Representing the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) has become an invaluable advocate for Africa’s oil and gas industry at a time when global stakeholders are calling for the immediate end to fossil fuel utilization.
With over 600 million without access to electricity and 900 million people without access to clean cooking solutions, the continent desperately needs its oil and gas reserves if it is to make energy poverty history by 2030. In this regard, the AEC has remained focused and committed, calling for a well-planned, strategic approach to Africa’s energy transition, one which considers the needs of Africans today, tomorrow and for future generations.
The AEC consistently and continuously asks the big questions, such as how Africa’s energy transition will be funded; why western nations continue to develop their hydrocarbons while asking Africa to transition to renewables; and what steps need to be taken to alleviate energy poverty once and for all? In asking these questions and driving a real discussion about African energy, the AEC continues to be a voice for hundreds of millions of people across the continent who do not have access to electricity – Africans who will greatly benefit from oil and gas.
While Africa is only responsible for less than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the continent is still being asked to abandon its oil and gas in the name of climate change, thus, carrying the burdens of developed countries, ones which continue to develop oil and gas. After COP26 in Glasgow, the UK announced a major oil and gas bid licensing round; the US opened federal lands for drilling; England is looking at re-opening its coal mines for the first time in 30 years; Germany is building new LNG terminals; and Norway has given out 52 oil licenses. The chamber believes that Africans should have the right to explore oil and gas in the same these countries are.
Despite the ongoing work by the chamber, going as far as launching the first-ever Africa-focused and Africa-held energy event in 2021 – African Energy Week – UK-based events company, Hyve Group, responsible for launching the Green Energy Africa Summit as well as Africa Oil Week’s disastrous move to Dubai in 2021 citing Africa’s inability to host a large-scale event, has filed a lawsuit to blackout the AEC. The lawsuit is intended to silence both the AEC and Africa while preventing the development of the continent’s oil and gas resources.
“When they lose, they get desperate, and this is what this lawsuit is: a desperate attempt to silence Africa. They are employing their bullying tactics, threatening the AEC, an organization which has only ever been committed to Africa’s development. Their misrepresentations have cost us a lot of money and yet we continue to push for the continent we love and the continent we are committed to. We will fight back like never before. We will not give in to intimidation and the ruthless attempts to keep us quiet,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC, adding that, “The stakes are too high for Africans for us to let some ‘woke’ British company tell us to go green. They do not represent Africa and any attempt to silence Africa by this UK based company must be put to a stop.”
They have lost key sponsors, speakers, partners and 70% plus of African ministers and national oil company leaders, all of which have chosen to join the chamber and support AEW.
African business, the oil industry and everyday people are with us because they know the work the chamber does and its commitment to driving development in Africa. We have and continue to finance a lot or programs across Africa and pay taxes. Now that they are losing money by trying to tell Africa what to do and where to discuss African matters, they are coming after us. If we have to oppose the Dubai move again, we will. If they go to Dubai again, we will oppose them. As Dr Martin Luther King Jr puts it “It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right”.
The AEC proudly supports the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, Mozambique’s right to develop its gas resources, Senegal and Mauritania’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project as well as gas monetization plans in Nigeria, Ghana, the Congo, Cameroon and Angola, among others. Africa needs it oil and gas and this very narrative is what the Chamber will continue to promote.
The move by British based Hyve Group CEO Mark Shashoua is not the first time African organizations or oil and gas projects and governments have been attacked by UK activists and groups. Friends of the Earth sued to block funding for the Mozambique LNG project; Extinction Rebellion harassed African executives during an energy conference in London in May 2022; and now their eyes are set on the AEC. We need to FIGHT BACK, and we cannot do it without your help.