On July 30, the African Union (AU) and the ARA held the third and final session of the Consultative Forum to review the proposed AFRI Fuels Roadmap. These sessions were chaired by Cheikh Bedda – AU Director of Infrastructure in line with AU processes to seek alignment with key stakeholders across the continent. The panelists for the sessions included Atef Marzouk – AU Head of Energy Division, Anibor Kragha – ARA Executive Secretary, Jane Akumu of UNEP, Pascal Manuelli of Total, John Walsh of Afton Chemicals and Gary Still of CITAC Africa (ARA Consultant).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the review sessions (including two others on June 22 and July 13) were held via Webinar. The attendees included stakeholders from several African Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), National Oil Companies, Refiners, Regulators, Marketers, distributors and delegated for most of the African countries.
Key topics covered included factors impacting pan-African harmonization of fuel specifications, role of RECs in intra-Africa trade, timeline for adoption of cleaner fuel specs (refinery upgrades vs. fuel imports), Roadmap for Cleaner Vehicles (including vehicle import requirements), biofuels, additives and impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the AFRI Fuels Roadmap.
Following the three Webinars, which constituted online validation workshops with key stakeholders in line with the AUC processes, the plan is for the AFRI Clean Fuels Roadmap to be presented for validation to the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) of African Ministers in October this year and subsequently to the African Union Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) for adoption.