The former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources will lead discussions around energy security in Africa and green energy.
Frank Fannon, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources and current Managing Director of energy consultancy firm, Fannon Global Advisors, will be coming to Cape Town to discuss energy security, global investment trends and green energy at the 2022 edition of Africa’s premier event for the energy sector, African Energy Week (AEW), which will take place from 18 – 21 October 2022 in Cape Town. After scooping the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award at AEW 2021 for his dedication to improving the African energy landscape to make energy poverty history by 2030, Fannon’s participation at AEW 2022 will be crucial in further improving US-Africa energy relations while driving discussions on the need to prioritize African energy security.
During his tenure as America’s Energy Diplomat, Fannon has led and negotiated the entry of various U.S. government initiatives into several energy markets including the Indo-Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Notably, Fannon was part of discussions held during the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission Meeting which was held in Washington DC in January 2020 on the role U.S. institutions could play in improving Nigeria’s upstream investments and in supporting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with its infrastructure development projects. With AEW 2022’s theme comprising “Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment,” Fannon will be instrumental, shedding light on investment opportunities for U.S. organizations such as the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as frontier opportunities for companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Kosmos Energy, most of which already have a strong foothold in Africa’s energy sector.
However, Fannon’s expertise will go one step further at the event, as he leads discussions centered around the need for Africa to prioritize energy security in 2022 and beyond. With the Russia-Ukraine crisis disrupting global supply chains and causing price hikes globally, Europe is aggressively pursuing alternative supplies to address security and price control. While this is important for global markets, Fannon has and continues to emphasize Africa’s position, with the diplomat making a strong case for domestic utilization of resources in Africa so as to ensure access to reliable and affordable electricity across the continent. After all, Fannon notes that reliable and affordable electricity is not just a European expectation but a global one, and therefore, his participation at AEW 2022 will be critical.
“Despite the significant resources present, Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of energy poverty due to a lack of investment in exploration and production as well as in the development of infrastructure. As continental players look to attract investment and drive development across multiple sectors and the entire energy value chain, the U.S. has emerged as an ideal partner regarding investment, knowledge transfer and partnerships. With Fannon returning to AEW for its 2022 edition, bilateral cooperation will only improve further as he looks to broaden discussions on global energy security matters, green dialogue and African energy poverty alleviation,” stated NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of AEC.
Prior to his role at the U.S. Department of State, Fannon was the Senior Director of American natural gas liquids company, Murphy Oil Corporation, where he led the firm in its first operated development in west Africa in the Azurite field in the Mer Profonde Sud block, offshore the Republic of Congo. The firm leveraged Fannon’s experience in negotiating oil production sharing contracts, improving output at the well to 40,000 barrels of oil per day. Fannon also facilitated the entrance of the company in various countries, expanding his experience within the oil industry across various markets. In this regard, Fannon’s knowledge and expertise on both U.S. and African energy will be instrumental in discussions held in Cape Town in October.
Meanwhile, Fannon also served as Managing Director of American multinational mining firm, BHP, where he focused on climate change mitigation and environmental resilience. With global climate change strategies disrupting business models across the oil and gas industry, Fannon’s participation at AEW 2022 will be critical for oil and gas companies wanting to explore best practices and business cases that can help them align operations with environmental sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reduction policies. Fannon continues to call for more inclusive green dialogue, particularly in renewable rich countries across Africa.
At AEW 2022, Fannon will participate in panel discussions and high-level meetings where he will offer insight into investment trends, partner selection, and deal signing as well as energy security, ushering in a new era of enhanced U.S.-Africa engagement and multi-lateral energy dialogue. Fannon is a strong advocate for Africa’s energy future and will be instrumental in any and all discussions on energy security, investment and policy changes.
AEW 2022 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, strengthening the role the event will play in Africa’s energy future.
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