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Taking The Continent For Granted Paved Way For The African Energy Week-Robin Vela.

August 23, 2021

By Ajong Mbapndah L

You can’t want to talk about African acreage and resources, but not want to do so on their home patch, says says Robin Vela

You can’t want to talk about African acreage and resources, but not want to do so on their home patch, says says Robin Vela as he continues to fume at the decision to relocate the African Oil Week (AOW) from Cape Town, South Africa, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

With strong forays into the energy sector, Robin Vela who is Chairman of the Lonsa Group, a leading investment entity in Africa, says the move was akin to scoring an own goal, and the emergence of the African Oil Week (AEW) was the only a logical response from Africans who felt slighted.

A regular at the African Oil Week events since the early 2000s with fond memories of his interactions with leading energy actors, Robin Vela says his point of contention is largely around the patronizing attitude towards Africans.

In an interview done for the August issue of Pan African Visions magazine, Robin Vela who says he has known NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber, from his early days attending AOW in Cape Town, says the relocation of the event left him with an open door to walk through.

“I am not sure NJ would have sought to launch African Energy Week if AOW had not moved to Dubai,” Robin Vela says.

“I believe African Energy Week will continue to get (and has already got) substantial support from many who are similarly offended as me at the exhibition being moved off the Continent,” says Robin Vela.

Where the African Energy Week could also steal a march would be in making the attendance more affordable and diverse, says Robin Vela who sees strong prospects of this been the beginning of an ongoing event and not a once-off.

At the helm of the Lonsa Group whose principals have unrivalled experience and knowledge of working with businesses gained by investing more than USD$2.5-billion in the continent over the past 17 years, the endorsement of Robin Vela is a huge boost for the African Energy Week 2021.

African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 is the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) first-ever interactive exhibition and networking event that seeks to unite African energy stakeholders, drive industry growth and development, and promote Africa as the destination for African-focused events.

The four-day high-level conference comprises networking sessions, innovative exhibitions, one-on-one private meetings, and much more.

“The event is set to include industry delegates, movers and shakers and African and global industry leaders and speakers from the energy, oil and gas sector. The theme for the week, ‘At the Forefront of the African Energy Industry,’ aims to emphasise a core focus on the African energy sector, with specific attention being given to Africa’s role within the global energy transition,” the African Energy Chamber says.

The Full Interview of Robin Vela in the August Issue of Pan African Visions  Magazine.

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