African Reserves

REUTERS IMPACT Billionaire Ibrahim denounces the double standard in the West in search of gas from Africa

LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Sudanese-British billionaire businessman Mo Ibrahim has accused developed countries of hypocrisy in warning Africans against developing natural gas reserves while considering such investments in response to the energy crisis in Europe.

Speaking at the Reuters IMPACT climate conference in London, Ibrahim, who made his fortune in African telecommunications, criticized Northern countries for dictating how African countries should use their vast natural gas reserves in a context concerns about climate change. Some 600 million Africans, or about 43% of the continent’s population, are without electricity, he said.

Speaking last month on the sidelines of a conference of African environment ministers in Dakar, Senegal, US climate envoy John Kerry warned against investing in long-term gas projects in Africa. . Kerry’s comments echoed similar remarks published last year in an International Energy Agency (IEA) report, saying such moves could undermine the global net zero goal of 2050.

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Meanwhile, energy companies are eyeing $100 billion in new energy investments on the continent, according to Reuters calculations based on public and private company estimates.

“Now because of the war they are running to Africa and saying ‘Oh, can we have more petrol?'” Ibrahim said. “We don’t have the right to use our gas. But half of our gas is sent to Europe.”

“This kind of stupidity can’t go on,” he said.

African countries that currently have little or no oil and gas production could see billions in energy investments in the coming years, including Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The IEA estimates that Africa’s gas reserves could potentially replace up to a fifth of Russian supplies in Europe by 2030.

“But for us to use our own gas? No, no no,” Ibrahim said.

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Reporting by Gloria Dickie in London Editing by Mark Potter

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