The African Energy Chamber (AEC) welcomes the protests by environmental groups in Cape Town at African Energy Week (AEW). As an advocate for Africa’s energy development, as well as a firm believer in the significant impacts posed by climate change, the Chamber believes that the ongoing protests against fossil fuels and energy producers should be part of the conversation on Africa’s energy future.
“Its amazing that people will fly into Africa to protest Africans talking about making energy poverty history. Let me be clear, we support our energy industry and it will be criminal to give up our oil and gas without a Just Transition. That will not happen. No one loves the environment more that we done and no one is more interested in protecting the climate more than we do. Free market ideas are needed as no one has done as much for the poor as capitalism has and the oil and gas industry is doing more to meet our climate challenge and will work with everyone to develop the technologies of the future.” Stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
AEW 2021 remains committed to advancing Africa’s energy sector growth. Through a series of interactive and collaborative discussions, AEW 2021 is focused on uniting stakeholders from across the energy sector to engage, network, and sign deals that will transform Africa’s energy space. With the protests currently taking place in Cape Town, the AEC is welcoming the protesters to take part in the conversation on Africa’s energy future.
The AEC firmly believes in the value of free speech and commends the protesters for making use of their constitutional rights in this regard. Despite AEW 2021 delegates and protesters holding different views regarding Africa’s energy sector focus and priorities, AEW 2021 provides the best platform for stakeholders such as these to sit down and hold meaningful discussions. By working together, progress within Africa’s energy sector can be made.
Unlike other energy events which turn away those advocating for a clean energy future, AEW 2021 welcomes environmental protesters to come and have an honest, productive discussion with AEC Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk, as well as speakers, delegates, and participants. By giving protesters the platform to make their case for reaching net zero, the AEC is advocating for inclusivity and partnerships within energy dialogue.
“The AEC cannot push for an inclusive dialogue within the global energy landscape if there is no inclusivity within Africa’s energy dialogue. By inviting the protesters to take part in the conversations at AEW 2021, the AEC is focused on providing everyone with the equal opportunity to take part in engaging and deliberate on energy and Africa,” he says.
However, the AEC does not condone the attacks on energy sector stakeholders. It is wrong to call out individuals who are working in the industry, those who have and continue to create jobs, address energy poverty, and introduce innovative technology to Africa. Protesters are welcome to come and take part at AEW 2021, provided they are not violent and do not disrupt the conference. Africans all over the continent have come together to have a conversation and nobody should be left out. By giving protesters passes and access to discussions, AEW 2021 is driving an inclusive dialogue session in Cape Town.
AEW 2021, in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2021 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments.