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Foreign Investment Has A Vital Role to Play in Africa’s Economic Growth: We Must Do What We Can to Encourage It
November 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber
NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, not all of the economic news in Africa has been negative. We continue to see promising developments.

Look at Uganda’s oil and gas industry. Following multiple petroleum discoveries in Uganda’s Albertine Graben, foreign investments there have reached nearly $20 billion. The resulting projects include a refinery being built by the Uganda National Oil Company in joint partnership with four Italian and Mauritian companies. Through another joint venture, in this case with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. and Total, Uganda’s National Oil Company is building a 1,445-kilometer pipeline to the Tanzanian seaport that represents numerous opportunities for new jobs and economic growth.

The oil discoveries also have resulted in new food supply chain, equipment, and logistics businesses and the development of an airport in the Hoima district. And the government is looking at using oil revenue to boost other sectors including agriculture, health, and education. Because of the oil-related growth of businesses in the Bunyoro region, new roads, health centers, and schools have already been developed.

And this is one of multiple examples. In Senegal, President Macky Sall announced in late September that his country is on target to see double-digit economic growth, 13.7%, by 2023, thanks to new oil and gas field developments. What’s more, Senegal has been reaping the rewards of a long-standing partnership with Germany, which has resulted in more than €1 billion in funding, including significant support for small-scale power plants and renewable energy projects.

The news has been promising in Rwanda as well, where government efforts to draw foreign investment are yielding fruit, including more and more investments by Turkish businesses. Turkey’s biggest investment in Rwanda, by Hakan Mining and Electricity Generation Inc., involves the construction of an 80-megawatt power plant in the southern part of the country.

These encouraging events have a running theme: Through foreign investments and partnerships, these African countries are strategically harnessing their oil and gas resources to make sustainable improvements for their people. They’re bolstering economic growth and addressing the need for widespread access to electricity.

Africa needs more of this.

That is why the African Energy Chamber works so hard to empower investment activity. It’s why we created a Regulatory Affairs Committee this year with the goal of making African countries more competitive for global investments. It’s why we developed common-sense guidelines for maintaining international oil company (IOC) production activity in Africa during the pandemic. It’s why, in August, we Co-hosted the “Germany-Africa Economic Relations: Making Deals Post COVID-19,” webinar with CNN’s Eleni Giokos to mobilize more German investment into the African energy sector. Investments are key to Africa’s economic growth. They can result in valuable technology transfers among countries. They help us battle energy poverty, and they result in projects that lead to local revenue, jobs, training opportunities, and entrepreneurship.

We address the value of investment activity in our upcoming 2021 Africa Energy Outlook. “Investments are required to convert resources in the ground to revenue and value,” the report says. “The investments represent jobs and business for a plethora of oil field service providers and is therefore an important metric to the wider activity level around the oil and gas industry.”

While the report describes widespread declines in capital expenditures in the continent’s oil and gas industry, it notes that they are taking place, primarily, because of COVID-19. An investment rebound is possible after the pandemic, the report says, if oil prices exceed current expectations.

While there is little we can do to influence oil prices, there are tangible steps that African countries can, and should, be taking to increase the chances of much-needed investment dollars going into their energy projects. These include working toward increased government transparency, passing legislation that protects the sanctity of contracts, and implementing more competitive fiscal regimes. We need to be working on these measures now. This is how we will make a lasting difference in Africa. This is how we will empower people to develop the necessary skills to land well-paying jobs. This is how we will promote stability.

The Job and Investment killer CEMAC Currency Exchange Regulation

The BEAC Forex regulations set to go into force in January 2021 is a classic example of what we should not be doing in Africa. Bureaucrats are not listening because they are comfortable with tax dollars and killing businesses and investment.

If the BEAC, IMF and World Bank bureaucrats really mean what they say about helping Africa and CEMAC countries bounce back from Covid 19, shouldn’t they be listening to what the people who actually run businesses have to say about job creation? After all, business employs 80 percent the regions private sector workforce and accounts for more than 99 percent of its employers.

When over two-thirds of job creators especially energy companies tell us how to create jobs in an economy that desperately needs them, bureaucrats and politicians should not only listen, they should do something or get out of the way and let business work. Africa should not focus on development aid in exchange for job and investment killing regulations. We can do better than this. Free markets, limited government, cutting red tape,  and individual liberty are still our best bet to than begging for bailouts and foreign aid.

Investments allow us to tackle pressing needs

One area where investors can have a tremendous impact is the battle against energy poverty. The need is acute. Currently, about 595 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, 55% of the region’s population, are without access to electricity. World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte summed up the problem effectively when she said, access to energy is fundamental in the struggle against poverty. “It is energy that lights the lamp that lets you do your homework, that keeps the heat on in a hospital, that lights the small businesses where most people work,” she said. “Without energy, there is no economic growth, there is no dynamism, and there is no opportunity.”

This is where IOCs truly can make a difference, and on multiple fronts. By investing in oil and gas projects, IOCs create opportunities for revenue that can be channeled into new and improved energy infrastructure. And, by participating in upstream, midstream, and downstream natural gas projects, investors help create a path for valuable gas-to-power projects.

We need investors as we monetize our Natural Gas

For years, when I’ve called for strategically harnessing Africa’s petroleum resources to bring about prosperity and stability for Africans, I’ve discussed the importance of monetizing our vast supplies of natural gas. Instead of flaring gas or exporting all of it, African countries should be using it to diversify their economies and establish new revenue streams, from petrochemical and fertilizer manufacturing to liquified natural gas (LNG) plants. Partnering with foreign investors, more African countries could build midstream and downstream infrastructure, from pipelines and ports to refineries. Each of those projects, in turn, would generate more revenue and open the door to even greater diversification efforts. Investors would have an important role in this process. Not only could they partner with countries on infrastructure development, but by investing in capacity building and local content, they could enable individuals and businesses to qualify for the job and contract opportunities that result. This will create monetization that truly benefits local economies.

Knowledge transfers contribute to long-term growth

Not only does the continent need ongoing foreign investment, it also needs the technical knowledge and expertise that the international business community can provide. Knowledge transfers empower local companies – including oil and gas industry suppliers, service companies, and indigenous oil and gas companies – to cultivate the skills and technologies necessary to thrive in a continuously evolving industry.

What’s more, knowledge sharing plays a valuable role in eliminating the need for foreign assistance. We realize that, with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc upon African economies, there has been more talk of aid packages to meet basic needs. And while donations and aid are appreciated and valuable during crises like the one we’re experiencing now, they can do nothing but serve as a temporary emergency safety net. Rather than doing things “to help Africans,” I’d like to see more foreign governments and companies partner with African countries to make sustainable changes for the better. Equipping African countries to thrive is a highly effective way to do that. Knowledge transfers contribute to stronger economies, increased entrepreneurial activity, and job creation.

How we get there

There’s no question that foreign investments are beneficial, and necessary, for African countries. But when it comes to attracting investments from IOCs, we’re not where we need to be yet.

So how do we foster more investment, both now and after the pandemic? As I’ve said, African countries must work to create an enabling environment.

To make doing business easy with their countries, government leaders should be looking at their tax frameworks so investors can be sure their hard work will yield fair dividends. They should be looking for ways to eliminate red tape, implement better fiscal regimes, and ensure transparency. And while countries should have local content policies in place to benefit individuals in businesses, they should put effort into creating policies that are fair, not burdensome, to IOCs. What’s more, governments must enact legislation that ensures the sanctity of contracts so investors know their agreements will be respected.

Along with these efforts, oil and gas project developers and owners have their own role to play in drawing investors. It has become increasingly important for oil and gas projects to adopt strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. While these will vary by project, examples could include carbon emissions reduction and operational energy efficiency in the area of environment. Social standards could include health and safety measures and relationships with local suppliers and service companies. Examples of governance policies could include leadership diversity and reporting transparency. Investors are considering ESG, and project developers must do the same.

Foreign investment opportunities will play an important role in supporting economic growth and eliminating energy poverty in Africa for years to come. That’s why the African Energy Chamber will continue to work to help African countries make themselves more attractive to investors and to make potential investors aware of the many opportunities Africa offers them. It’s worth a different kind of investment on our parts as Africans, investments in time and effort.

The end result? More promising developments like the ones emerging in Senegal, Rwanda, and Uganda. Economically vibrant African countries. Thriving African households and entrepreneurs. Growth and hope.

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber

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Total’s Second Discovery in South Africa promises Gas-led Recovery for Southern Africa
October 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
The discovery further positions Africa as a global and competitive gas frontier that continues to offer very attractive exploration and gas commercialisation opportunities.


While anticipated, Total’s second significant gas condensate discovery announced today in South Africa is nonetheless reason to rejoice after a year of deep uncertainty and struggles for the African energy sector. With partners Qatar Petroleum, CNR International and Africa Energy Corp, Total was able to start its multi-well exploration programme on Block 11B/12B only two months behind schedule, delivering what remains until now the year’s only discovery across sub-Saharan Africa.

The Luiperd-1X well was drilled to a total depth of 3,400 meters and encountered 73 meters of net gas condensate pay within the Paddavissie Fairway, which already includes the 2019 Brulpadda discovery. This second find confirms the tremendous gas potential in South Africa and is expected to be followed by the drilling of a third, a potential fourth, exploration wells on the same block.

More importantly, the discovery further positions Africa as a global and competitive gas frontier that continues to offer very attractive exploration and gas commercialisation opportunities. The upcoming Africa Energy Outlook 2021 of the African Energy Chamber identifies several such high-impact wells for 2021 and 2022 that could yield similar discoveries in South Africa and Namibia. The outlook notably identifies the southwestern coast of Africa as being home to perhaps the most anticipated wildcats globally. The prospects, if successful, could open new basins for development and trigger big new investments towards the latter half of the 2020s.

Under its 2021 projections to be released in November, the Chamber notably sees gas production and consumption increasing on the continent. More specifically, new frontiers such as South Africa are expected to increasingly consume natural gas for industrial purposes and power generation.  Such developments could be a pillar for economic recovery post Covid-19, but would require the promotion of an enabling environment providing investors with sound and attractive policy and contractual frameworks.

“The African Energy Chamber has always seen Africa as a true frontier for exploration and promoted a much bigger use of gas across our economies to create jobs and support industrialisation. The gradual opening of a new domestic gas hub in South Africa is a very welcoming development that needs to be supported with efficient and transparent policies, and quick approvals of all necessary permits and licenses for gas to be commercialised and create value for South Africans,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

*Africa Energy Chamber
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Apex Industries Commits to Fund Top Students at National University of Equatorial Guinea
October 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
 Leoncio Amada Nze
Leoncio Amada Nze

As part of Apex Industries social program, the company commits to financially support qualifying students during their academic progress for the next 5 years

Apex Industries, an oil and gas conglomerate based in Equatorial Guinea and headed by Don Leoncio Amada Nze has entered into a 5 year Funding Partnership Agreement with the National University of Equatorial Guinea which will see the company issue scholarships to top talent at the country’s main institution of higher learning. As part of Apex Industries social program, the company commits to financially support qualifying students during their academic progress for the next 5 years.

Apex Industries is a leading oil and gas services company in the central African region. Its activities include the delivery of offshore engineering and maintenance services, oil field logistics services and facility maintenance services. The company, which is headed by its founder and CEO Don Leoncio Amada Nze has an ambitious growth plan to widen its footprint across Africa and along the entire energy value chain.

In order to achieve that, it will have to ensure that it can rely on a constant supply of highly qualified youth. ‘’Our initiative is aimed at offering students in Africa the opportunity to quality education which the National University of Equatorial Guinea provides. We are enthusiastic about this partnership because the youth are the future, not just for Apex Industries, but for the entire continent. They will be in the position to meet the continent’s socio-economic needs and create an impact in their communities,’’ said CEO of APEX Industries and President of the African Energy Chamber, CEMAC Region.

APEX Industries and the African Energy Chamber continue to stress the importance of supporting African institutions and universities by highlighting the shortfalls and implementing strategic plans to address with them adequately, including financing shortfalls. This collaboration also includes a commitment of continuous assessment, in an effort to mobilise the energy sector as a whole to support talent development in Equatorial Guinea in particular and Africa in General.

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Development finance institutions pledge to sustain COVID-19 mitigation, livelihood recovery
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
They discussed how to achieve maximum impact in their relief efforts, and the debt sustainability of beneficiary countries.

Multilateral development finance institutions on Wednesday pledged to continue to collaborate in their efforts to mitigate the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate the recovery of economies and livelihoods.

At an extraordinary virtual meeting to discuss the impact of their responses to the pandemic and the worsening debt situation, the organizations said that sustaining their joint efforts would protect livelihoods, especially among vulnerable populations, preserve macroeconomic stability and promote a stronger private sector role after COVID-19. 

The meeting, chaired by Hajjar Bandar, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, was attended by the heads of 12 Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). They discussed how to achieve maximum impact in their relief efforts, and the debt sustainability of beneficiary countries.

Bandar said the collaboration by the MDBs had proven meaningful in their efforts to swiftly provide crucial financial relief to member countries in the wake of the pandemic.

“In the face of this unprecedented crisis, we have shown our responsibility and unity…The total package has already started disbursing and is bearing fruits,” Bandar said.

The joint effort of the MDBs has seen a COVID-19 response envelope of about $230 billion. In addition, the IMF has provided financing to 81 member countries totaling over $100 billion since mid-March, with further room for member countries to tap into its $1 trillion lending capacity through program arrangements.

He urged members to sustain the collaboration to steer financing towards development, help communities out of poverty and spur digitization and promote education. “This forum is where partnerships make a difference. We need to join forces to support our member countries better.”

President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, said collaboration among development partners has become more vital than ever to help economies recover from the pandemic and attract private financing to rebuild infrastructure.

“We are really…in very extraordinary times. There’s no doubt about it, in terms of the devastation that this pandemic is causing. The challenge is huge and the collective resolve must be strong as MDBs,” he said.

He said efforts must be deepened to help member states mobilize more domestic resources and attract private creditors to participate in financing capital projects.

