Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim — Secretary General, APPO
Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim — Secretary General, APPO

Make energy more accessible to reduce poverty -APPO urges African countries

The African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) has called on African countries to find ways of making energy accessible to more people on the continent.


The APPO said that was the only way to reduce poverty because the situation whereby a number of African countries exported 75 per cent of the oil they produced, and 45 per cent of gas at a time when a vast majority of people on the continent lived in energy poverty was not encouraging.

The Secretary General of APPO, Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, made the call at the opening of a two-day Roundtable Conference on gas flaring and fugitive methane emissions in Accra. It was on the theme “ :Towards zero routine gas flaring and lower methane emissions in APPO oil and gas operations.”

Organised by the APPO Secretariat in collaboration with the Petroleum Commission under the Ministry of Energy, it was aimed at bringing together oil and gas operators and regulators from APPO member countries to share experiences in various methodologies, technologies and regulatory frameworks in dealing with the challenges of gas flaring and fugitive methane emissions with a view to enhancing understanding of how to handle the challenges.

The APPO member countries include Ghana, Benin, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and South Africa. The rest are Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Niger, Senegal Chad and Namibia.


Dr Ibrahim said in the light of global energy shift from fossil to renewable energies, popularly known as energy transition, countries on the continent could not afford to continue to do things the same way they had been doing about 160 years ago when oil production started on the continent.

‘’Our local oil producing companies have looked up to international oil service companies outside of Africa for leadership, partnership and collaboration. We have relied massively on foreign technology for the operations of our industry and we have depended heavily on foreign financing for our oil and gas projects and we have put so much faith in foreign markets for our oil and gas” he lamented.

Dr Ibrahim further explained that if Africa must get out of poverty it must find a way of making energy accessible to a vast majority of people, stressing that “no country in the contemporary world have been able to fight poverty and uplift the living standards of its people without making energy accessible to a vast majority of people.”

 The APPO Secretary General announced that plans were far advanced towards the operation of the Africa Energy Bank, a joint project being promoted by the APPO and Afriexim bank.

He said the bank would be operationalised before the end of the third quarter of this year, saying when it was operationalised  the oil and gas sector would experience a major transformation.


The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Energy, John Kobina Abbam Sanie, said Ghana had made conscious efforts to encourage all thermal power producers to utilise gas from producing fields thereby increasing their efficiency while reducing gas flaring from the fields.

“I expect that the conference will create a path for APPO member countries to reduce emissions, identify most productive uses of natural gas and enhance investment in the petroleum sector.” he said.

 The Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr., said  Africans were expecting leaders in the oil and gas industry to come out with concrete solutions to reduce methane emissions and gas flaring issues in the petroleum sector. 

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