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30 November 2023

New pan-African energy group launched in Algiers

By Agencies

A new energy organisation for Africa tasked with coordinating policy for the resource-rich continent was set to be launched Sunday at a meeting of African Union energy ministers, organisers said.

The African Energy Commission (Afrec) is to be headquartered in Algiers and is to promote the sharing of information about policy among members.

The acting head of the organisation, Hussein Elhag, said the Afrec would also promote alternative energy in African countries, including nuclear energy for countries that wanted to harness it for peaceful means.

"The Afrec is a special forum to elaborate and put in practice energy policy" for Africa, said Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil.

The continent counts a number of established oil and gas exporters, such as Algeria, Nigeria and Libya, as well as emerging powers such as Angola, Sudan or Sao Tome.

Elhag said African countries produced about nine million barrels of oil a day, but consumed only three million of this.

"The energy question is a global strategic challenge. Africa, with its resource potential and the outlook for its needs in the long-term, is concerned in the first degree," added Khelil.

About 30 energy ministers from African Union countries are in Algiers for the meeting. They have been joined by representatives from other regional and international energy groups, as well as international financial institutions.

The agenda for the meeting, including the budget, organisation and governance of Afrec, was drawn up on Friday and is set for discussion by ministers on Sunday. (AFP)