Invest in African Energy Panel Explores Best Strategies to Fast-track Africa’s Energy Development

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Strategies for successful project implementation – including competitive fiscals and project preparation facilities – were discussed at the Invest in African Energy (IAE) forum on Tuesday. The IAE forum is organized by Energy Capital & Power (www.EnergyCapitalPower.com).

A project-focused panel at the Invest in African Energy forum explored strategies for successful project implementation – from FID to start-up – as Africa seeks to develop traditional fossil fuel resources alongside next-generation solutions.

Amid shifting investor priorities, the panel addressed how Africa can fast-track the development of its energy system and maximize energy resiliency through strong fiscal terms and low costs of extraction and production, along with a reduced carbon footprint.

“We are living through an energy transition period. It’s not only the cost of production that matters – it’s also your carbon intensity,” said Dr. Carole Nakhle, CEO of Crystol Energy and President of Access for Women in Energy.

It’s not only the cost of production that matters – it’s also your carbon intensity

“We are still battling with energy access, hence the need to categorize the shade of green of the energy transition. It’s a spectrum. As a bank with a strong African footprint, my perspective is energy access,” said Reginald Max, Senior Advisor, Infrastructure and Public Private Partnerships in Lending Operations, Trade and Development Bank.

Aimed at raising the attractiveness of projects on the continent, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) launched a project preparation facility to increase the availability of bankable projects in Africa and provide technical and financial support to companies, from conceptual to execution stages. The facility has a cap of $2 million per project.

“This fund is very flexible. It can be used for capacity building, for pre-feasibility studies, for advisory and legal fees – these are the real costs that project developers face,” said Helen Aigbe Brume, Director of Project and Asset Based Finance for Afreximbank. “We have created a joint project preparation facility where we collaborate and pool our funds together – we have done it with nine institutions on the continent to date.”

The legal and regulatory framework also plays a key role in attracting and de-risking investment in Africa’s energy sector, as well as enabling project developers to compete effectively for private capital.

“The contractual framework is currently sound enough where the traditional mechanisms that are being used, including stabilization, ensure that whether the regime changes or not, you still have the same contracts enforced,” said Zion Adeoye, CEO of pan-African law and advisory firm CLG. Beyond that, the most enduring is having solid institutions to superintend the development of projects, especially in key sectors, so that changes in the political space do not generally affect the development of projects.”