Establishing hydrogen economies and organisations in Africa will provide tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits, all at the same time.
This is the message from the African Hydrogen Partnership (AHP), a multi-stakeholder association that in 2019 unveiled an ambitious vision to transform Africa from a vast continent in need of products, infrastructure, energy and mobility, to a region at the forefront of clean technologies with a thriving hydrogen value chain.
AHP connects industry, financial institutions, governmental organisations (such as government ministries, universities and state research centres) and large end-consumers who need to decarbonise and/or are interested in using hydrogen technology. AHP is the so-called ‘market maker’ for hydrogen and related technologies, bringing together demand and supply. Think of the shipping industry moving towards carbon neutral fuels which need to become available in the large African ports. The same applies to hydrogen-powered drones or vehicles; the fuel must become available and, at the same time, sufficient initial demand will justify a cost-effective hydrogen supply.
As AHP is in touch with a large variety of stakeholders, dots can be easily be connected to create hydrogen demand and supply value chains. Financing is a crucial part of creating these value chains. By local production and consumption of hydrogen in Africa, the continent would be able to drastically reduce the import of fossil-based fuels and chemicals. This would reduce dependency on foreign currency and help improve trade balances. AHP proposes that the savings from this, and from reducing pollution, as well as socio-economic benefits, could be used to fund new economically and commercially viable hydrogen programmes.
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