energy Bank (AEB), noting that the APPO Ministerial Council has approved the take-off of the Bank in the First half of 2024. The AEB aims to fill the gap arising from restrictions on funding oil and gas projects in Africa.

The APPO Secretary General remains optimistic about the transformative potential of collective action and collaboration in addressing energy poverty and advancing sustainable development in Africa.

Dr Abdul-Hamid Mustapha, President of the Africa Refineries and Distributors` Association, ARDA, congratulated OPEC for its continued leadership in promoting the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue and reiterated ARDA’s commitment to working with OPEC and other key partner organizations, like APPO and the African Union Commission, to deliver a robust, sustainable, intra-African oil and gas industry focused on delivering cleaner fuels and value-added petroleum products via a lower-carbon footprint.  Dr Abdul-Hamid also shared ARDA’s objective of developing a consolidated register of investable energy infrastructure projects that will be shared at the first-ever ARDA Investment Forum to be held during the 2024 ARDA Week in Cape Town from 22-26 April 2024.  HE Dr Abdul-Hamid also looks forward to working with APPO to support the successful take-off of the Africa Energy Bank (AEB) this year and to providing bankable downstream projects for this laudable AEB initiative in the drive to meet Africa’s growing petroleum products demand in a sustainable manner.

Their Excellences concluded the event by underscoring the key role that Africa is set to play in the energy industry, in general, and the oil industry, in particular, in the years and decades ahead. They also highlighted the importance and benefits of fostering the ongoing cooperation between OPEC and the African energy organizations, especially through the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue framework.

The next Meeting of the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue shall be held in 2025.