African countries continue to implement various policy mechanisms and programs aimed at expanding energy markets through increases in investment, infrastructure deployment and the participation of the private sector. With over 600 million people living without access to electricity and over 900 million without access to clean cooking solutions, the initiatives adopted by African countries and institutions in 2022 seek to maximize the development and monetization of the continent’s entire energy base to accelerate access and industrialization in the short, medium and long term.
African Union’s Position on Energy Access and Just Energy Transition
With the aim of ensuring the continent balances energy security targets with energy transition progress through the development of Africa’s vast oil, gas and renewable resources, the African Union (AU) adopted the African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition in July 2022 – a comprehensive roadmap for short, medium and long-term energy development in Africa. The AU’s position aims to mobilize adequate financing, harmonize regional energy policies and infrastructure for maximum integration, encouraging skills and technology transfer while addressing energy poverty.
While Africa’s hydrocarbon reserves and renewable energy projects continue to expand, with countries such as Namibia making new oil and gas discoveries and Mozambique, Senegal and Mauritania joining the growing list of energy producers, the African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition provides African countries with a roadmap to maximizing fossil fuel development while prioritizing environmental sustainability. As a result, coupled with the need to take advantage of the increases in global gas prices, African countries intensified project developments while more discoveries were made. For example, Egypt made 53 new gas discoveries in 2022 alone.
Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance
With Africa set to represent a $1.5 trillion green hydrogen market by 2035, six countries – Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Egypt, Morocco and Mauritania – launched the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance, which is expected to foster cooperation regarding financing, knowledge and technology sharing, regulation development and standardization of green hydrogen projects.
Following the launch of the Alliance, the number of countries that introduced policies and forged partnerships to stimulate the market increased. South Africa unveiled its Hydrogen Society Roadmap, setting a plan for the deployment of 10 GW of electrolysis and the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2030; Egypt signed multiple green hydrogen agreements aimed at positioning the country as a global green hub at COP27; Mauritania signed green hydrogen packages with CWP Global and bp; while Namibia also secured investment packages for large scale project deployment.
Mauritania Energy Vision 2030+
With Mauritania targeting to achieve universal energy access by 2030, the country unveiled its Energy Vision 2030+: a strategic plan aiming to maximize and accelerate the development and utilization of the country’s oil, gas and renewable energy resources to meet local, regional and global energy needs while diversifying the economy for industrial and economic transformation.
With the country turning into a global energy hub – backed by first gas production from the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project and first oil from the Sangomar development expected by the end of 2023 – significant energy investments are beginning to flow into the country including CWP Global’s $40 billion for the AMAN Green Hydrogen project, and Chariot and Total Eren’s $12 billion for the Nour project, coupled with new interest in upstream oil and gas.
Just Energy Transition Investment Partnership
During the COP27 summit held in Egypt, the South African government launched the Just Energy Transition Partnership alongside France, Germany, the U.K, the U.S and the European Union. Aimed at ensuring energy security for South Africa while fast-tracking renewables deployment, the partnership is paving the way for the African country to secure funds from international governments in the form of loans and grants to transition away from coal to renewables over a period of five years.