Energy Partnerships in Africa Must Benefit Society Especially Women and Children Through Localization (By Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka)
Recent discoveries of oil and gas across the continent serve as a reminder that Africa has the potential to be an international energy supplier
Diversified energy sources used together with rich energy reserves could act as a force multiplier for growth, economic upliftment, poverty reduction and improved health
By Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa.
Africa’s capability has grasped the world’s attention in recent times as conflict in Eastern Europe and rising energy costs have highlighted the globe’s precarious energy position.
Recent discoveries of oil and gas across the continent serve as a reminder that Africa has the potential to be an international energy supplier. Africa nevertheless also must also be focused on increased production of clean energy as part of the just transition and fight against climate change. Additionally, investment in future projects must ensure full benefits and upliftment of women and children of our continent writes Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka the former Director of UN Women and South Africa’s first female deputy president.
Having served both the United Nations and the South African Government, I am of the view that Africa must ensure both consistent and diverse energy supply to its people and the world while also tackling some of the most challenging socio-economic issues it faces. The upliftment of women and ensuring equality will contribute positively development and growth of countries. Diversified energy sources used together with rich energy reserves could act as a force multiplier for growth, economic upliftment, poverty reduction and improved health.
Worryingly, UN Women (https://bit.ly/3dG4A6e) statistics indicate that women in Sub-Saharan Africa collectively spend over 40-billion hours a year collecting water. Rural communities that do not have access to efficient energy sources continue to rely on open fires and burn wood and crop waste to survive. Research also shows that when more income is put into the hands of women, education, children nutrition and health also improve. African countries must be careful of the well documented industry behaviour which has continued to exploit the resources and the local people and African governments that have failed to stand up for their country’s developmental needs.
Later this year, heads of state, industry leaders and multinational oil and gas companies will convene for the annual Africa Oil Week (https://bit.ly/3c0pXPe) conference in Cape Town from October 3rd to 7th. This is Africa’s premium energy event and a key opportunity to outline the benefits of localization. It is also a key moment to present the climate change imperatives which must guide the way forward.
An inclusive approach that benefits locals would boost local skills development, lower supply chain costs, encourage responsive & good governance, enhance infrastructure, develop sustainable local content all in enhanced localization approach and strategies.
It is my sincere hope that, as energy leaders come together for AOW (https://Africa-OilWeek.com) in October, the opportunities that can put Africa on a successful and sustainable energy path are considered with the seriousness they deserve and with the spirit of Ubuntu – the understanding that we are interdependent and coexist as a partnership.
We must grapple with the historic curse of resources that has beleaguered many countries who remain unequal and poor despite growth in exports and foreign earnings from energy resources. Climate change constrains must also continue to guide our choices of energy mix, money gained from fossil fuels must also be used to invest in clean energy and for the development of our people. We must combine our strengths, resources, and knowledge to ensure that no woman or child is left behind as we advance together.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Oil Week.
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Group Account Director, AOW at Ogilvy PR South Africa
Mobile: +27 76 449 1271
Vice President of Energy & Director of Government Relations, Africa Oil Week and Green Energy Africa Summit
Mobile: +44 7825 311791
About the Author:
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the former Deputy President of South Africa (2005-2008) and Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005). She served two terms as the Executive Director of UN Women (2013-2021) and holds qualifications in Gender Policy and Planning from the University College of London and a Master’s in Philosophy in Educational Planning Policy from the University of Cape Town.
About Africa Oil Week and the Green Energy Africa Summit:
The Africa Oil Week offers four days of pioneering insights, from ministerial panels to strategic outlooks designed to drive investment into the African upstream for the benefit of the continent. At the heart of the event are some of the most compelling insights into the upstream strategies of governments from across the continent.
These extensive and varied networking opportunities have resulted in an unprecedented return of delegates year after year. AOW is globally renowned for bringing the most senior delegates together each year. In 2021, AOW welcomed 30+ Ministers and Government Leaders, 2 000+ C-level delegates, representatives, and hundreds of SVPs and VPs of Africa, Exploration and New Ventures – making the event the most influential energy conference in Africa.
Whilst Africa Oil Week will retain its own identity as a pure-play Hydrocarbons event to advocate upstream development. The Green Energy Africa Summit will also play its role in driving enabling environments to ensure foreign direct investment is deployed into game-changing projects that will reduce the energy deficit and provide energy access for all across the continent.