The Future of Natural Gas in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Issue: The gas sector in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is at a critical inflection point. The actors involved -- including African governments and civil society, development finance institutions, private sector and philanthropy -- are struggling to balance mounting pressures as they work to achieve three ambitious goals that are related, but increasingly viewed as contradictory: ending energy poverty; powering industrialization and job creation; and addressing climate change. Natural gas presents opportunities to strengthen Africa’s electricity systems, lower costs, enable renewables, and meet rapidly growing demand. African priorities must shape the global conversation and the pathway forward. But development financiers are under increasing pressure to minimize -- or even abolish -- support for gas in order to demonstrate bold action on climate change. What does all of this mean for the future of Africa’s gas sector?
Roundtable: This virtual roundtable, hosted by Stanford Natural Gas Initiative and the Energy for Growth Hub, will bring together policymakers, investors, developers, and technology experts to move these issues forward -- with a focus on African countries currently grappling with big gas-related questions. Issues to be discussed include:
How do key African countries view the potential for gas, both for power and broader industrial uses?
How does natural gas feature in African climate commitments, and what strategies are they employing to balance climate and development priorities?
Can new gas investments be aligned with a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and if so how?
What do emerging technologies mean for the future of Africa’s gas markets?
What challenges are developers and investors facing on the ground, and what are the solutions?