“It’s time for us to change the paradigm to get the private sector, with incentives, to do a lot of private-public partnerships,” Adesina said, restating the Bank’s commitment to helping Africa rebuild boldly and smartly.

The African Development Bank Group introduced a COVID-19 Response Facility (CRF) of up to $10 billion to support Regional Member Countries and private sector clients in their efforts to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MDBs represented at the meeting include the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the New Development Bank (NDB), World Bank Group and the African Development Bank.

*AFDB
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How the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) Has Killed Jobs, Investments and Opportunities for Local Oil & Gas Entrepreneurs
October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

The African Energy Chamber will file a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the implementation of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC)’s reckless foreign exchange (forex) regulations that are anti-African, against small businesses, and against investors.

International energy companies and local services companies spend a lot of time serving people, solving problems, and saving lives with the energy and service they provide. The African Energy Chamber’s (www.EnergyChamber.org) members create jobs, expand economic opportunity for many local communities across Africa and support a prosperous future for all Africans. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, they never stopped working for our continent, and continue to inspire us by getting up every day and working harder because they believe in the power of free market as a force for good in our communities, and in our fight against poverty. At the African Energy Chamber, we get up every day to help them do it. We must fight for the ability of our energy industry to hire, invest, grow, and succeed in Africa.

As 2020 comes to an end, Africans are living in a remarkable moment of uncertainty due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Millions have lost their jobs, and hopes of an economic recovery remains non-existent for a majority of African families. As if that is not enough, bureaucrats at the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) have decided to push through job-killing and investment-killing regulations that are already increasing unemployment, and will ultimately kill any hopes of seeing future investment in Central Africa.

The aspirations of governments and local companies across the CEMAC region to build a vibrant and jobs-creating energy sector have indeed been dramatically affected by the foreign exchange regulations imposed by the BEAC. Such regulations are putting extremely deterring barriers of entry for investors in Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, CAR, Equatorial Guinea and Chad, and a bitter halt to any kind of local content development for companies and entrepreneurs in these countries.

While the end goal of the BEAC to fight corruption is noble and must be supported, in essence its regulations prevent the free flow of capital and the repatriation of profits, and deny local companies the ability to compete on equal terms with their foreign counterparts.

Because of the region’s reliance on imports of equipment and material for oil & gas operations, the ability of local companies to establish strong business relationships with foreign partners is central to their competitiveness and ability to secure contracts. However, CEMAC’s forex rules mean its local services companies are now unable to quickly and efficiently pay their foreign suppliers. Concretely, it would take a local services company from CEMAC several months to honour its contractual engagements with an operator, compared to only a few days or weeks for any other competitor not constrained by the same forex regulations.

As a result, companies in Central Africa are condemned to inexorably lose the contracts they have worked so hard to secure from foreign operators and contractors. In a region where oil & gas represents 80% of revenues, the consequences for economic growth and jobs creation could be catastrophic. To make things even worse, BEAC’s Instruction No. 002/GR/2020 of September 2020 on currency transfers outside of the CEMAC region has set up additional taxes of 0.75% on all transfers made outside of CEMAC starting January 1st 2021, on top of existing fees and taxes.

On behalf of the fight against corruption, the African Energy Chamber can only observe a gradual killing of investment in Central Africa, made through the punishment of local entrepreneurs. A big difference needs to urgently be made between fighting corruption and punishing hard working entrepreneurs, and it needs to be done before it is too late. The BEAC cannot love and support jobs while it hates or punishes those who create jobs.

Combined, the CEMAC members produce about 700,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). They also produce increasing quantities of natural gas, and the region houses up to 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG export capacity, shared between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. But as it tries to recover from the Covid-19 crisis and the historic crash in oil prices, we can only expect operators to be forced to contract international companies at the detriment of local ones. In Equatorial Guinea, where the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has pushed for increasing local content compliance, all such efforts are now jeopardized by the BEAC’s monetary policies. Similarly, the latest local content regulations within the new Hydrocarbons Code of Congo (2016) and Gabon (2019) and the new Petroleum Code of Cameroon (2019) are now all made pointless unless the region’s monetary authority takes a drastic policy turn.

The African Energy Chamber, its partners and members urgently call on the BEAC to act in the CEMAC Zone’s own interest, in the interest of its workers and its companies. The need to have a monetary policy that takes into account the concerns and voice of the region’s biggest revenue-generating industry is dire. At a time when Africa gets ready to roll out the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), CEMAC and its business communities risk being further left behind.

If CEMAC energy markets are to recover from the historic crises of 2020 and improve the standard of living of their population through economic growth and jobs creation, the investment climate and business environment must be supported by market-driven policies and the right financial regulations.

Excessive regulation has become a threat to individual freedom and prosperity, and must be curbed as local companies stand to suffer the most. In an era where capital investment in the energy sector is drying out, especially for African oil and gas projects, CEMAC’s heavy-handed approach is not helpful and is counter-productive.

A policy turn is required to properly fight energy poverty, and a relaxation of foreign exchange regulations must be accompanied with lower taxation on local companies, better fiscal terms for exploration companies, particularly corporate taxes, and the promotion of greater prosperity, individual freedom and investment. 

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber

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Mozambique can realize full benefits of Natural Gas Production
October 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Florival Mucave

Last month, African Energy Chamber CEO and Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk made a case for Mozambique developing its natural gas resources to build its economy.

For far too long, descriptions of Mozambique have contained some variation of the following:  Mozambique one of the poorest Least Developed Countries in the world faces endemic droughts, floods and widespread poverty.

But we’re closer than ever now to changing that narrative, to being able to say: By strategically managing its vast natural gas resources, monetizing them, and harnessing them to industrialize the country and develop the private sector across the country, Mozambique is ushering in a new era of widespread economic growth and stability.

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this vision. A number of environmental organizations argue that the benefits of natural gas production in Mozambique are negligible and not worth the environmental costs.

Last month, African Energy Chamber CEO and Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk made a case for Mozambique developing its natural gas resources to build its economy. He criticized some environmental groups—UK-based Friends of the Earth in particular — for attempting to interfere with the UK government’s $1 billion funding commitment to Total’s Mozambique Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project. (Export credit agency UK Export Finance, had agreed to contribute funding because of the project’s potential to transform Mozambique’s budget and create jobs in the UK.)

Shortly after Mr. Ayuk released his piece, journalist Ilham Rawoot, who works for Friends of the Earth Mozambique (Justica Ambiental) and is the coordinator of the organization’s No to Gas! campaign, responded with an equally passionate opinion piece opposing his stance. She took issue with Mr. Ayuk’s commentary on environmentalists’ interference and his views on the LNG  potential benefits, and she asserted that Mozambique would be better off without natural gas production or LNG projects.

I respect Ms. Rawoot’s right to express her views on African or any other matters.

