Africa, the planet's second largest continent after Asia, is in the throes of great change. With 1.2 billion people and more than half - 600 million - of whom are without access to energy and even more lacking access to clean, potable water, the demand for a more widespread energy and water infrastructure is being felt at national and supranational institutions throughout the region.
Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner of Infrastructure, Energy, ICT & Tourism at the Africa Union highlighted the growing population of Africa and its increased need for energy which, fortunately for Africa, coincides with a large number of oil and gas discoveries on the continent.
At the same time the development of energy reserves is taking place in different phases, depending on the particular country in Africa.
While Africans are conscious of the need to emphasize renewables as they develop their energy infrastructure with the goal of reduced climate - changing emissions, they are also looking to bridge the energy gap quickly. According to Dr. Amani, gas is only 5 per cent of the energy use, but it is fast-growing now to meet the continent’s demands,” she said. This will inevitably entail the construction of gas pipeline systems to move the product within countries but also across boundaries to supply neighboring states.
Dr Amani said that presently the infrastructure for trading between countries is almost non-existent and is a major loss. “We are taking concrete steps to fast-track our initiatives and energy is on top of our agenda as we see the economic transition across the continent,” she said.
For the aforementioned reasons, Africa is seeing new international initiatives to foster this development, for example the Ifrastructure Development Africa (IDA), which will take place from 10 - 12 November 2020 in Tunis, Tunesia. IDA focuses on three main topics: pipelines, water / waste water and ports and logistics. Find out more about IDA on the official website.