The Executive Chairman of The African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk will speak at Harvard University’s 11th Africa Development Conference, a flagship event organized by students of African descent at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Ayuk will explore the global energy transition, sustainable development in Africa, and how climate change would affect African economies and energy grids as a key panelist in the session “Climate Change and Energy Transition.”

Under the theme, “Rising After the Pandemic: Reigniting Africa’s Development Momentum,” the conference aims to explore and call attention to opportunities on the continent to accelerate its economic recovery, while at the same time driving sustainable and inclusive growth. With over 600 million Africans lacking access to electricity, the conference comes at a critical time in Africa’s energy and economic development, as the continent strives to balance rising energy demand with the effects of climate change, as well as the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic still being felt in 2022. 

While the international community turns its attention to mitigating climate change through the adoption of renewable energies, Africa is still left to deal with crippling energy poverty. Faced with a two-pronged threat – climate change and energy poverty – an alternative transition strategy in Africa is needed.

In this sense, industry stakeholders such as Ayuk have opted for an Africa-centric approach, whereby cleaner hydrocarbon resources such as natural gas are utilized as a transition fuel to kickstart Africa’s industrial development and eliminate energy poverty by 2030. 

By exploiting its significant gas resources, Africa can not only address energy poverty but also stimulate investment in complementary green technologies, such as solar, wind, and hydropower. In this sense, the continent will be addressing both crises, ensuring energy poverty is alleviated while gradually transitioning to a clean energy future.

During the session, panelists including Ayuk will discuss energy transition, energy poverty, and climate change, as well as explore sustainable development and its associated challenges and opportunities. In addition, topics such as Africa’s fossil fuel reliance, historically low emissions, and the need for continued hydrocarbon exploration and development will be addressed. As an advocate of Africa’s oil and gas industry, Ayuk will offer a dynamic perspective to these ongoing discussions, while leveraging new insight into global and energy investment policies.

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