Africa Set To Fuel Asian Growth and Its Own Brighter Future

Journal of Petroleum Technology 

Africa is on track to becoming the world's most populous region by 2023 as growth in the continent's population surpasses that of China and India; between 2020 and 2040, one in every two births will be African, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The problem--and the opportunity--is that three-quarters of those new global citizens living in sub-Saharan Africa will live without access to electricity and other energy-driven staples of the modern world. "More than half a billion people [will be] added to Africa's urban population by 2040, much higher than the growth seen in China's urban population in the two decades of China's economic and energy boom," IEA noted in its Africa Energy Outlook 2019. "Growing urban populations mean rapid growth in energy demand for industrial production, cooling, and mobility," IEA analysts wrote. "The projected growth in oil demand is higher than that of China and second only to that of India as the size of the car fleet more than doubles (the bulk of which have low fuel efficiency) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is increasingly used for clean cooking." With regards to gas, Africa is on track to becoming the third-largest region to feed the growth in global gas demand over the next 20 years, the IEA said (Figure 1).

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