I only wish that she, and others who are intent on saying “no to gas” in Mozambique, could start by making a thorough analyses on the pros and cons of Mozambique developing its vast natural gas reserves. The spillover and multiplying effects in terms of socio-economic development, from training and capacity building, employment, Government revenue, industrialization through domestic gas utilization and energy security. Natural gas production truly represents an opportunity for Mozambicans, and there are solid reasons to believe that Mozambique can take the steps necessary to reap significant benefits from the three LNG projects currently being developed here: the Total LNG project, valued at $23 billion; the ExxonMobil-led Rovuma project valued at $23.9 billion; and the $4.7 billion Coral Floating LNG project. But not only that, I’ve witnessed the positive impact of natural gas industries in other jurisdictions, from Trinidad and Tobago, Qatar, Nigeria, Australia, Norway and the United States of America. These are some of the reasons I’m confident when I say Mozambicans can shift our country’s trajectory for the better: We can transform our reality from poverty despite our resources to prosperity because of them.

We Need This Opportunity

From my perspective, we should welcome Mozambique’s natural gas industry and LNG projects, more importantly because there is empirical evidence demonstrating that in Mozambique, the tangible benefits resulting from LNG projects, outweigh by far any negative impact . Currently, economic opportunities in Mozambique are at a minimum, and natural gas production has the potential to simultaneously meet multiple pressing needs: job creation, capacity building, economic diversification, access to power and more importantly, poverty alleviation.

In order to have a sustainable economic development, through industrialization, Mozambique needs to increase access to power. The Mozambican Petroleum Law 21/2014, states that” Petroleum resources are assets whose proper exploitation can contribute significantly to national development”. This position is also echoed in the Mozambican Gas Masterplan, which suggests that the Government of Mozambique should develop natural resources in a manner that maximizes benefits to Mozambique’s society, in order to improve the quality of life of the people of Mozambique, while minimizing adverse social and environmental impacts.

So many of our struggles in Mozambique are rooted in our lack of reliable electricity: Only 29% of our population has access to power. In order to tackle the limited access to power by Mozambicans, the Petroleum Law 21/2014, incorporates a clause on domestic gas, according to which, 25 % of the natural gas produced in Mozambique must be used domestically. As a result of domestic gas obligations we are starting to see sizeable new investments in gas to power projects in Mozambique, such as the Ressano Garcia CTRG Project, the Kuvaninga project, the upcoming Temane Regional Electricity Project, which will include a 400-megawatt gas-fired power plant and the planned 250-megawatt electricity plant in the Nacala district that will be fueled by gas from Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin.

Keep the Long Game in Mind

In her opinion piece, Ms. Rawoot states that few of the construction jobs for the Total’s LNG plant have gone to locals, and she’s right. But to be fair, the LNG industry in Mozambique is in its infancy and we don’t yet have the trained labor force capable of participating in the oil & gas industry. As much as we would love to have a 70% majority of Mozambicans building everything, we still need international companies with the necessary skills to get the work done on time and on budget. Training is underway, but the experience and technical know-how are not there yet. However, that doesn’t mean we should kill the projects. We have to push forward, and at the same time, work on building local content laws that promote the inclusive participation of Mozambicans in the oil & gas industry. I hope we’ll see the western environmental community supporting these efforts. They can be a powerful and important voice on the importance of local content that promotes the inclusive and sustainable participation of Mozambicans in the oil & gas projects.

When the Mozambican Oil and Gas Chamber and the African Energy Chamber talk about job creation from LNG projects, we’re not simply referring to construction jobs. We’re also talking about qualified and highly skilled jobs in the plants once they’re operational, jobs with local companies contracted by the plant, and also, jobs created as Mozambique harnesses its natural gas industry to industrialize its economy.

Gas Is Only the Beginning

The tourism industry in Southern Africa was growing exponentially before Covid-19 and will return to growth after the pandemic. Mozambique’s, natural gas can be a catalyzer for the growth of the tourism industry. The Mozambican Government has tourism as one of its economic pillars and although the tourism industry has been severely hurt by cyclones and Covid-19, its great potential remains untapped.

Despite its great potential, Mozambique’s tourism industry will not be able to grow and flourish without reliable power. Even with our pristine beaches, and some of the most beautiful islands in the world, only a few tourists will come if we don’t have reliable power. We want tourists to be able to enjoy our beautiful country, and we want a dynamic tourism sector that contributes to long-term economic growth and job creation. To achieve that, we need reliable power, we need infrastructure. Mozambique can achieve all of that with LNG production and revenue.

The Impact of Natural Gas Production in Mozambique on the Agriculture Industry

In its five year economic plan, the Government of Mozambique indicated agriculture as its top priority. Currently, nearly 80% of our population works in the agricultural sector, and it generates about 25% of our GDP. However, due to low productivity levels, too many of our farmers still live in abject poverty. That can be changed, though. Simply by using fertilizers, farmers can enhance their yield by nearly 40%. While imported fertilizers are too expensive for the majority of our farmers, Mozambique can create a more affordable option. By building infrastructure to transform natural gas into nitrogenous fertilizers, not only would Mozambique help its farmers, but it would also create local job opportunities. Mozambique could reduce significantly its imports of agricultural products from South Africa and become an affordable source of food for domestic consumption.

Natural Gas Monetization Is Doable

I understand why some are skeptical about Mozambique’s ability, and resolve to manage LNG revenues in a way that benefits our population. It’s true: The oil and gas industry hasn’t always been good for Africa’s people. We have seen our share of government rent-seeking and corruption in the African continent. We’ve also seen the impact of resource curse, even pre-resource curse. This is why the Mozambique Oil and Gas Chamber, Mr. Ayuk, the African Energy Chamber and other African Oil and Gas Organizations are working together to change the gloomy narrative of the oil & gas industry in Africa. We are new African voices in the industry, committed to transparency, good governance, economic growth and sustainable development.

I am certain that Mozambique can benefit from the painful lessons some African petroleum-producing countries have learned up to now, from disastrous policies to successful diversification of their economies. We can also learn from positive examples, such as the twin-island of Trinidad and Tobago, which like Mozambique, has sizeable reserves of natural gas. Government initiatives in Trinidad and Tobago led to significant foreign investment into downstream, gas-based projects. And that, in turn, sparked increased activity in the construction, distribution, transport, and manufacturing sectors.

Looking at Emissions in Proportion

Naturally, protecting the environment is a major concern of Ms. Rawoot, Justica Ambiental, and similar organizations — and it’s very important to us.

Global electricity demand is expected to increase by 70% by 2035, gas fired generation almost doubling to facilitate this. It is also expected that the share of natural gas in the global energy mix will be higher than that of coal and oil by 2035.

The projected growth in the energy sector has to take into account the growing concerns regarding climate change. But, combating climate change effectively should not conflict with human progress and poverty alleviation.

With regards to natural gas, its scope in the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is significant, as natural gas with lower default carbon content of 15.3 Kg/GJ, is a cleaner option compared to coking coal (25.8 Kg/GJ) and crude oil (20 Kg/GJ). Natural gas is indeed an option for delivering industrial emission targets. In other words, natural gas is a bridging fuel by providing a low-carbon energy alternative to other fossil fuel sources.

What about the potential environmental impact of using natural gas to power in Africa?

It has been estimated that if we triple electricity consumption in sub-Saharan Africa, all with natural gas, we would produce the equivalent of 0.62% of annual global emissions — less than the average yearly global increase over the last decade.

