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‘Why Africa needs its own energy transition roadmap’

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Stakeholders in the energy sector, especially those canvassing for cleaner fuels in the continent have insisted that Africa must urgently design a tailored energy transition roadmap, as global stakeholders continue to push against fossil fuels.

Global environmental challenges have led to intensified initiatives that promote cleaner fuels and renewable energy while threatening the future of oil, natural gas and coal.

While most countries in Africa still have huge hydrocarbon deposit, the stakeholders, who gathered at a virtual conference “Argus Global Gasoline Live’ to discuss the importance of African gasoline market, stressed that making hydrocarbon cleaner, securing sustainable finance to build interconnected infrastructure that would make product supply seamless, adopting harmonized fuel specification, as well as ensuring import of less polluting vehicles are primary steps for Africa.

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Speaking at the programme, Executive Secretary of the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARDA), Anibor Kragha said: “Africa needs its own unique energy transition roadmap. Along with cleaner fuels, we also need to look at what can be done in the near term to reduce carbon emissions.”

Kragha, who noted that expansion of cooking gas penetration across the continent remained a move that must be sustained, said the continent must have a conversation on “not just what the energy sources will be but the infrastructure that is going to be required to actually put in place a sustainable energy transition.”

He said such conversations and other cogent issues could be addressed in a road map to provide the continent with feasible short and long-term outlooks.

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Kragha said ARDA and the African Union are already looking at the roadmap, adding that securing the needed investments to increase refining capacity in the continent, expanding pipelines and other storage and distribution infrastructure that links the continent together are critical options that must be considered.

Kragha equally noted that reduction in vehicle emissions must be a priority for decision-makers on the continent, adding that the age of vehicles being imported must be restricted.

Head of Operations, Chase Petroleum, Ghana, Emmanuel Quartey equally canvassed for more taxes on polluting vehicles, stressing that Ghana has been able to reduce the import of polluting vehicles through higher tax.

Quartey stated that the Dangote Refinery, which will deliver 10 ppm sulfur petroleum products (AFRI 6 specifications) when it comes onstream would change the narrative in the region. He also added that Ghana has already gone ahead to successfully implement 50 ppm (AFRI 5) fuel specifications.

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