October 28, 2023, Abuja – During the third edition of the African Local Content Roundtable, the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) brought attention to a pressing issue: more than 600 million individuals across the African continent currently lack access to modern energy sources.
Omar Farouk, the Secretary General of APPO, shared this alarming statistic while addressing the gathering in Abuja, emphasizing the dire state of energy poverty in Africa. The event’s theme, “Fostering Local Content in Africa for Africans,” provided a platform for Farouk to underscore the fact that Africa holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest percentage of its population living in energy poverty.
In his address, Farouk expressed his concern over Africa’s heavy reliance on foreign oil and gas technologies, despite its involvement in the energy sector for several decades. He encouraged African nations to shift their focus inwards, prioritizing the development of their own oil and gas resources.
Farouk remarked, “It’s disheartening that we’ve become accustomed to this dependency on external sources. What’s even more distressing is that Africa bears the highest burden of energy poverty, with over 600 million Africans lacking access to electricity, and millions more deprived of any form of modern energy. Astonishingly, 70 percent of our oil production and 70 percent of our gas production is exported.”
He argued for Africa’s right to harness its own abundant and affordable sources of energy, primarily oil and gas. Farouk drew parallels with the development of today’s prosperous nations, stressing that Africa should be afforded the same opportunities to utilize these resources to uplift its people from poverty and improve their living standards.