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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Monday reported that Africa is making positive progress in the pursuit of a clean energy transition in the continent. However, the report revealed that it is crucial to complement these efforts with the development of fossil fuel energy resources.

The report, titled “Africa Energy Review 2023: Africa’s challenges and opportunities in the energy transition,” highlights that several countries on the continent are actively harnessing their vast renewable energy potential.

According to PwC, this dual approach is essential for expediting the transition and reaping its full benefits.

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Despite Africa’s substantial potential in both fossil fuels and renewable energy, the continent grapples with high levels of energy poverty. Balancing energy security, climate change, and sustainable development objectives presents an additional challenge for African nations.

Andries Rossouw, PwC Africa’s energy, utilities, and resources leader, asserted that the future of African energy lies in lower-carbon technologies. He emphasised the critical role Africa plays in addressing global energy challenges.

“Despite the continent’s monumental fossil fuel and renewable energy potential, it faces high energy poverty levels.”

The report revealed that African countries are also faced with the challenge of how to balance energy security, climate change, and sustainable development objectives.

Pedro Omontuemhen, PwC Africa’s oil & gas leader, noted that a decarbonised Africa can meet large-scale energy supply demands. However, he stressed the importance of concurrently addressing energy poverty and enhancing energy security through collaborative efforts between governments and the private sector.

The report spotlighted Nigeria as the leading exporter of fossil fuels in West Africa, with a vision to drive liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

Omontuemhen highlighted the potential for growth and investment in the region, especially considering that 70 percent of the population is below 30 years old.

Meanwhile, David Tarimo, PwC Energy, utilities & resources leader in eastern Africa, expressed the belief that gas will continue to play a crucial role in energy and industrial systems across many countries.

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He emphasised its significance in power generation, serving as both baseload and flexible generation, even as new power technologies emerge.

Tarimo also noted that while there is emphasis on developing the hydrogen economy, gas remains pivotal in Africa’s ongoing energy transition.