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EU Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans to Lead Delegation to AEW 2022 in Cape Town, Focusing on Investment, Just Transition and Energy Development

Frans Timmermans, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, will be attending and participating at African Energy Week 2022 in October in Cape Town.

Frans Timmermans, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, will be attending and participating at African Energy Week 2022 in October in Cape Town.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC), the voice for the African energy sector, is proud to announce the participation of Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, at its annual investment summit for the oil and gas sector, African Energy Week (AEW), which will take place from October 18-21, 2022, in Cape Town. 

Since taking office as the Executive Vice-President in 2014, Timmermans has played a key role in the development and creation of policies and facilities such as the Just Transition Fund, the Fit for 55 package and the Green Deal, all aimed at ensuring that energy supply is secure, resilient, decarbonized and affordable and that the energy transition is just and inclusive.

One of the most significant developments undertaken by the EU in 2022 has been the renaming of certain natural gas and nuclear projects as green, providing emissions are no more than 270 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. This gas-as-green reform is welcomed by African stakeholders, and 

represents just one of the mechanisms expected to help the bloc reduce emissions while ensuring energy security. In this regard, gas-rich countries in Africa such as Mozambique, Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania, that are strategically positioned to export to Europe, have an opportunity to attract funding from European investors to boost production capacity. 

Additionally, Timmermans is a strong advocate of diversifying the sourcing of oil and gas from Russia and ensuring increased collaboration with other hydrocarbon producing countries to meet growing energy demand. With African leading hydrocarbon producing countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Niger and Mozambique well positioned to be alternative suppliers of energy to Europe, Timmermans’ participation at AEW 2022 provides an opportunity for European-African energy deals and partnerships to be discussed, negotiated and signed.

“Europe heavily relies on gas to meet its growing energy needs and has been highly successful at leveraging best policy reform mechanisms that have enabled the full utilization of hydrocarbons to address energy poverty and ensure economic growth. The participation of Timmermans at AEW 2022 provides an opportunity for African countries to learn from these best practices. Leadership is required at this moment. Africa and the EU need to think about our energy relationship not in terms of a binary choice between oil, natural gas and coal production and climate change mitigation but rather in the context of energy security and a just energy transition. Rising energy prices and the conflicts underscore the urgency to do both. After long conversations with the EU, I believe both Africa and Europe can rise to the challenge and meet our goals. This will be the last Meeting of African and European public and private sector before COP27. We plan to announce billions of dollars in investment and spending. We will go from Cape to Cairo. We have a lot of work to do. Let’s get to work,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC. 

Timmermans has also been leading Europe’s negotiations with other international major greenhouse gas emitters and as such his participation at AEW 2022 will bring vast knowledge and experience on carbon abatement solutions and policy adjustments, which African hydrocarbon producers can replicate to reduce emissions while attracting funding from international and European investors to maximize the production and utilization of oil and gas resources. Africans continue to push for the development of existing gas projects, particularly in Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Algeria, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Congo, and Senegal. 

Meanwhile, while Africa is steadily diversifying its energy mix with the deployment of renewables, a lack of adequate funding and the high upfront costs associated with renewable energy projects has slowed down the penetration of green energy across Africa. In the face of the EU committing to invest Є150 billion ($164.7 billion) in Africa’s green transition during the 2022 African Union-European Union summit in Brussels, renewable energy investment-ripe countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Mauritius stand to benefit from Timmermans’ participation at AEW 2022, where the vice president will take part in investor forums, panel discussions and high-level meetings with African energy ministers and industry stakeholders.

Furthermore, with hydrogen deployment at the top of the EU’s green transition strategy, the participation of the vice president at AEW 2022 provides collaboration, energy investment and export opportunities for African countries such as South Africa, Niger, Egypt, Morocco, Namibia and Egypt that have already put in place the regulatory frameworks to support rollout or already have projects in the pipeline. At AEW 2022, Timmermans will present opportunities for both Africa and Europe in leveraging gas, hydrogen to drive the energy transition and to meet growing energy demand. The executive vice president represents an ideal point of contact for Africa-Europe relations and AEW 2022 attendees stand to benefit. 

AEW 2022 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, strengthening the role the event will play in Africa’s energy future.

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