Browsing: APPO

Senegal’s oil and gas discoveries account for only 0.07 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively, of world reserves.

But Senegal’s Petroleum and Energies Minister Sophie Gladima said, “they are important enough to radically change the economy and industrial fabric of our country and thereby its future prospects.”

“Just exploiting our hydrocarbons will enable us to accelerate public access to electricity and, above all, to lower the cost of production and encourage industrialisation.”

She further underlined the legal framework needed to bring thousands of Senegalese jobs into the sector and the setting up of the National Institute of Oil and Gas to turn out a highly qualified workforce.

Funny enough, Namibia, also admitted as a member, is not yet producing any oil. Namibia recently announced that it would consider joining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries if the oil fields are found to be large enough for commercial development.

The crisis has thrown the energy market into chaos, sending fossil fuel prices soaring. This has birthed the global demand for thermal coal, especially from the Asian and European markets; with most countries in both regions having been dependent of Russia, as the country is the world’s third largest supplier of thermal coal used chiefly for power generation. Coal plants that had been scheduled for closure in Europe have been reopened, to fill the deficit in mitigating fuel costs and generating electricity; as the alternative gas, is inarguably more expensive. With energy security under threat, climate policies and commitments have taken a back seat. The EU recently declared that natural gas now qualifies for green investments.

The African coal market is projected to enjoy double its revenue for the next one year. The prevailing energy gap has created a window of opportunity for African coal producing nations. According to a report by Reuters, South Africa’s coal exports rose by 11 folds in the months following the war. Botswana has also projected growth in its coal market. The massive demand far outstrips the available supply, resulting into prices of thermal coal leaping to record levels. African countries with coal resources, have doubled profit margins, with the surge in demand from European buyers. Italy, France, Portugal and Spain have been sourcing from Nigeria, whilst Germany has sought Senegal for gas supplies.

The revenues gained from increased energy exports to Europe and other markets could be reinvested to boost agricultural productivity in Africa to mitigate reliance on Russia and Ukrainian wheat products. In addition, the surplus could boost the continent’s manufacturing sector, pertinently fertilizers to promote agricultural productivity which fuels most economies in Africa.