Increased private sector participation across Africa’s critical minerals and energy sectors is crucial for the continent to move its economies forward, says Haddison Etchou at IBC Consultancy
April 18, 2023/Energy Capital & Power
Energy Capital & Power spoke with Haddison Etchou, Corporate Finance & Tax Professional at IBC Consultancy, during the launch of the African Critical Minerals Summit (https://apo-opa.info/3Aqq5QF) in Johannesburg on Friday 14 April.
The exclusive interview focused on investment opportunities across Africa’s critical minerals industry and the role the continent’s mineral and energy resources will continue to play in driving a just energy transition and widespread economic growth.
The energy transition is driving investments across Africa’s critical minerals sector. What opportunities are there across the continent for the private sector?
There are massive opportunities for the private sector across Africa’s mining and energy industries. The growth in the mining and energy sector which is associated with the transition presents an opportunity for private sector to accelerate industry participation. African economies can only move forward if the private sector is fully engaged. We see the African Critical Minerals Summit as a platform which will enable us to see how we can benefit from investments in Africa as well as what we can offer the African market. We are looking for business ventures.
What role does the mining and energy industry nexus play in driving industrialization and GDP growth across Africa?
Africa is rich with critical minerals which are essential for a secure supply of raw materials required for a just and inclusive energy transition across the globe. The monetization of these minerals will help Africa drive its economic expansion and socioeconomic developments. However, the role of the industries depends on how best Africa will manage its resources to add value in local economies.
What are the key challenges in Africa’s critical minerals sector?
Government interference and the implementation of policies which drive away investors are the key challenges hindering the growth of the industry. We need to see the adoption of investor friendly and transparent policies which will enable the private sector to want to invest. The lack of adequate investment slowing down exploration and production of critical minerals can only be addressed through the adoption of supportive policies and the creation of enabling environments.
Is Africa ready to leave its oil and gas in the ground and instead turn to renewables?
Africa should not leave its hydrocarbon resources in the ground and is not ready for economies to totally rely on renewables. A just and inclusive energy transition is a very important aspect which Africa needs to look at and prioritize. Renewables are a good option for energy mix diversification but for Africa to achieve energy security and access targets, oil and gas have a crucial role to play for decades to come.
What are the key findings you have taken from the launch of the African Critical Minerals Summit?
The Summit is crucial in bringing various stakeholders across the mining and energy sector together. We want to exploit the November event to expand our contacts and portfolio of projects across the continent. Africa’s mining and energy industries are ripe for investments. We see the African Critical Minerals Summit as a platform which will enable investment in the private sector in Africa.