Business News of 2014-05-28

Oilwatch calls for transition from fossil fuel

Participants of Oilwatch Africa’s conference have called on the continent’s leaders to prohibit all forms of fossil fuels exploration and mining in all protected areas (onshore and offshore) across the continent and to begin a quick transition from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy.

“African countries should gradually phase out dependence on fossil fuels by exploring and adopting alternative renewable energy source,” the participants submitted.

“The gathering noted with concern that more than half of the countries in the continent face energy crisis and yet have growth without developments. The hunger for fossil fuels extraction on the environment, ecosystems and the peoples’ livelihoods has created widening inequality and graphic poverty on the African continent.”

The quest for fossil fuel, Oil watch observes, has over the years created a widening inequality and poverty among Africans.

These were contained in a statement issued after the two-day conference and Annual General Meeting at Aburi in the Eastern Region recently.

The conference which was held on the theme, Oil, Energy and Conflict in Africa, brought together Oil watch Africa members, representatives from academia community leaders as well as the media.

The conference deliberated on the escalation of resource exploration and exploitation, development and production systems on the African continent.

The statement said although Africa was blessed with resources that were juicy and exciting for economic transformation, studies had shown that the net value of Africa rising was on a fast lane of continuous deficit.

It said the vast flow of natural resource capital in an unequal exchange, illicit flows, massive environmental degradation, Social dislocations, and violent conflicts often externalized in the production process.

“We note with disappointment the negative ramification for the people, particularly the oil bearing communities and the existing effects on their socio-cultural and livelihood needs and aspirations,” said the statement.

It noted that most African countries were currently not benefiting at all from their own richness in natural resources hence making the people impoverished.

The statement called on civil society to strengthen their capacity to be able to bring institutions and persons to account, to ensure there is transparency and accountability on the continent.

Source: Public Agenda
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