A Free-Market Energy Blog

Africa Wants Oil and Gas: Not UN/COP Poverty

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 2, 2022

“When people driving Teslas tell Africa to turn away from hydrocarbons — it’s immoral, it’s wrong,” [Erik] Prince said. “We have real energy poverty across the continent.” (quoted in Bloomberg Green, 11/11/2021)

Oil, gas, and coal are energies for the masses; wind, (on-grid) solar, and batteries/EVs are for the elite. This theme, while old, is more pertinent than ever with the failures of “green” energy policy in a fossil fuel world. Paul Driessen emphasized it in his neglected book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death (Merril Press, 2010). Vijay Jayaraj emphasizes it today in “Climate Colonialists Disrupt African Pipeline, Perpetuate Poverty.”

Such is completely lost at Hot Take, where Mary Heglar titled a recent piece, “It’s Not Climate Denial, It’s White Supremacy.” But maybe Africa does not count to her.

Recently, NJ Ayuk, executive chair of the African Energy Chamber, offered a rebuttal to the United Nations’ climate lobby by revisiting a debate at Africa Energy Week 2021, covered (fairly) by a Bloomberg Green editorial, “Asking Africa to Leave Oil in Ground Sparks Debate on Fairness” (November 11, 2021). His 335-word response is reprinted in its entirety.


Blame the clever intelligentsia, foreign aid, handout and African elites/politicians for energy poverty. NOT Oil and Gas companies. Business pays it taxes and royalties. They don’t control governments.

Africans don’t hate Oil and Gas companies. We love oil and today we love gas even more because we know gas will give us a chance to industrialize. No country has ever been developed by fancy wind and green hydrogen. Africans see Oil and Gas as a path to success and a solution to their problems. The demonization of oil and gas companies will not work.

The clever intelligentsia from wealthy countries who protest the work we do and show up in every event I get invited to are wrong. I will never agree that Oil and Gas is bad for #Africa. Foreign Aid and Handouts and Charity are bad. We are fools to sign on to radical climate policies that will impoverish the next generation because a spare change from aid Organization. Blame me if you want, we need to demand more of ourselves as Africans. Personal responsibility.

The idea that we will develop Africa with handouts from the wealthy countries is preposterous and sickening. You cannot take people of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, free markets, behavioral standards, personal responsibility, fossil fuels, financial literacy and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

The legacy of colonization argument by the African Elites and western elites is not just an excuse for inexcusable behavior of the African Elites/Politicos and the political class that are more willing to sell out the poor for more foreign aid and their membership in the fancy clubs in London.

In a larger sense, it is an evasion of responsibility for the disastrous consequences of the prevailing social vision of our times that has created a fixation on and the political policies based on that vision, over the past half century.

Final Comment

The international climate crusade is losing. But alarmist emotions are high, and too many people are making a living in a false cause. But the hypocrisy of asking the poorest to not use the most affordable, reliable, plentiful energies cannot be downplayed.

NJ Ayuk and the African Energy Chamber hold the energy high ground. And they are playing a part to dissuade the UN/COP to end the futile crusade against carbon dioxide (CO2), a greening agent for a more productive earth.

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