Alliance of African Think Tanks calls for transparency and accountability on projects in energy sector

An alliance of African think tanks active in the areas of governance, anti-corruption and energy policy has called for transparency and accountability for projects in the energy sector.

The Think Tanks made up of Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), IMANI Center for Policy & Education, HEDA Resource Centre, Tax Justice Network Africa and SEATINI also want an immediate termination of crony contracts that deepens the energy poverty of citizens.

The Think Tanks are of the view that “poorly planned, badly governed, and/or corrupt energy sector capital projects and investments usually fail, denying African governments of strategic capabilities and flexibilities to address market instability.”

This, they argue, makes it impossible for African governments to support African consumers during periods when the cost of living is high and economic crises are rampaging.

They have launched a series of case studies looking at energy sector investments in Africa where the first of such cases which focuses on Ghana’s Tema LNG Terminal project, will be released at a webinar on Wednesday, November 9.

“Other case studies in the works that will be touched on during the webinar are related to the perennially botched Tema Oil Refinery public-private partnerships, and the scandal involving Swiss giant Glencore’s bribing of African officials for access to oil & gas cargoes and other opportunities,” a statement from the Think Tanks noted.

Currently, global leaders including African leaders are attending the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt to invest in cleaner, greener cities that contribute to climate action.

But the Think Tanks say “until the good governance, accountability, transparency, anti-corruption and broad citizen participation principles originally at the heart of the increasingly cosmetic ESG agenda gets taken seriously, all the noble intentions of the COP process will come to naught.”

The alliance of policy think tanks and institutions noted that they shall continue to use all legal means to push for total transparency and disclosure in the energy and climate project sectors.

According to them, only through informed accountability can the COP27 agenda work for Africa.