Gas Remains Key to Stable Power Supply in Africa – AfDB President Adesina

Despite global efforts to end investments in fossil fuels, gas remains critical for African economies, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said on Thursday.

Adesina, a former Minister of Agriculture in his home country Nigeria, said that Africa, where around 600 million people are without access to electricity, is still trying to build just energy systems.

The bank is backing Total’s $20 billion natural gas liquefied project in Mozambique.

Adesina explained that despite increased investments and access to electricity, particularly from renewable sources, there are limitations with the current technologies. Africa, he said, needs a steady power supply to grids and a stable baseload for industries.

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Adesina said on the sidelines of the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, that gas is therefore fundamental to Africa’s survival.

Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Mozambique are among several African countries that depend on oil and gas for revenue and to produce steady power using gas.

Africa will only contribute just 0.67 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions even if it triples the use of gas to generate electricity, Adesina stated.

“Without gas, Africa’s economies will die,” he added.

He added that the bank had decided not to fund coal projects any longer.

“Our board approved a policy change a week ago. No more coal, but we will support Africa to have a stable energy system, something gas will enable,” he said, noting that wood fuel and charcoal are still the primary fuel sources on the continent.

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