Africa has the potential to be one of the biggest providers of energy in the world, but was still seen as a "good for nothing" continent, particularly with regard to US investment, World Energy Council (WEC) Africa vice-chairperson Bonang Mohale said on 11 February. Addressing delegates at the Africa Energy Indaba in Sandton, he emphasised the green energy potential held by the entire continent and by South Africa, in particular.
He pointed out that there was a dire need for energy development in Africa, as half of the 1.4 billion people in the world who did not have access to electricity lived on the continent. However, he said this development should be placed in the hands of the locals. "Africa must be the most niche-marketed and under-marketed continent in the world. You wonder why we find it so easy not to use…skills that are here, when we risk our lives to get these commodities, [which are exported immediately]," he says.
Mohale said there was a need for transformation in the local energy sector, as "our culture is too Eurocentric". He hoped that people coming to Ethiopia in 2016 for the World Energy Congress could help us think through these dilemmas. He also noted that there was significant potential in the oil and gas sector to contribute to the local energy sector.