The Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, has said that the Organization, through the Africa Energy Investment Corporation, is in talks with the African Development Bank to establish the African Energy Bank. The primary function of the bank will be to fund energy projects, particularly oil and gas projects, across the African continent.

The SG noted that the Organization is preparing for life after the western investments. He said: “We are going to do this because very soon, the Western countries that have been funding our oil and gas projects: exploring, finding, production, processing; that’s with upstream, midstream, and downstream, are going to leave us.”

The halt of international funding in the African oil and gas sector will leave the continent with over 125 million barrels of proven crude oil and over 500 trillion cubic feet of gas. Dr Farouk said that Africa cannot abandon its resources, especially with the continent being the one with the largest number of people living in energy poverty, with over 600-900 million people not having access to modern energy for cooking, heating, electricity and other domestic purposes.

Oil and gas are critical to the development of Africa, and forcing the continent to move at the same pace as the Western world is unfair. It is energy that will help to bridge the gap in development between African countries and the Western world. Oil and gas investments will create a better life, job opportunities, infrastructure development, etc.