Create Aggressive Market-Driven Policies for Africa’s Economic Growth’
The African Energy Chamber has called for better regulatory frameworks, local content development, women empowerment and cross-border cooperation among African countries, stressing that they are critical factors to deriving the desired social and economic benefits from the continent’s hydrocarbon resources.
Delivering the opening remarks at the just concluded Africa Oil & Power Conference, Exhibition in South Africa, the Executive Chairman of African Energy Chamber, Nj Ayuk called on the African continent to pay attention to issues of regulations, creation of a better enabling environment for investors and businesses, adding that Africa needs fair regulations that are supportive of local industries as well as encourage international investments. He said, “Look to Ghana, the country has built an oil and gas regulatory framework from scratch and built a reputation for transparency and regulatory certainty.
“Its projects are getting off the drawing board and Ghana is already a serious African producer. Regulations have to be progressive, so what matters is to implement regulations that set the ground for the development of a sustainable, local content-oriented and jobs-creating industry.”
“On local content, look to Nigeria, it has used its oil and gas as a jumping off point for overall economic development and building up domestic capacities from the ground up while providing the right opportunities for the establishment and growth of strong local companies across the value chain,” Ayuk said.
Continuing, the Executive Chairman said that cross-border cooperation is key to unlocking the potential of the continent. “On cross-border cooperation, look to Senegal and Mauritania, they both have shown Africa that putting its differences aside and working towards co-developing projects is beneficial for African economies and their people. The GTA project is a landmark project in that regard, and one that will profoundly impact the socio-economic development in both countries. The major step to encourage future such collaboration and projects is to simply keep the dialogue open and engage more.”
He also noted that at the centre of African Energy Chamber’s message was the call for women empowerment across Africa’s energy industry. Ayuk said it would be best tackled by creating strong educational and training programmes to implementing progressive policies in the workplace, and better policies that provide women equal opportunities in the workplace and across the industry. “On woman empowerment, look to South Africa, which boasts some of the strongest leaders in Africa’s oil and gas sector. Diversity will change our industry for the best and needs to be a priority,” declared Nj Ayuk
Addressing some key issues impeding the continent’s economic and social development, the renowned oil and gas lawyer pointed to lack of infrastructure, adding that lack of roads, pipelines, ports and airports hamper exploration and production in its tracts, thereby delaying the progress of otherwise economically viable progress in the continent.
Speaking further, the Executive Chairman said that African continent must do better to provide energy and jobs to all Africans and reminded the audience that “We are here at AOP not only to highlight success stories but also to have an honest conversation with each other on what needs to be done for our industry, and follow a roadmap to successful implementation on core issues such as regulations and local content policies, the empowerment of women, infrastructure development, cross-border cooperation and fiscal frameworks,” he declared.
At the core of the African Energy Chamber’s message was also a call to women empowerment across Africa’s energy industry. From creating strong educational and training programmes to implementing progressive policies in the workplace, the Chamber has advocated for better policies that provide women equal opportunities in the workplace and across the industry. “On woman empowerment, look to South Africa, which boasts some of the strongest leaders in Africa’s oil and gas sector. Diversity will change our industry for the best and needs to be a priority,” declared Ayuk.
The 2019 Africa Oil & Power Conference & Exhibition was attended by hundreds of senior government officials and energy executives from across Africa and the world, AOP seeks solutions to make energy work better for Africans and investors. such as H.E. Gabriel Mbaga The Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Lima; the Minister of Petroleum and Energies of Senegal, H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, and the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group, Nj Ayuk, were among the dignitaries that attended the conference.