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This Interview Underpins the Hurdles Facing Africa’s Industrial Agenda

“Let me stop you right there,” interjected Guyana’s president, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, during a combative BBC Hardtalk interview in late March. Ali’s argument, which quickly went viral on social media, struck a chord across the Global South – and especially in Africa. Least responsibility Africa, indeed, is the continent that bears the least responsibility for climate change. Of all the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels over the past two centuries, Africa is responsible for just 2.8%. Europe has produced more than 10 times as much carbon emissions as Africa over this timeframe. Amid growing demands to forego fossil fuel revenues, African countries face a difficult path to financing and developing oil and gas projects that can potentially deliver economic transformation.