In Mozambique, given our natural propensity for cyclones and other natural disasters, protecting our natural habitats and wildlife as well as keep the planet healthy for future generations has long been a priority, and will remain one. However, rather than discarding LNG projects, we should be working together to find a way to develop them in an environmentally responsible manner.

Mozambicans do have a say in the Afungi Relocation Process

In her opinion piece, Ms. Rawoot argues that Total’s LNG plant not only represents an environmental threat, but also one to local people and communities. Total, she writes, took the homes of 556 families for their LNG plant project and failed to compensate them fairly. Those claims are unfounded. This is a matter that was comprehensively discussed between the civil society and the Mozambican Government. Currently, the government is engaged in productive conversations with citizens and businesses on this matter. Furthermore, the oil and gas companies in Mozambique have been very sensitive to issues that impact communities and have encouraged communities to be active in the land acquisition process, a process that includes relocation, compensation, restoration of livelihoods and the creation of a community development fund for resettlement-affected communities. Additionally, through a non-government organization (NGO), legal assistance has been provided to households signing compensation and resettlement agreements.

Let’s Remove a Motivator for Violence

I won’t deny Ms. Rawoot’s point that Mozambique has struggles, including armed conflict and terrorist attacks. Insurgency in Cabo-Delgado is a fact and there is no simple solution to this dilemma. I do however believe that our government in partnership with the civil society and international community will reach a durable peaceful solution, a sine qua non condition for the viable exploitation of natural gas in Cabo-Delgado.

I also agree with journalist Oscar Kimanuka of Rwanda, who recently noted that unemployment in Northern Mozambique may be a key factor for youths to join the extremists.

It seems logical, then, that creating employment opportunities could, at least, make it more difficult for extremist militant groups and terrorists to recruit our young people. Therefore, harnessing our natural gas resources to grow our economy is a sustainable solution.

Mozambicans Deserve Chance to Help Themselves

I understand that Mozambique has its share of complex challenges, and natural gas isn’t a perfect solution. At the same time, it is preposterous for Ms. Rawoot to suggest that Mozambique must jeopardize a projected LNG investment of approximately US$ 55 billion, equivalent to four times the size of the country’s GDP and forgo Government revenues over the next 25 years that are estimated to increase by US$ 4-5 billion per annum.

Mozambique cannot afford to continue being a country where our Government budget depends on international donor’s good will. We want Mozambicans to have the dignity of work and of building an inclusive and respectable nation. Harnessing natural gas to address poverty alleviation is a suitable solution.

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber.Florival Mucave is  Executive Chairman, Mozambique Oil and Gas Chamber

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60 Years After Independence Nigeria’s Energy Industry Hasn’t Realized Its Promise — But It’s Getting Closer
October 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

While getting Nigeria to the point where it can realize the full potential of its petroleum resources has been slow going, the country appears to be on the right track

 
By NJ Ayuk*

On Oct. 1, 1960, everything seemed possible for Nigeria: After nearly 80 years of colonialism under Great Britain, it was finally an independent nation.

During the newly independent nation’s earliest days, there was every reason for Nigerians to envision a bright future for themselves and their country, one in which Nigeria’s vast oil and gas reserves would deliver widespread prosperity. One of stability and growth.

Tragically, Nigeria’s story moved in a different direction. Yes, there was a brief period of economic growth, but that was followed by multiple coups, civil war, military rule, corruption, and poverty. Instead of helping everyday Nigerians, the country’s oil wealth went to an elite few in power while leaving communities, particularly those in the Niger Delta, to deal with environmental degradation and dwindling means of supporting themselves. Instead of using its oil revenue to strengthen other sectors and diversify the economy, Nigeria has made oil its primary source of government revenue. In recent decades, instability in the region has only worsened and contributed to the rise of terrorist groups like Boko Haram.

I still believe that 60 years of independence is an important milestone. We still have much to celebrate, including a future in which we can right the wrongs of our past.

While getting Nigeria to the point where it can realize the full potential of its petroleum resources has been slow going, the country appears to be on the right track. As I write this, Nigeria’s long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) — intended to bring transparency and new life to the country’s oil and gas sector — is closer than ever to passage. Nigeria is working to monetize its natural gas resources, and we’re seeing great interest in the latest marginal field bidding round.

So like those who celebrated their nation’s independence in 1960,  I’m hopeful about Nigeria’s future. My optimism might be tempered a bit by Nigeria’s unresolved challenges, including continuing concerns about government transparency, but it has not by any means been extinguished. I truly believe that Nigeria can learn from its mistakes, take a strategic approach to the opportunities before it, and create a country where all Nigerians can begin a chapter of safety and prosperity. Nigeria’s energy industry can realize its full promise.

Nigeria is Rich in Resources, Poor in Policy

Just like I believe that Nigeria’s oil and gas are key to improving the country’s future, I see that mismanagement of these resources has contributed to many of its struggles. Too many times during the last 60 years, Nigeria’s government has missed opportunities to channel the country’s oil and gas resources into economic growth. It has been particularly frustrating to see Nigeria — with natural gas reserves at an estimated 185 trillion cubic feet — struggle with energy poverty. Only about 45% of Nigerians have electricity, and even those with access to the power grid deal with regular power outages.

Again, weak governance plays a role in this. Violence and security issues, and Nigeria’s reputation for corruption, have slowed Nigeria’s ability to develop sufficient power plants and hindered foreign investment infrastructure. Meanwhile, Nigeria is paying a steep cost for its power shortages: about $28 billion or 2% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product, as lack of power impedes Nigerian entrepreneurship, private investment, and job creation.

I’m certain that Nigeria could bring reliable power to more people by harnessing its natural gas resources. And, to its credit, the government has been talking in recent years about putting an end to Nigeria’s costly and wasteful natural gas flaring — more than 276 billion cubic feet of natural gas was burned off from Nigeria’s oil fields between September 2018 and September 2019 alone — and capitalizing on this valuable resource. But up to now, Nigeria’s progress on this front has moved at an agonizingly slow pace. The government, for instance, set a Zero Routine Flaring target for 2020 but announced in August that it will not be able to reach its goal. It also has failed to set a new goal.

Then there is the issue of corruption, which has fed into dangerous chain reactions. In 1966 and 1967, shortly after Nigeria gained its independence, corruption was used to justify coups that led to civil war, and ultimately, to military rule for nearly three decades. More recently, frustration over corruption has eroded confidence in local governments, which in turn, has made it easier for terrorist group, Boko Haram, to radicalize and recruit young Nigerians. What’s more, corruption and mismanagement in Nigeria’s security sector have hampered Nigeria’s ability to effectively protect Nigerians from Boko Haram.

This year, with Nigeria’s economy dealing with the one-two punch of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices, decisive government action is more critical than ever. As of late August, the economy had contracted by 6.1%, and 27% of Nigeria’s labor force was unemployed.

I want to be clear: I’m not saying that Nigeria’s problems are insurmountable. Not in the least. In fact, Nigeria is better positioned to start strategically capitalizing on its natural resources than ever before. And if the country can do that, it will be well on its way to a better future.

All is Not Lost – Far From It

While there’s no guarantee that Nigeria’s PIB will become law this year, it has reached an important milestone: President Muhammadu Buhari approved an updated version of the bill and presented it to the National Assembly Sept. 28 for their approval. Both chambers of the National Assembly have to pass the bill before it can be sent to the president for his final signature. If it is passed, the PIB would be transformational for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and, ultimately, for the country as a whole. It would play a vital role in addressing the inefficiencies plaguing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), from slow approval for oil projects to budget shortfalls that hinder its ability to pursue public-private partnerships. What’s more, the bill would create a supportive environment for both IOCs and indigenous petroleum companies, help protect the environment and the interests of host communities, support economic diversification in Nigeria, and critically important, promote transparency in Nigeria’s administration of petroleum resources.

Putting the oil industry on strong footing also could give the government more room to maneuver when it comes to resolving problems in the Niger Delta — including environmental concerns, lack of economic opportunities, crime, and militant activity — and implementing reforms to restrain the advance of Boko Haram. If oil and gas production stabilize, for example, Nigeria’s government will be better positioned to create jobs in the region, both in petroleum and other sectors, which likely would contribute to greater stability there. More investment by IOCs also could lead to much-needed infrastructure in the area, educational and job-training programs for locals, and environmental initiatives. And greater oil and gas revenue — followed by economic growth and diversification — would help Nigeria to fund the security resources it needs to enforce anti-terrorism measures.

The PIB’s progress is good news, but it’s not the only reason I’m optimistic for Nigeria. The government also deserves praise for launching, through the Department of Petroleum Resources, its first marginal field bid round in nearly two decades. Marginal fields hold discovered resources that have been left unattended for more than 10 years. Nigeria is offering 57 fields with total resources estimated at about 800 million barrels of oil and 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas. Already, interest in the marginal fields has been high, and this could be just the jumpstart Nigeria needs to rekindle interest in the country’s untapped resources.

I also find it encouraging that Nigeria has moved a step closer to natural gas monetization through the Department of Petroleum Resources’ creation of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Program. Proper channeling of flared gas could impact the country’s gross domestic product by up to $1 billion per year, the department estimates. It could create up to 300,000 jobs, produce 600,000 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas per year, and generate 2,5 gigawatts of power. I commend the federal government for creating this program. Next, Nigeria needs to put in place the legislation, infrastructure, and pricing regulations necessary to make commercialization possible. Nigeria already has successful liquified natural gas (LNG) projects in place — just this year, Nigeria LNG Ltd. signed a $3 billion corporate loan to finance the construction of its seventh LNG train — and with the right policies, they can be even more beneficial.

Also working in Nigeria’s favor has been the country’s membership in OPEC. Not only has OPEC played a critical role in stabilizing global oil prices through production cuts this year, it also has been working to secure the fair value of member countries’ oil resources with the understanding that a thriving petroleum industry contributes to economic growth and improved standards of living. I believe Nigeria’s membership in the OPEC Fund for International Development, a multilateral development finance institution that targets key projects – primarily in energy, transportation, agriculture, water, education, and health —will be beneficial as well.

It has been encouraging as well to observe the fantastic working relationship among OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva, and NNPC Group Managing Director Mele Kyari. In fact, Barkindo recently expressed a strong vote of confidence in both Nigerian officials. “I’ve known both Timipre Sylva as a friend and Mele Kyari as a colleague for a very long time,” Barkindo said last year. “I had worked with both, and I know that if they work together, they will make a good team that will provide the leadership and the corporation that the industry requires.” The cooperation and respect among these leaders can only work in Nigeria’s favor.

Nigeria’s Independence Must Be Respected

As Nigeria takes measures to revamp its petroleum industry, leaders should be prepared to stand their ground against external forces eager to remake Nigeria’s future in the image they want for it. I’m referring to western environmental groups intent on influencing is how Nigeria, and other African countries, transition from fossil fuel production to sustainable energy sources. Many have been pressuring investors to stop supporting oil and gas projects in Africa to prevent climate change. Frankly, they need to back off.

Nigeria is celebrating 60 years of independence. This is not the time to go backward. Outsiders need to respect Nigeria’s right to control its own destiny — and to choose the path it takes to improve its future. Nigeria must be the one to map out and executive its energy transition. And it must do it on its own timetable. And Nigeria already is, by the way, beginning to embrace green technologies. With a $350 million World Bank loan, Nigeria plans to build 10,000 solar-powered mini-grids by 2023. The government also is investing in hydropower projects, including the $5.79 billion Mambilla Power Station in central Nigeria.

All of those projects can work hand in hand to contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth. No one should be pressuring Nigeria to miss out on the many benefits its petroleum resources offer. And today, when the country is finally moving toward harnessing its oil and gas resources in a way that could truly benefit everyday Africans, it would be heartbreaking to see non-Africans knock Nigeria off-course.

Nigeria is So Close

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first prime minister, had this to say about an independent Nigeria: “Our political advance will be of no value if it is not supported by economic progress.”

He was absolutely right.

Nigeria needs revenue to resolve its challenges, and that revenue is within Nigeria’s reach. With the necessary legislation in place, Nigeria can revitalize and capitalize upon its oil industry. And instead of flaring its abundant gas to power, Nigeria can start using it to power households and businesses. To provide feedstock for petrochemicals and help diversify the economy. The gas can even play a valuable role in Nigeria’s energy transition by providing revenue for green initiatives.

All of this is possible, Nigeria simply needs the kind of legislation and policies that are conducive for business to thrive. One of the best ways Nigeria could celebrate its 60th anniversary as an independent nation would be to finally put those measures in place.
*SOURCE African Energy Chamber. NJ Ayuk, is  Executive Chairman, of the African Energy Chamber


 






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Centurion Law Group’s Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo receives African Legal Awards’ Private Practice Rising Star award
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo
Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo
Presented by Legal Week, the annual ceremony aims to celebrate Africa’s legal talent and recognize the legal community’s achievements each year.

South Africa, September 24, 2020/ — Centurion Law Group (Centurion) was also nominated in the categories International Law Firm of the Year and In-House Rising Star; Centurion attorneys have previously received awards and been nominated by the African Legal Awards.

Last week Centurion Law Groups (Centurion) Senior Attorney and Business Lead, Oneyka Ojogbo was named the Private Practice Rising Star by the African Legal Awards (ALA) 2020.

Presented by Legal Week, the annual ceremony aims to celebrate Africa’s legal talent and recognize the legal community’s achievements each year through presenting categories such as International Law Firm of the Year, African Law Firm of the Year, General Counsel of the Year and Legal Department of the Year.

“I am honored to be recognized in this category with the other nominees who are by all account heavy hitters. I am grateful for a firm that really allows one discover themselves and grow and for the most supportive team ever; they make all things possible. I can only hope to continue the good work that has brought us this far,” said Ojogbo.

“We are delighted once again to have one of our attorneys be recognized by the ALA, with a prestigious recognition” said NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group. “ While I am not surprised, this is yet another testament to the work Oneyka and her team does on a daily basis, we are extremely proud of Oneyka and I can’t wait to see where she will be in five years,” he added.

