Investment needed to realise Africa’s enormous energy potential

Posted on 12 June 2015

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Philippe Joubert, Chair of the World Energy Council Global Electricity Initiative, presenting at the German-African Forum.

Addressing the 9th German-African Energy Forum in Hamburg, Dr Stefan Liebig, Chairman of the Africa Association of the German Industry, said: “Without the establishment of an energy infrastructure, there won’t be any great economic growth on the African continent.”

Dr Liebig was addressing an audience of several hundred which included nine African ministers and German State secretaries in a Forum in Hamburg which was co-hosted by the World Energy Council Germany last month.  Philippe Joubert, Chair of the World Energy Council Global Electricity Initiative, was also present to deliver the findings of the last survey of CEOs of utility companies from around the world.  The Global Electricity Initiative’s 2014 report, drawing on the views of CEOs of utilities from countries which together account for about 80% of the global installed generating capacity, emphasises that a meaningful price for CO2 is crucial in facilitating significant change in the fuel mix of the global electricity sector.

At the meeting, Dr Liebig urged investors and politicians to work together to find ways of overcoming the obstacles that are preventing a flow of capital to Africa.  The Forum heard how agreements and shared risk burdens between investors, projects, public guarantees and insurances need to be established so that strong energy partnerships between Europe and Africa can be formed.

There are enormous reserves of energy in Africa – in the last few years, 30 per cent of the world’s energy commodities have been found in sub-Saharan Africa.  To realise the full potential of the African energy sector, it is estimated that USD 800 billion are needed, but to date only USD 4 billion have been invested.