AU Official Urged Turning Difficulties Into Opportunities To Transform Africa’s Energy Sector

ADDIS ABABA– African Union (AU) Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Amani Abou-Zeid, yesterday urged African countries, to turn difficulties into opportunities to transform Africa’s energy sector.

“The last three years have been difficult years in the whole world, with a series of crises that have brought several industries, several sectors and the lives of people around the world to disruptions in so many ways – the economies and the livelihoods,” Abou-Zeid told the press, on the sidelines of the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly.

She said, the AU, in collaboration with partners, has been working in order to put the African continent on a path of recovery from the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AU commissioner, however, said, since 2022, due to geo-political tensions and the Ukraine crisis, “the situation is getting more complex,” putting the energy sector into the spotlight across the world.

“These are not like any other times. The continent had problems before and these problems have been compounded by the crisis over the last three years,” Abou-Zeid said.

Noting Africa’s long-existing energy deficit that was further exacerbated, following recent global and continental phenomenon, the AU commissioner emphasised the need to exert concerted efforts to address the challenge.

“Since our continent suffers from energy poverty, we would like to use this situation – as difficult as it is – to accelerate access to energy, and to secure energy for all countries on this continent,” Abou-Zeid said.

“We are determined to turn these difficult times into opportunities for the continent,” she said.

She further emphasised the need to improve the development and use of green and sustainable energy across the African continent.

“I would like to reiterate the importance of energy, the importance of digitalisation when it comes to recovery, when it comes to building resilience within the continent,” the commissioner underscored.

The two-day summit, slated from Feb 18 to 19, at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa, was held under the theme of the year for 2023 – “The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation.”