African countries meet over future energy solutions
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future.
The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa.
Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent.
He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said his government have established a gas strategy realizing the necessity of such a unit to lessen the shortage of energy in the country.
He said, "Gas could be a game changer if we get it right. We need to be in conversation as a country with the region and of course collaborate with the private sector."
Strachan said unlocking the energy potential will create employment and grow Africa's economic growth.
Professor Li Yongwang, general manager of Synfuels China Technology, told Xinhua that they are looking forward to sharing experiences and learn from each other's best practices.
He said China have expertise in converting natural gas to clean energy which is environmental friendly and is willing to share they experience with partners in the continent.
Li said, "We are looking for partners in the continent to produce clean energy from Africa with environmental protection. We expect the attendees to know us and we hook up with potential partners who will visit our complex research center in China and we can work together. We are also willing to share our expertise and train the local people."
Leonard Shiyuka from the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) told Xinhua that he expects the conference to unlock the continent's potential in the energy sector.
He said, "I expect to gain more insight about the future energy mix that would be effective to Africa's growth path. It's time for Africa to make use of the resources we have at hand to come up with an energy mix to solve our problems."
He said the gas would be ideal because it is environmentally friendly and cheap in terms of emissions. He said fossil fuels are not sustainable after being in use for a certain period.
African Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event will explore different energy sources like electricity, nuclear energy, gas, oil and renewable energy.
According to the auditing firm PwC, Africa has more than 4,200 oil and gas blocks identified. Africa also has natural gas reserves of 513 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with 91 percent annual gas production of 7.1 tcf coming from Nigeria, Algeria, Libya and Egypt.