By Paul Michael
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that Africa as a continent would require a huge energy generation to successfully drive its development in an era where the world drifts away from fossil fuel to clean and renewable energy sources in a bid to fight against climate change.
Minister Adegbite said this on Wednesday while delivering a welcome address at the Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit, held at the International Conference Center, Abuja.
The summit with the theme, “Towards a Greener Africa”, was the first of its kind in the country and it was organised by the ministry to achieve the following goals: financing of sustainable African natural resources and energy projects, promotion of trade and knowledge sharing between African nations, policy and strategy development for the natural resources sector as the world looks toward a greener future and showcasing the best of Nigeria to the continent.
Speaking at the event, the Honourable Minister welcome the various African nationals to the summit and stated that the transition to clean and renewable energy sources comes with many challenges and opportunities for Africa to reach its developmental goals.
According to him, the summit provides the opportunity to share views on natural resources and energy market developments, attracts private and Foreign Direct Investment, formulates favourable policy and strategy development for the natural resource sector as well as exposes opportunities within the Nigerian Mining Sector.
“I want to begin by expressing my profound appreciation to all of you who have travelled to Abuja to attend this summit. This is the inaugural edition of the Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy In- vestment Summit, which is themed ‘Towards a Greener Africa.’
“I am delighted to see various African nationals gathering here today to deliberate and create a framework within which future cooperation and collaboration can take place.
“Today’s convention is indeed important. Africa requires a huge amount of energy generation to drive its development, even as the world shifts away from fossil fuel to clean and renewable energy sources, in the fight against climate change. In the midst of this energy, transition lies many challenges and opportunities for a continent yearning for development.
“I believe this should spur us as a continent of diverse people to co-operate and collaborate more, initiate innovative solutions to the challenges that are peculiar to us, come up with technologies and products that will lead to the growth and industrializa- tion of Africa into a more environmentally friendly manner while encouraging the development and financing of green energy projects. “Our meeting today provides the opportunity to share views on natural resources and energy market developments.
Additionally, the morning session will focus on Maximizing Mineral potential and Attracting Private Investments. Our esteemed speakers will discuss the opportunities within the Nigerian Mining Sector, the underexplored minerals which are key to clean renewable energy, the success stories, and the strides towards driving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the Sector.
“As I welcome you all, I would like to state a Decla- ration of Cooperation that: ‘Participating countries in the Declaration of Coopera- tion would strengthen their cooperation, through joint assessment and viewpoints, with the aim to financing sustainable African Natural Resources and Energy Projects that are key to the transition, for the benefit of producers and consumers and to regularly review at technical and ministerial levels the status of our cooperation.’
“Our joint meetings and activities will support us in formulating favourable policy and strategy development for the natural resource sector as the world looks towards a greener future. A policy that is less subject to extremes, both today and in the future.