African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) and stakeholders across the energy sector have asked Africa to prioritise as a short term goal its energy security despite the push for energy transition.
Warning that the surging population on the continent could widen energy need and increase environmental and health problems, the stakeholders, who converged on
Cape Town, South Africa, stressed that unless something was urgently done to revive refineries across the continent and bridge electricity access, projected development may remain a mirage.
They equally called for the need to refine cleaner petroleum products, address huge Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) shortage and distribution and storage infrastructure.
Coming a year after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia with the multinational impacts, especially high product prices and increasing debt burden, the stakeholders, who met at a yearly conference, organised by ARDA, were worried about the continent’s comatose refineries, ageing storage and distribution infrastructure, poor port architecture, gas to power challenges, crude oil theft, rising subsidy on petroleum products and other issues compounding existing woes.
Already, four million premature deaths were being recorded yearly from the 700 million people that lack clean cooking gas. Even as stakeholders expressed anxiety that Africa’s population was surging for a global high, the continent remains the only region with growing populace, but without energy access.