Oneyka Ojogbo is a Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion’s Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and South Africa offices with significant experience in banking, energy, infrastructure and projects financing. She holds an LL.M. from the Columbia Law School and an LL.B. From the University of Ibadan.

View the full list of awards at The African Legal Award here 
About Centurion:
Headquartered in Johannesburg with offices in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon and Mauritius, Centurion is an all-African law firm transforming the way law is done on the continent.

Our internationally trained lawyers (the UK and the US) are renowned for advising governments, foreign investors, local companies, other law firms and the private sector, and are able to draft and negotiate deals in English, Spanish, French and German.

Our team has unrivaled oil and gas expertise across Africa – advising on a number of first-of-a-kind deals in our core jurisdictions and with our affiliate firms in South Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, Nigeria, Zambia, Gabon and Senegal.

Ask us about services: info@centurionlg.com
*SOURCE Centurion
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Leading international geophysical and drilling contractors join the African Energy Chamber to discuss African Exploration opportunities
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
The webinar will be moderated by Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President (SVP) of the African Energy Chamber.

The discussion will be centred on opportunities for companies involved in oil and gas exploration in Africa and operations in a post COVID-19 environment; panellists include Chuks Enwereji, Chairman, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Nigeria Chapter; Chijioke Akwukwuma, Managing Director, ODENL; Ross Compton, EAME Consultant, International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC); Wole Oyetoran, Country Manager, PGS Nigeria; John Scott, Vice President, Western Hemisphere, Polarcus and Chichi Emenike, Head, Gas Ventures, Neconde Energy Limited; the webinar will be moderated by Verner Ayukegba, SVP of the African Energy Chamber ; the webinar will be held on 29 September at 15:00 – 16:30 CET/SAST. To attend, please register here  Use #aecwebinars to join the conversation.

The oil and gas industry globally is currently going through a period of transition, during which the industry is re-adjusting itself to operate in a post COVID-19 environment with oil prices likely to stabilise between USD 35-50 Barrels per day. Despite these challenges, drilling activity in Africa according to African Energy Chamber projections is expected to drop in 2021 only slightly from projected 2020 levels. A total number of 800 wells are expected to be drilled this year, with that number expected to drop only slightly below 800 in 2021. These numbers, however, represent a drop of over 25 percent compared to 2019.

Similarly, capital expenditure is also expected to reduce by over 25% between 2019 and 2021. An estimated USD 28 Billion is expected to be spent on upstream capital expenditure projects in 2021, with over USD 10 billion of that dedicated to field development projects. This continues to present significant opportunities for companies involved in the upstream value chain like drilling and geophysical contractors. “Those service providers, that are able to adapt to the new market conditions by implementing effective cost control solutions and streamlining processes, especially with the help of technology will thrive and grow at the expense of those companies that are slow to adapt to the new market realities,” said Verner Ayukegba SVP at the African Energy Chamber.

“The AEC position in Angola has not changed: we continue to see opportunities in Angola and believe it’s important to shine a light on these and bring industry players from across the globe to exploit these as we face this challenging situation together, and overcome. Angola’s oil and gas industry is a well-developed one, but it’s absolutely clear that we will need to always innovate and collaborate in order to remain relevant for the years to come. Our key role at the African Energy Chamber is to be the voice of the African energy industry and this is a prime example of how we do that. It’s a unique chance to make connections and hear more about the landscape of the African energy sector.” Concluded Sergio Pugliese, Angola President for the African Energy Chamber

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) and the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) representatives on the panel will talk about emerging industry trends, technological developments in the industry, new standards and regulations that affect their members and possible changes in legislation that are likely to affect their members and the industry.

The panel also contains experienced professionals who will enrich the discussions with on the ground experiences on how they are steering their companies to take advantage of existing opportunities in the African oil and gas sector and what plans they have going forward.

As many African countries continue to bend over backwards to encourage exploration and drilling, especially of new licenses, what other concessions are companies looking for, to take up new exploration activity? Nigeria for example is currently going through a marginal field bidding round, which will lead to the award of numerous licenses in 2021. What incentives need to be availed, to the new license holders, to enable them to deploy exploration capital in the quickest and most effective manner possible?

Finally, the webinar will also examine how Africa currently compares to other oil and gas producing regions and what African countries need to do to develop and grow their competitive edge vis-a-vis other oil and gas producing regions globally.

For information on membership with the African Energy Chamber, please energychamber.org. To attend the webinar, register for free here
*Source Africa Energy Chamber
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo – A change of perspective on Africa’s problem child
September 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jessica Stang*

Jessica Stang is Community Manager of the Germany Africa Business Forum, a private association that promotes socio-economic relations between Germany and Africa.

According to the World Bank, just under 20 percent of the population in the DRC currently has access to electricity.

Every time I take an Uber, the first topic of small talk is what my roots are. The reactions that I am half German and half Congolese differ greatly between Europe and Africa. Typically, when I mention the DRC in Berlin, I get the following response: a compassionate look and the thought of civil war, child soldiers and Ebola. In Johannesburg, on the other hand, the first associations are of beautiful nature and a country rich in mineral resources such as gold, diamonds and coltan.

These reactions, which could hardly be more different, reflect well the current situation in the DRC: a country with great potential, but also with great challenges. One of the biggest problems is the lack of infrastructure. According to the World Bank, just under 20 percent of the population in the DRC currently has access to electricity. This inadequate infrastructure is also a major focus of Congolese politics. Acting President Félix Tshisekedi tackled this major problem during his election campaign and promised the population that new roads would be built. This election promise even gave him the nickname “Béton” (concrete) and gave the population great hope that much will change. Because it is not complicated quantum physics: infrastructure is the basis of a functioning economy, be it power supply, road construction, education, or digital networking. All this is essential to get the economy going. But how do you manage to build a country both as diverse but also complicated as the DRC , sustainably and effectively?

It almost seems like a vicious cycle: many international companies are deterred from investing in the DRC because of the uncertain situation. However, such investments are inevitable necessary in order to reinforce the infrastructure and thus stabilize the economy. It is therefore important that steps are now being taken by German politicians to include the private sector, in particular, and also to support it in making investments. For instance, Compact with Africa (CwA) is an interesting way for the G20 states to make various African countries more attractive on the international market. Initiated under the German G20 presidency, CwA aims to promote private investment in Africa, including in the infrastructure sector. Even though the DRC is not (yet) a member state, it is a right step to break the vicious cycle aforementioned, which many other African economies are also experiencing. During his visit to Berlin, President Tshisekedi made the case for the DRC as a business location and called for greater investments in the DRC.

A first step towards the manifestation of German-Congolese economic relations is the construction of the Inga III Dam on the Congo River. The German government, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Africa Commissioner Günter Nooke, wants to use German technology to combine Congolese energy supply and climate protection. The aim is to reuse the surplus hydrogen in Europe in order to achieve German climate targets. Nevertheless, in such international projects it is important to consider new approaches and turn away from classical development aid, to involve the private sector of all participating countries more strongly. For there is a fine line between economic promotion and market distortion or further dependence on Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us here in Europe how important a stable economy is to survive crises, but also international cooperation.

