Prof. Wumi IIedare (inset) addressing participants in the summit Photo: Ebo Gorman

A Petroleum Economist at the University of Cape Coast, Professor Wumi Iledare, has called on African leaders to prioritise the use of oil and gas revenue for economic and social investments that enhances the wellbeing of the citizenry.

He said, the current situation where oil revenues had rather been used to finance political interests had resulted in the lack of basic infrastructural facilities such as schools, hospitals, good roads and electricity.

Professor IIedare said this yesterday in Accra, at the 2nd Off­shore Africa Energy Summit on the theme “The future of oil and gas in Africa”. It was organised by Offshore Africa Magazine.

It brought together energy, oil, and gas experts across the con­tinent to discuss pertinent issues relating to the petroleum industry, and as well as provide sustainable solutions to address the challenges in the sector.

Professor Iledare said that Africa needs to do well in the oil and gas investment since the sector is a key area that could develop the continent from its economic misfortune.

He said the poverty level within the continent is as dangerous as global warming, hence the need to develop proper strategies to ad­dress major issues like unemploy­ment, and climate change within the continent.

Professor IIedare suggested that revenue generation from the oil and gas sector should be

channelled into training Africans to acquire and upgrade their skills in the sector, stressing this would enable Africans to play key roles in the exploration and production of oil and gas.

In a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, he said the energy sector is one of the high-emitting sectors and therefore requires critical actions if Ghana is to achieve its net-zero ambitions.

He said consequently, a National Energy Transition Framework has been developed to provide the vision and guidance for Ghana’s energy transition, adding that, in preparing the framework all exist­ing policies and programmes were factored to revamp the sector.

Dr Prempeh said a wide stakeholder consultation exercise was undertaken across the length and breadth of the country, to ensure that peculiar energy needs and issues in various parts of the country were captured and addressed in the framework.

“Notwithstanding our commit­ment to our net-zero ambitions as a country, our quest for energy transition must be approached with a great deal of circumspection.

We must carefully examine it in the context of the reality of the current stage of Africa’s current circumstances and growth trajecto­ry. This has even become more im­perative given today’s global energy crisis anchored heavy disruptions in the global supply chain,” he said.

He added that, an Intergovern­mental Panel on Climate Change report, as of 2019, stated that historical cumulative net anthropo­genic carbon dioxide emissions in Africa was eight per cent of the world’s emissions while those of Europe and North America were 16 and 23 per cent respectively.

Dr Prempeh said, per the report, about two per cent of Africa’s emissions came from fossil fuels and industry while more than 15 per cent of the emissions in Eu­rope and America emanated from fossil fuels and industrial activities.

“Clearly this gap must be consid­ered in decision-making regarding the global energy transition.

“Even though we, in Africa, are the least emitters, we tend to be at the receiving end the most, because our agrarian and resource-driven economies are susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its shocks is weak,” he said.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN