Energy in the global South

Energy is the cornerstone of human development, a vital component in addressing developmental goals such as poverty reduction, inclusive social development, youth and women’s empowerment. While many developed countries are focused on de-carbonizing their energy mix, many developing and middle-income countries in the global South are still focused on securing energy for basic human needs. For sustainable energy to be achieved, the international community must tap into various energy sources, from fossil fuels to renewable sources.

In the last decade, several Southern countries have discovered commercially viable oil and natural gas resources. The vast majority of these Southern economies are developing countries such as Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Suriname, United Republic of Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Uganda. For these countries, successfully managing their hydrocarbon resources and using the revenues to achieve sustainable development and “energy access for all” represents a daunting challenge.

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), at the behest of over 60 Southern countries, is facilitating development of the South-South Energy Initiative (SSEI). This initiative is a formalized mechanism for emerging and traditional oil and gas producing countries of the global South to systematically access and share knowledge, experience, strategic intelligence, research among themselves and among traditional oil and gas producing countries. It will address key issues regarding management of the petroleum sector and the need to guarantee that revenues are used to achieve sustainable development. The SSEI will enable facile and systematic exchange of knowledge and experiences beyond regions, and enable sustained commercial engagement across the global South.

UNOSSC has designed the SSEI such that it is fully owned and managed by member countries of the global South through a dedicated secretariat hosted by the Government of Ghana. We invite you to become a member or support the SSEI so that energy, and the oil and gas sector in particular, can serve as a momentous engine of economic growth and sustainable development for a more vital global South.