The Chief Director at the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Lawrence Apaalse has urged leaders of Africa’s energy sector to foster collaboration to ensure that the continent would harness its energy resources.
Mr. Apaalse made this call when he represented Energy Minister, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh at a Ministerial Round Table Discussion at the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston, Texas in the USA.
He said the African continent is blessed with abundant natural resources including oil and gas as nearly half of the countries in West Africa are producing oil and gas, making the sub-region an important hub of the sector.
He further said Africa is cognizant of the advocacy for energy transition and cleaner energy, however, the conversation must be had within a careful context, which is the reality of the current stage of Africa’s current circumstances and growth trajectory.
“Many in Africa, including the African Energy Chamber, recommend a multi-pronged approach to addressing energy poverty - one that harnesses both renewable energy sources and fossil fuel. I think this is a call in the right direction” he said.
He continued “In the West African subregion alone, in countries like Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana, gas will be a game changer in providing cheaper access to power and ultimately driving industrialization. This in turn creates employment and business opportunities both in the upstream and downstream petroleum sector.
The Chief Director said gas, especially Africa’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is the cleanest of fossil fuel, and harnessing it to power generators can make a huge impact on the drive to accelerate universal coverage.
Touching on the promotion of LPG for cooking, Mr. Apaalse said the Ghana Cylinder manufacturing company has been empowered to manufacture good quality LPG cylinders and stoves designed to meet the specific needs of the its target market.
He said the company has the capacity to significantly increase the number of LPG cook stoves and cylinders on the Ghanaian market and beyond as the world advocates for clean cooking.
He also spoke on government’s Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme (AOGC) to ensure that Ghanaians are equipped with the relevant skills and certifications to be able to work in the oil and gas industry and also made a strong case for investors to invest in Ghana’s unexplored basins.
Mr. Apaalse called for energy infrastructure interconnectivity within Africa and further called for experience sharing and the study of best practices so that Africa’s energy resources could be exploited for the benefit of our citizens.
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Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith