Heads Of State, Ministers, CEOs And Stakeholders To Convene At Global African Hydrogen Summit

The inaugural Global African Hydrogen Summit, themed From Ambition To Action: Fuelling Africa’s Green Industrial Revolution, will take place from 3 – 5 September 2024 in Windhoek, Namibia, and will focus on the role Africa expects to play in the global hydrogen economy.

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A recent report co-authored by McKinsey & Company and the Hydrogen Council highlights how Africa enjoys world-class renewable resources, with capacity factors up to 69% for wind power and 25% for solar power. The continent also has excellent geothermal and hydro resources, coupled with abundant land area. Consequently, the continent is strongly positioned to become a renewable hydrogen and derivatives producer and exporter.

Indeed, Africa holds the key to decarbonising the global energy system and can become a leading player in hydrogen produced made from renewables. Several African countries, including Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa, are actively pursuing clean hydrogen production goals.

But Africa cannot do it alone. There are many challenges to overcome to establish a sustainable and economically viable hydrogen economy. The most fundamental and urgent obstacles to overcome as a priority include financing, investment, infrastructure development, policy, regulation, standards, technology, demand generation and a fragmented financial market to trade.

Therefore, the Global African Hydrogen Summit has been borne out of a critical need to address these challenges, with the aim to foster, forge and further partnerships and collaboration across borders and across continents to drive progress.

From September 3 – 5, heads of state, ministers, policy makers, developers, investors, technologists, industrialists and offtakers, will convene at this dynamic Summit to facilitate public-private dialogue, influence policy, define real-world solutions, accelerate project financing, and broker deal closure.

On a recent mission to the Netherlands, His Excellency Nangolo Mbumba, President of the Republic of Namibia shared that:

“As we look to host the Global African Hydrogen Summit, we shall look to not only showcase what Namibia has delivered in terms of our green hydrogen eco-system, but also the efforts of our peer nations on the continent.”

Reflecting on how the Summit will play a key part in overcoming industry hurdles, His Excellency went on to state that:

“Furthermore, we shall zero in on key policy interventions needed to give birth to a burgeoning sector and also showcase key financial models and tools needed to close the gap between the price of grey and green molecules.”

Whilst Africa has enormous potential to meet the growing demand for energy that will map a sustainable path to a net zero future, the key to scaling up a competitive green hydrogen economy will be stimulating domestic demand and foreign offtake.

To overcome trade, infrastructure and technology barriers to maximise hydrogen utilisation in sectors like power, agriculture, mining, steel, cement, transportation and maritime will be significant.

The Summit will also look to solve the pressing issue of how to de-risk investments and financing for hydrogen projects. Africa faces hurdles in reducing hydrogen production costs, as attracting international investment necessitates robust legal, fiscal and regulatory frameworks. The Summit will showcase bankable project criteria, green financing mechanisms, and country-specific instruments that will accelerate green energy transactions.

The Global African Hydrogen Summit will therefore uphold the promise of igniting a new era of energy innovation across Africa and beyond. By confronting challenges head-on and fostering collaboration, stakeholders across the continent can pave the way towards a sustainable and prosperous future.

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