By Amadou Labba Sall

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed an Agreement with the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) according to which both parties will collaborate on the establishment of an African Energy Transition Bank in support of an Africa-led energy transition strategy. The new institution will accelerate Africa’s economic development, whilst ensuring this progress is compatible with, and complementary to, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as the continent’s long-term social and environmental objectives as set out in African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.

The African Energy Transition Bank addresses an urgent and existential need on the continent. Africa stands to experience profound effects from climate change, while the considerable poverty across the continent further disincentivizes a focus on environmental care and sustainability for many populations. Moreover, Africa’s oil and gas industry faces growing pressures as international investment in hydrocarbons diminishes.

While Africa’s transition towards alternative energy sources presents great opportunities for the continent, this transition must be carefully managed to minimise the short-term adverse impacts of the transition while maximizing its longer-term benefits. The new bank’s responsibilities would include the management and encouragement of such a productive transition. APPO member states will be signatories to the Energy Transition Bank’s constitutional documents which will be structured in the form of a multilateral treaty, and invest equity into the new vehicle, whilst Afreximbank will co-invest and advise on the establishment and implementation process.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, commented: “We are delighted to be collaborating with APPO towards the establishment of the proposed African Energy Transition Bank. These are challenging times when we must strive to strike the right balance between the imperatives of mitigating climate change and the urgency of averting social upheavals as a result of increasingly difficult economic and financial conditions in Africa. For us at Afreximbank, supporting the emergence of the African Energy Transition Bank will enable a more efficient and predictable capital allocation between fossil fuels and renewables. It will also free human and other resources at Afreximbank that will make it possible to support its member countries more effectively in the transition to cleaner fuels. We thank the members and leadership of APPO for their confidence in Afreximbank to support them as they embark on this very important initiative.”

Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, APPO Secretary General, commented: “Today’s event marks the beginning of Africa taking its destiny into its own hands. For too long we have looked outside for solutions to our challenges – access to finance, access to technology, access to markets – and so on. We have come to believe that without foreign support we cannot make any progress in addressing these challenges on the African continent.

“But the resolve to establish the Africa Energy Bank, evidenced in the signing of an MoU between these two African institutions – Afreximbank and APPO – is a clear indication of the changing orientation of Africans to how to address their challenges. How else do Africans expect to harvest the 125 billion barrels of crude and over 500 trillion SCUF of gas when the traditional financiers have decided to abandon the continent? How else do we manage the impact of climate change on the continent without the resources to make the investment? How else can we give access to energy to 600m people on our continent who have no access today? Africa is fully supportive of the fight against climate change because we bear the biggest brunt and we contribute the least carbon emissions but we must engage in the fight in a collaborative and just manner.”

About Afreximbank

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa.

A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

About APPO

African Petroleum Producers Organization is an organization established by African countries with its offices at APPO Tower, Av. Amilcar Cabral, No. 76, Area 3, Poto-Poto, Centre-Ville-Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, represented by Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General.
APPO’s mission is to promote cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons of its Member Countries and other global institutions to foster fruitful collaboration and partnerships while utilizing petroleum as a catalyst for energy security, sustainable development and economic diversification in Africa.

About Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim

Omar Farouk Ibrahim holds a Doctorate degree in Political Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, 1988, a Masters degree from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, 1983, and a Bachelors degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, 1980.

Dr. Ibrahim assumed the position of APPO Secretary General on 4th January 2020. Until then he was Adviser on International Energy Relations to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In that position he represented Nigeria on the boards of several inter-governmental energy organizations. He was Nigeria’s Governor to the Vienna-based Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, 2015-2020 and Executive Board Member at the Doha-based Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum, GECF, 2015-2020. At the same time he coordinated Nigeria’s affairs at the International Energy Forum, IEF, and later the African petroleum Producers’ Association, APPA.

Dr. Ibrahim was, between 2010 and 2014, General Manager and later Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Before joining the NNPC, Dr. Ibrahim spent seven years February 2003 – December 2009 as Head of the PR and Information Department and member of senior management at the OPEC Secretariat, in Vienna. He was the Executive Editor of the OPEC Energy review and Editor-in-Chief of the OPEC Bulletin.

Before venturing into the oil sector in 2003, Dr. Ibrahim was in the media where he was at various times the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Federal Government-owned media house the New Nigerian Newspapers between 1999 and 2003. He was also the chairman of the Board of Directors of Newpack Printing and Packaging Company Limited. Before coming to the New Nigerian, Dr. Farouk had spent nine years in various positions at the Daily Times of Nigeria, ranging from Member of the Editorial board to a columnist and Op-Ed editor, General Manager Nigerpack Press, Group Controller of Administration.

Dr. Farouk joined Bayero University as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Political Science in 1981 after his national service and rose to the rank of Lecturer by the time he left academia for journalism in 1990.

He has a number of publications.

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