Policy Pillar: Focus on Africa

The hosting of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh not only shone the global spotlight on Egypt but the whole of Africa. The strong recurrent message was that the continent has huge potential when it comes to producing and exporting hydrogen.

It will be fascinating to see if Africa delivers. Is there enough political and commercial will to make the switch, to technologically ‘leapfrog’ to the forefront of the new energy transition – or will the status quo be maintained, and oil and gas reign supreme?

There are no easy answers. For all the sustainability benefits from embracing clean energy, McKinsey suggests more than one million jobs in Africa could be vulnerable as economies make the transition – almost half of countries have natural gas reserves – and demand for oil products is set to grow 1.4% in the next 20 years.

Only a paltry 2% of global investments in renewable energy in the last two decades were made in Africa, illustrating the challenges as much as the potential.

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