Africa Energy Bank agreement signed into implementation; declared open for signature by prospective member states

Prof. Benedict Oramah (left) signing for Afreximbank as Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim (right) also signs for APPO while the host H.E. Eng. Tarek El Molla (standing), Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources also witnessing the signing ceremony.

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Africa Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) have announced the historic signing of the Establishment Agreement and the Charter of the Africa Energy Bank (“AEB”)

The signing ceremony which held at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Arab Republic of Egypt was hosted by H.E. Eng. Tarek El Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources who also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Board of Directors, Afreximbank, and Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of APPO signed the Establishment Agreement and the Charter of the Africa Energy Bank on behalf of their respective institutions.

The signing ceremony concludes two years of negotiations and preparations by the two parties having signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2022 towards the establishment of the AEB.

The AEB was created to address the impending funding crisis in the African oil and gas industry, triggered by the global energy transition. Traditional financiers, on whom Africa has relied for decades, are withdrawing support, particularly in Africa, citing climate change concerns as the primary reason.

H.E. Eng. Tarek El Molla, who is also a Member of the APPO Ministerial Council remarked that it was a great honour to witness the establishment of the Africa Energy Bank. That according him marked a significant milestone in the continent’s journey towards energy independence and sustainable development.

He added that by harnessing the collective resources and expertise, they are paving the way for a brighter, more prosperous future for all Africans. The collaboration between Afreximbank and APPO he stressed is a testament to the unwavering commitment to powering Africa’s growth and ensuring energy security for generations to come.

Prof. Benedict Oramah and Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim exchanging signed documents while H.E. Eng. Tarek El Molla, looks on admirably

H.E. Eng. Tarek El Molla was confident that this newborn Institution will grow to serve the cause of Africa and its people. He commended the negotiating team and on behalf of the APPO Ministerial Council, congratulated the team.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, on his part said that the occasion marked a historic day for the continent. He mentioned that they were honoured to have collaborated with APPO towards the establishment of the Africa Energy Bank.

These he said were challenging times when Africa’s development advocates must strive to find the right balance between the imperatives of mitigating climate change and the urgency of averting social upheavals as a result of increasingly difficult economic and financial conditions in Africa.

“For us at Afreximbank, we are enormously proud to be co-investing in this new vehicle and for taking the lead role in advising on the management and implementation process with the operational launch set to commence in July”, he added.

Prof. Oramah further added that the initiative had truly been a joint effort and they were immensely grateful to the members and leadership of APPO for their collaboration with Afreximbank as they look forward to continuing this endeavour to address the urgent needs of a continent and its people.

Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim posited that the AEB is Africa’s response to the imminent funding challenge that the global paradigm shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies – euphemistically called the energy transition – poses to the oil and gas industry in Africa.

“For too long Africa’s oil and gas industry has been dependent on extra-African funding. We came to take foreign financing of our oil and gas projects for granted, until the advent of energy transition made us realize that those on whom we have depended for many decades have decided to abandon us,” he lamented

The Secretary General argued that Africa cannot afford to abandon oil and gas in a hurry when it has the largest proportion of its population living without access to energy.

Dr. Farouk further commended Professor Oramah for his exemplary leadership and commitment to the cause of the African continent. He also noted that the idea of the AEB was conceived and incubated in Cairo when H.E. Eng El Molla hosted the two Institutions in December 2020.

The AEB’s primary objective is to fill the imminent void that the withdrawal of funding for oil and gas projects in Africa by the traditional financiers could cause to the industry.

With over 125 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, over 600 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, and with more findings regularly being made; it does not make sense for Africa to abandon these energies when it has the largest proportion of world’s population living without access to modern energy.

While the AEB’s focus shall be funding oil and gas projects, it shall not close its doors to renewable energy projects. AEB shall strive to harness all forms of energy to ensure that Africa’s energy poverty is eradicated. Although started by Africa, shareholding is open to all Investors who share the mission and vision of the Bank.

The AEB has been structured as an independent and supranational pan-African energy development bank with an initial USD 5 Billion capital.

With the signing of the Establishment Documents by the two founding institutions, at least two Member Countries now need to sign and ratify the Establishment Documents for the Bank to take off.

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