If someone asked you to tell the story of the oil and gas industry in Africa, how would you do it? Would you dwell on missteps of the past or paint a bright picture of the future?
Or, would you like to join us in telling the real story, which is far more nuanced and interesting?
At this year’s edition of African Energy Week (AEW) – from October 18-21 in Cape Town in partnership with Afreximbank – we talk about what’s happening in Africa’s oil and gas sector right now: and what needs to happen next. We will also sign deals that will fix our energy problems.
At AEW 2022, we take notice of the growing number of women working in the oil and gas industry, and we celebrate their contributions. We make the case for tapping more deeply into Africa’s multi-faceted talent pool.
Consider our responses to the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), which developed a potentially devastating foreign exchange (FOREX) regulation: one that would essentially kill off foreign investments and jobs in central Africa’s energy industry. It is very important for local and international stakeholders working together to recommend FOREX policies, approaches that will meet local governments’ needs without jeopardizing free-market opportunities for African jobseekers and businesses. These kinds of issues will form part of the discussions at AEW 2022.
You can’t love jobs and yet hate those who create jobs, and we need to stare down the ugly head of resource nationalism that has held us back when it comes to advancing energy projects. As a dealmaker, I personally get goosebumps when deals get closed and then I want the next. We need to close deals and stop talking so much.
We track the growing number of African countries using competitive bidding processes to bring their oil and gas assets to the attention of investors, and we encourage these countries to adopt solutions such as fast-tracking licenses so they can improve outcomes.
Adding renewables to Africa’s energy mix will be a win-win for African communities and the environment. But increasingly, the global community seems to be pushing Africa to transition to green energy at a breakneck pace, and, just as quickly, to say goodbye to our oil and gas industry. We say NO. We need oil and natural gas, and we must support our energy producers with better policies.
The African Energy Chamber has become an invaluable advocate for Africa’s petroleum industry during this time. We’ve been calling for a well-planned, strategic approach to our energy transition, one that considers the needs of Africans, today and tomorrow. We don’t mind asking the big questions, like how Africa’s energy transition will be funded. We continue to be a voice for hundreds of millions throughout Africa who lack access to electricity — Africans who could benefit greatly from gas-to-power programs.
Our industry has not always been attractive to young people. We have seen a change. When Africa Oil Week moved away to Dubai in 2021, many young people pushed us to have AEW in Cape Town, and it was a massive success. This year we will have an amazing Afrobeats and Amapiano concert with top African superstars. Our energy industry will communicate better than ever.
We seek African and global solutions for African challenges, so we focus on capacity-building and opportunities for regional cooperation. We also examine local content initiatives so we can figure out what’s gone wrong and what’s gone right — and encourage conversations about how to do even better.
We’re committed not only to telling the story of what’s happening in African energy but also to playing a role in writing the next chapters, always with an emphasis on increased prosperity and stability for everyday Africans and energy producers. And with your time, expertise, and financial contributions, we’ll succeed in fighting climate change and making energy poverty history.