Energy is a vital resource that is critical to the development of the African continent. African countries have been working towards resourcefully utilizing the available resources of energy, mainly fossil fuels. With increased advocacy for environmental awareness, more African countries are paying attention to renewable sources of energy, including the sun and wind.
As the continent strives to achieve energy security, significant emphasis is put on protecting the African energy infrastructure from malicious terrorists who are keen to bring the energy sector on its knees. Of particular emphasis in protecting the energy infrastructure in the continent is creating a secure cyber system capable of protecting electronic and physical attacks.
Energy companies that have invested in the digitization of the energy distribution sector within the continent through microgrids work towards ensuring efficiency in cyber and physical protection by creating a good rapport with the locals to report any malicious and suspicious activities.
In addition to the cybersecurity infrastructure, energy companies have also emphasized on creating a physical security structure that is strong enough to protect the energy infrastructure and equipment from potential risks, such as vandalism. The continent is not particularly new to terrorist attacks and criminal enterprises, which orchestrate attacks on energy infrastructure, such as pipelines and oil tankers onshore and offshore. Countries are increasingly seeing the need to offer reinforcement to escort energy-transporting infrastructures.
The destabilization of security in certain parts of the continent, especially in the oil producing countries in Africa, such as Nigeria, has forced governments at the national and regional level to call for concerted efforts such as consolidation of a peacekeeping force to protect rebels from attacking oil fields and refineries. This is because rebels target crippling governments by attacking the integrity of the energy sector while also targeting using the attacks as a strategy to generate illegal revenue.
For the sustainability of the energy sector in Africa to be realized, African countries unanimously agree that there is a need to protect power assets at the tangible and intangible level. Emphasis should, and has been created on protecting the generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization of energy to ensure sustainability and resourcefulness. A stable energy sector in the continent will be a major ingredient that will contribute towards the economic stability in individual countries and the continent as a whole.