Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) has said that it plans to commit $5 billion to the establishment of the African Energy Bank (AEB), to develop oil and gas assets across oil producing member countries.
Secretary General of APPO, Dr Omar Ibrahim, who spoke during a news conference held on the sidelines of the recent 24th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Calgary, Canada, stated that the bank would be established in collaboration with Afreximbank, according to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report.
He explained that the establishment of the bank would address the funding challenge often associated with oil and gas projects.
According to him, the AEB has the objective to close the gap resulting from the decision of Western financiers to discontinue funding the industry, especially in Africa.
Ibrahim said the bank would assist investors, who believe that Africa needed to use all forms of available energy for the foreseeable future, to eliminate the huge poverty on the continent.
On strategies to address the technology and expertise challenge, Ibrahim said a team from the Secretariat undertook an assessment tour with a view to establishing the professional level of these institutions.
According to him, the tour was based on oil and gas research, development, innovation and training institutions in APPO member countries.
‘‘We were pleasantly surprised at the level of advancement of many of the institutions visited, in terms of their training programmes, facilities and equipment as well as faculties. For the highly skilled sectors, we plan to have regional centres of excellence in the various sectors of the industry, ”he said.
Ibrahim also said that Nigeria would be hosting the second Africa Roundtable on Local Content in October, while Angola had indicated interest for the next in the first quarter of 2024.
He further hinted that APPO was currently addressing the challenge of markets and energy infrastructure.
He explained that the organisation was working on producing a blueprint for the integration of the African continent through the establishment of cross border energy infrastructure.