Issue 719 - Page 24

BusiNess
Rene Awambeng , the Director and Global Head , Client Relations , Afreximbank , and Omar Farouk , the Secretary General of APPO , signing the MoU at Cape VIII , Luanda Angola 16 May 2022 . COURTESY PHOTO

Afreximbank moots continental energy bank

Fossil fuel lobby want bank to serve as catalyst for Africa-directed investments

By Ronald Musoke

On May 16 , the African Export-Import Bank ( Afreximbank ) signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Petroleum Producers Organization ( APPO ) in a move that seeks to create a multi-billion dollar energy bank on the continent .

The energy bank , according to the memorandum , will provide private sector financing for new and existing oil and gas projects as well as energy developments across the entire value chain .
The memorandum was signed by Rene Awambeng , the Director and Global Head , Client Relations , Afreximbank , and Dr . Omar Farouk , the Secretary General of APPO , in the presence of Angolan president , João Lourenço ; ministers from the African petroleum producing countries and NJ Ayuk , the executive chairman of the African
Energy Chamber in Luanda , Angola ’ s capital .
Ayuk said the proposed bank does not seek to be a substitute for private investment , but rather , will serve as a catalyst for Africa-directed investment .
“ The African Energy Chamber has been pushing for the creation of an African Energy Bank , one that is African-based and Africa-focused , and I am proud to announce that the Afreximbank and APPO have taken the first steps towards its creation ,” he said .
“ This is a practical strategy for prosperity and a pragmatic vision that must be embraced by all who want to make energy poverty history and fight climate change .”
“ Why should our pension funds go to European banks who say they will not finance Africans and call us risky ? We need to use that money to finance oil and gas ,” he added .
The proposal comes at the time when the global energy sector is undergoing a major investment shift , including ending investment in fuel use to stem climate change .
However , African energy experts say the global energy transition should be approached with a bit of caution and context for the African continent . They say Africa is still grappling with “ the crisis of energy poverty ” with over 600 million people lacking access to electricity and 900 million people lacking access to clean cooking solutions . Interestingly , global investors are shying away from hydrocarbons , leaving the continent without the investment it needs if it is to capitalize on its resources .
Early this month , President Yoweri Museveni wrote in The Telegraph , a British newspaper , defending Uganda ’ s Lake Albert Basin oil project which investors gave the green light in February , this year , but continues to face negative press from climate change activists .
President Museveni noted in the article that although the Western world is trying to champion the transition to renewable energy , an ambition which is laudable , “ it is
22 May . 20 -26 2022