As African and global energy leaders gathered recently in Cape Town for the forth Africa Oil & Power 2019 conference, much must follow in the form of action to include the millions of the continental masses still excluded from the mainstream economy.
An area, that urgently needs serious attention is the provision of reliable and affordable electricity to the millions that still don’t have excess to this basis human necessity many decades after the first countries in Africa attained liberation.
So much has been said in the past four years since AOP came into being put still there’s not sign that the leaders in the energy sector, have found a way of addressing the decades old backlogs affecting many African countries.
It is also disturbing to note that Africa’s most populous country and the biggest economy up there with South Africa, can only produce around 450 000 oil barrels per day, when in fact it’s meant to produce 2,5 million BPD, but because it has not been able to run a world class refinery, which it is now expected to be completed in late 2020.
This is a setback for the struggling majority in Nigeria and elsewhere. It is totally unacceptable from even the governments that have come and gone not to have dealt with this matter.
By all accounts, SA is also not fully capitalising on it’s energy sector. The problems at Eskom are a case in point that all is not well within the country’s and southern Africa’s main electricity supplier.
It remains to be seen if the Cyril Ramaphosa administration can turn the situation around for the better, as has been promised since ascending to the presidency.
The African Union’s (AU) role once again comes into question. Is The AU a body that is leading Africa into its Golden Age’ or is it a toothless dog that some analysts have claimed it is.
Some of the issues raise range from the inclusion of small business sector at these forums like AOP ; to calling on governments to stop changing plans when a new regime come into office instead to focus on 15 to 20 year plan that will allow enough time for the monitoring and
evaluation of what works and does not work.
With a striking theme like #MakeEnergyWork, all sectors responsible for the growth and development of Africa, especially the masses, must follow up with the leaders promises and make sure that by the next meeting a report of progress made is available.
Highly important to remember as several panelists illustrated is that without the inclusion of the masses into the mainstream of the economy, economic growth and development will remain an elusive dream.