The African Energy Chamber (AEC), in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Youth Forum, will host a Youth Energy Roundtable discussion during this year’s edition of African Energy Week (AEW) – taking place from October 18-21, 2022 in Cape Town.
During the forum, discussions will largely center on the role of energy and power; kickstarting trade; and driving sustainability on the back of improved participation by the continent’s youth.
With energy representing the backbone of every economy, prioritising the investment and development of Africa’s energy and power sectors is key. Currently, one of the biggest threats to the African continent is energy poverty, with 75 per cent of those without access to electricity globally living in sub-Saharan Africa.
However, the continent also represents one of the richest globally in terms of energy. Over 125 billion barrels of oil and 620 trillion cubic of natural gas, coupled with abundant renewable energy resources, have well positioned the continent to make energy poverty history by 2030.
 As such, in order for the continent to develop, industrialize and strengthen its economies, while ensuring the population has reliable, affordable and sustainable access to electricity, capitalizing on this resource wealth, as well as the continent’s biggest asset: the youth, is critical.
In order for the continent to develop and monetize its resources, recognizing the role the youth play as drivers will enable Africa to fast track its development. Representing one of the most capable and willing workforces globally, Africa’s youth is set to usher in a new era of innovation, investment and business, not just across the upstream, midstream and downstream energy industries but across every facet of the value chain.
NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC) said: “The African continent’s energy transition must speak to Africa’s reality and not limit the continent’s ability to develop and grow. Africa’s youth is its strongest asset, and as such, they should be front and center of every energy-related decision as well as the energy transition. For a continent rich with a variety of natural and mineral resources, and now having the tools to expand intra-African trade through the AfCFTA, ensuring youth are at the forefront of development will translate into long-term, sustainable and beneficial growth."
“It is in this context that we will host the Youth Energy Forum at AEW 2022 to empower the youth to seize opportunities, drive progress and lead the energy transition" he adds. -OGN