Africa’s energy crisis constitutes a key focus of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Algeria. The President of the PAP and his high-powered delegation paid a courtesy call on Hon. Mohamed Arkab, Algeria Minister of Energy and Mines. The meeting sought to size up and comprehend the country’s energy potential and how this can be tapped into to cater for Africa’s energy needs as the PAP resolves to promote African solutions to African problems.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) at present, 600 million people, or 43% of the total population, lack access to electricity, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. The Agency further notes that for all of these difficulties, the global clean energy transition holds new promise for Africa’s economic and social development.
Minister Arkab told the PAP delegation that the energy sector represents a major industrial activity and economic contributor in Algeria. The country is the leading primary energy producer in Africa, with an annual generation of roughly six quadrillion British thermal units. The large energy production is due to the abundance of natural resources such as oil and natural gas, which are the main energy sources used in the country.
Algeria also has ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency programs that promise to expand its energy resources and support sustainable development. The Government of Algeria has committed to securing foreign investments and advanced energy technology partners to become a global competitor in the renewable energy marketplace. It has sought to expand the production of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower, as part of the implementation of its energy transition roadmap based on Renewable Energy Development and Energy Efficiency Promotion.
The President of the PAP has called on Algeria to take the lead and ensure that Africa is powered up. The President is adamant that technology, knowledge and capacity will be a game changer for the continent as he calls for more partnerships between Algeria and African Union (AU) member states.
"Electricity is the backbone of Africa’s new energy systems. Our role as Parliamentarians is to convey the concerns of our people, and we hear from our constituents that energy is one of the biggest challenges. Algeria has a history of coming to the rescue of the continent and we call upon this great country to lead us on the energy front." said H.E. Chief Fortune Charumbira.
Through the Algerian Parliament, a working mechanism will be put in place to enable members of PAP Permanent Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology to interact with the Algerian Ministry of Energy for knowledge sharing on strategies and policies, which can be replicated across the continent. The result of this collaboration could be a model law when both parties finalise a collaborative framework.
The PAP delegation is currently on an official visit to Algeria until 4 February 2023.