ARDA’s Commitment to a Cleaner African Energy Future Showcased through Downstream Drive

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The African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARDA), led by Executive Secretary Anibor Kragha, continues to demonstrate a steadfast commitment to transitioning Africa’s current primary energy mix towards a more sustainable, lower-carbon energy future.

Representing the only pan-African organization for Africa’s downstream sector, ARDA’s mandate to become a voice for all African downstream oil stakeholders is becoming more and more effective as the organization continues to make waves across the African downstream market.

Kragha’s drive was made even more clear through his presentation at Angola’s premier event for the oil and gas sector: Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) 2022, which took place this week in Luanda. Representing the biggest energy event in the country and the first to take place post-COP27, the event provided the best platform for stakeholders to discuss, engage and network, with a series of panel discussions and keynote presentations laying the foundation for robust debate regarding all thing’s African energy. At AOG 2022 Kragha delivered a keynote presentation on Africa’s downstream sector and the importance of improving the delivery and reliance on cleaner fuels for Africa, a presentation which was well-received and commended by a suite of energy stakeholders.

“We must champion investments across the African downstream, and we are promoting African energy security,” Kragha remarked, adding that, “We need to ensure that the downstream players get the right financing in place to deliver cleaner fuels and must add value and put investment in the continent to create further energy security.”

At a time when disruptions in global supply chains continue to cause price shocks and instability worldwide, many African countries continue to rely heavily on refined product imports, resulting in an ever-more challenging situation for the continent and uncertainty on the road ahead. Yet, the continent holds approximately 125 billion barrels of crude oil and over 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, most of which remains largely untapped and awaiting exploitation. In this context, ARDA, alongside organizations such as the African Energy Chamber, is working tirelessly to improve the continent’s domestic refining capacity, making a strong case for the integration of low-carbon solutions and foreign investment to kickstart a new wave of downstream development on the back of harmonized and cleaner fuel specs. 

Driven by the narrative that Africa needs to establish its own roadmap regarding the energy transition, ARDA strongly advocates for the need to improve investment across the downstream sector so that Africa can significantly improve energy security and self-reliance with upgrades to existing refineries, the construction of new facilities and the establishment of strong and sustainable regional distribution networks representing key solutions.

For Africa, parallel challenges including addressing energy poverty and driving the transition to a cleaner energy future make clear the role improving investment in a sustainable downstream sector plays. As such, ARDA justifies the need to upgrade refineries to low-sulfur fuels, replacing biomass with liquefied petroleum gas, developing the right storage and distribution infrastructure to support cleaner fuels while implementing supportive government policies and public financing so that the continent meets the twin goals of energy security and independence.

“Representing the voice of the African energy sector, the AEC will continue to work closely with ARDA as the organization develops new business opportunities across the African downstream sector. Kragha’s commitment to both Africa’s downstream industry and the wider energy sector at large cannot be overstated and his continuous drive to usher in a new era of low-carbon, sustainable development on the back of cleaner fuels should be commended. During AOG 2022, he made clear the role decarbonization and sustainable refining and distribution plays in Africa’s energy transition, delivering an industry-focused keynote presentation that stirred the minds of stakeholders from across the regional and global energy landscape. Anibor Kragha is the type of individual who will position Africa at the center of the global energy transition and we are proud to work with him and ARDA as we pursue more harmonized and cleaner fuel specs across Africa,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

Kragha’s presentation during AOG 2022 represented the start of new dialogue around Africa’s downstream sector, and as investment begins to flow into Africa’s energy sector, stakeholders need to continue to strongly advocate for the role downstream expansion has and continues to play in delivering a just and inclusive energy future in Africa.

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