JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org) vehemently rejects the notion and mindset that Africans are somehow unqualified to lead and host significant events like Investing in African Mining Indaba on their own land. It is unacceptable to have the future of Africa’s energy defined and driven by entities that visit the continent sporadically and lack a genuine understanding of its complexities.
We cannot allow crucial decisions about Africa’s energy future to be dictated by those who fail to prioritise the continent’s silent majority—600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living in the dark and 900 million lacking access to clean cooking fuels. The voices of these individuals must guide African energy decisions, and their needs should take precedence in shaping the continent’s energy landscape.
“The idea that Africans are somehow incapable of managing their own affairs, is tiring. It’s time we take full charge of our own destiny, while doing so in collaboration with likeminded partners.” Stated Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia.
The suggestion that Africans must rely on a small UK outfit, the Hyve Group, to organise events like Mining Indaba is insulting and patronising. This mindset epitomises the same attitude that African oil- and gas-producing states encounter in their energy transition – being excluded from the decision-making table and having their transition defined for them.
“This kind of decision-making, this suggestion that Africans are somehow unqualified to run Mining indaba or a mining investment event, and we have to beg a small UK outfit ( Hyve Group ) full of latte liberators with their fancy ideas about African energy to do it for, epitomizes the same kind of mindset that African oil- and gas-producing states have been encountering when it comes to their energy transition. They are defining the transition for you without you being on the table. They are defining and driving the agenda. You not on the table. You are on the menu”, Stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
This insulting and patronising mindset extends to environmental groups and Western countries that pressure African leaders into energy transition decisions that may not be in Africa’s best interests. The African Energy Chamber strongly opposes such external influences and emphasises the importance of a just, Africa-first energy transition. Let Africa make its own choices and define its own timeline.
“It’s the same insulting, patronising mindset that has led environmental groups and Western countries to suggest they know what’s best for Africa as they pressure our leaders into energy transition decisions that aren’t in Africa’s best interests. It’s the same mindset that, in part, inspired me to do this work that I think is of critical importance for a just, Africa-first energy transition.” Concluded Ayuk,
In addition to the lack of Black executives in the leadership of Hyve Group is troubling. In 2024 you can’t having an organisation defining the narrative for the children in Senegal, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa without any black executives in the leadership team. The absence of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and local content compliance further underscores a disregard for inclusive economic participation and empowerment must be a serious concern.
The energy industry’s progress, characterised by true representation and inclusion, can serve as a catalyst for the next generation of leaders, the youth. It’s about ensuring that every African child, from Namibia to Congo to Cameroon, can see themselves as leaders in the energy sector, breaking barriers and shaping a future that reflects their diversity and potential. The time has come for the youth to be the driving force behind a new narrative, where Africa’s energy decisions are made with them, for them, and by them.
The African Energy Chamber is committed to emphasising the importance of sending a positive message to every African child. True progress in the energy sector should translate into tangible opportunities for the youth, guiding them towards a future where they actively contribute to and benefit from Africa’s sustainable energy development.
In light of these sentiments, the African Energy Chamber underscores the urgency of empowering Africans to take charge of events like Investing in African Mining Indaba and other critical discussions about the continent’s energy future. It is time for Africa to be at the forefront of its own narrative, ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of its people and guided by the voices that matter the most.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.
African Energy Chamber