Africa Energy Week 2023: A Fossil Fuel Jamboree Masquerading as an Energy Renaissance

Africa Energy Week (AEW) 2023, billed as the “biggest energy event in Africa,” was a four-day from October 16-20  gathering of oil and gas executives, policy-makers, government officials, and investors from around the world. However, the conference’s theme, “The African Energy Renaissance: Prioritising Energy Poverty, People, the Planet, Industrialisation and Free Markets,” was little more than a thinly veiled attempt to greenwash what was in practice a fossil fuel jamboree.

The conference was dominated by discussions about how to increase oil and gas production in Africa. There was little to no discussion of renewable energy or energy efficiency. In fact, many speakers at the conference downplayed the threat of climate change and argued that fossil fuels are essential for Africa’s development.

The conference also featured a number of deals worth billions of dollars to develop new oil and gas projects in Africa. This is at odds with the growing scientific consensus that fossil fuels must be phased out as quickly as possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

The AEW 2023 was a missed opportunity to showcase Africa’s potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Instead, it was a platform for fossil fuel companies to promote their interests and greenwash their image.

The AEW 2023’s focus on fossil fuels is concerning for a number of reasons. First, it locks Africa into a fossil fuel-based energy system for decades to come. This will make it more difficult and expensive for Africa to transition to a clean energy future.

The continued reliance on fossil fuels will exacerbate climate change. Climate change is already having a devastating impact on Africa, and it is only going to get worse if we do not reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

The  focus on fossil fuels is a distraction from the real energy needs of Africa. Millions of Africans still lack access to electricity and clean cooking facilities. Renewable energy and energy efficiency can provide these essential services in a way that is affordable, sustainable, and climate-friendly.

The AEW 2023 was a disappointment according to most experts.  It was an opportunity to showcase Africa’s potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency, but instead it was a platform for fossil fuel companies to promote their interests and greenwash their image.

African governments and leaders should focus on developing a clean energy future for Africa. This will require investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as phasing out fossil fuels. By doing so, Africa can create jobs, improve energy access, and reduce its vulnerability to climate change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *