African Leaders Will Give Priority To Urgent Matters Of Development

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, today, said that African leaders would give priority to urgent matters of development including the use of fossil fuels and coal to generate power, while also attending to important issues around Climate Change.

Speaking at the ongoing African Development Bank annual general meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, where he and other African leaders spoke at the High Level Roundtable on the theme: Energy and Climate Change, Osinbajo said “for us, priority today is development and we have to take development seriously,” recalling for instance the fact that 45% of those who don’t have access to power in the world are from Africa and adding that almost half of that African share are in Nigeria.

“We are faced with a very dire situation and in most of Africa we simply don’t have power and without power there is very little that can be done,” he said.

He restated the importance of renewable energy, saying “we think that renewable energy and all of the concern about Climate Change are important, but we must prioritise development.”

He said Nigeria as an example is one of the major hydro-carbon enriched countries, and that makes fossil fuels important. “We have to leverage all that we can get from fossil fuel, coal is also important.”

But he explained that the arguments about renewable energy are well-noted and Nigeria has the capacity for, and is going to tap into solar energy, yet he stressed that “we are dealing with a major (developmental) problem.”

Other speakers at the panel include the presidents of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, and Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, who is also the current Chairman of the African Union.

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