I look forward to the future results of the Inga III Dam. It is an interesting approach to strengthen German-Congolese economic relations and to integrate the German private sector into the Congolese market. It is highly hoped that this project will benefit both Germany and the DRC and that a sustainable partnership on equal terms can be developed from it.

With projects like these, I hope that the view of the Congo will change here in Germany as well. Hopefully, first association with the DRC will then be positive, even as far as in German Ubers. Undoubtedly, the DRC is a country with infinite wealth and great potential.

*Jessica Stang is Community Manager of the Germany Africa Business Forum, a private association that promotes socio-economic relations between Germany and Africa.
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Mozambique LNG Project Could Be Transformational for Mozambique – If Western Environmentalists Don’t Interfere
September 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

Mozambique’s first onshore LNG plant would be creating tens of thousands of jobs – and contributing to sustainable, long-term economic growth.

When Anadarko Petroleum Corp. confirmed last year it would be constructing a $20 billion liquified natural gas (LNG) plant in Mozambique, this was major news. Mozambique’s first onshore LNG plant would be creating tens of thousands of jobs – and contributing to sustainable, long-term economic growth that would impact millions of people.

Two additional LNG projects have been announced since then: the $4.7 billion Coral FLNG Project by ENI and ExxonMobil, and the $30 billion Rovuma LNG Project by ExxonMobil, ENI, and the China National Petroleum Corporation. While these two have been postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the original LNG Mozambique project has been moving forward.

French oil major Total acquired the project and finalized project funding in July, even in the face of recent terror attacks in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, where Total’s LNG plant will be constructed.

That’s why it’s so disheartening to learn that a UK-based environmental group is pursuing actions that could jeopardize the project’s timely progression, all in the name of preventing climate change. Friends of the Earth has said it will initiate a legal challenge against the UK’s decision to provide $1 billion in funding for the Mozambique LNG project.

Never mind the project’s importance to everyday Africans. Never mind its potential to grow and diversify the economy. Never mind that projects like this are just what Mozambique needs to address its energy poverty, or that the Mozambique government has invested considerable time and resources into making this LNG project possible.

This is not the first time that not so well informed radical activist have attempted to interfere with Africa’s energy industry in ways that do not help poor Africans but serve their own interest. International organizations, including the World Bank, and private investors, under pressure by environmental groups, have been dropping support for African fossil fuel production. A lot of poor people are suffering from this and hundreds of millions more will if we to change direction.

I find it stunning that, during a time when much of the world is talking about the need to respect black perspectives, environmental groups seem to have no qualms about dismissing African voices.

As I’ve said in the past, I agree that climate change should be taken seriously. And I understand the risks it poses to Africa. The thing is, why are non-African organizations trying to dictate how African countries address those risks? The message in this case seems to be that “they know best.” That idea is insulting, and interfering with an African country’s efforts to build up its economy – simply because fossil fuels are involved – is completely unacceptable.

A ‘Missed Opportunity?’ Really?

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is one of eight export credit agencies to provide funding for Total’s Mozambique LNG project, which includes the construction of a two-train liquefaction plant with a capacity of 12.9 million tonnes per year.

UKEF’s $1 billion commitment includes awarding $300 million in loans to British companies working on the gas project and guaranteeing loans from commercial banks worth up to $850 million. The UK’s parliamentary under-secretary for the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart, has pointed out that Total’s LNG project could be transformational for Mozambique and create 2,000 jobs in the UK as well.

But Friends of the Earth has said they will seek a judicial review into the UK government’s decision to help finance a project that, as they put it, will “worsen the climate emergency.” The group’s director, Jamie Peters, also expressed his disappointment in a letter to the UK government. The UKEF’s funding decision, Peters said, represents a “lost opportunity” for the UK to be a world climate leader.

My question to Mr. Peters is, what about Mozambique’s opportunities? To help everyday people improve their lives? To earn a decent living? To have a reliable source of energy? I’m talking about an opportunity to nudge the average life expectancy in Mozambique above 59 years, where it stands now.

The Mozambique LNG project is poised to make those things possible. As far as I’m concerned, losing that opportunity would devastating.

What Mozambique Stands to Gain

I can’t overstate the far-reaching implications and potential that Total’s Mozambique LNG project represents for local businesses, communities, and individuals.

Total estimates that its plant will generate about $50 billion in revenue for Mozambique’s government during its first 25 years in operation. That revenue can be directed toward much-needed infrastructure, educational programs, and economic diversification programs.

Consider direct foreign investment in Mozambique: Total’s US$25 billion investment in the LNG plant is more than twice Mozambique’s current GDP.

How about the plant construction project? Not only will it generate tens of thousands of local jobs, but it also will provide training opportunities for local people. Indigenous companies will be contracted to provide goods and services.

This pattern will continue once the plant is operational. Locals can train for and take a wide range of positions, including professional and leadership roles. Over time, subject matter experts who can share their knowledge in Mozambique, and with other African companies, will be cultivated. And, once again, the plant will be looking to local companies to provide products and services.

LNG Can ‘Em-power’ Mozambique

In addition to these far-reaching economic opportunities, the LNG produced at the plant will provide affordable energy for Mozambique.

The need is urgent. Only about 29% of the population has access to electricity today. Medical care is hindered. Education is impacted. And sustainable economic growth is an uphill climb.

Earlier this year, I praised the government of Mozambique for negotiating for part of the LNG production to be diverted to the domestic market, meaning it can be used for power generation. Since then, the government secured financing for a 400MW gas-fired power plant and transmission line to Maputo, the country’s capital, which will dramatically improve power reliability there.

By the way, when the Mozambique government ensured that some of the plant’s LNG production would be available for domestic use, it also laid the foundation for monetization and economic diversification. In Mozambique, LNG will be available to serve as feedstock for fertilizer and petrochemical plants. It can be exported by pipeline to neighboring companies. And that, in turn, can help Mozambique build even more infrastructure and contribute to even greater widespread prosperity.

Mozambique Has Been Working for This

I’d also like to point out the thought and preparation that the Mozambique government has put into making its natural gas operations beneficial for the country as a whole since approximately 180 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves were discovered there in 2010.

Mozambique’s national oil company, ENH, hired global energy research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie to help it prepare for the responsibility of managing and selling its corresponding portion of the resources. Since then, ENH formed a consortium with international oil and gas trader, Vitol.

The government also has sought the support of more experienced energy producers and international partners. Earlier this year, President Filipe Nyusi met with Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and signed an agreement for support on natural gas resource management.

But even before that, Mozambique laid the foundation for a successful oil and gas industry with the new Petroleum Law of 2014. And with that legislation in place, the country completed a successful bidding round for exploration blocks. These efforts, along with careful negotiations with international oil companies, is what brought Mozambique to where it is today: on the cusp of becoming a major LNG producer. And these efforts are what will make Mozambique’s LNG industry a success, not just in terms of government revenue, but also in improving the lives of everyday people.

We Must Put People First

Mozambique is not asking for aid to lift its people out of poverty. It’s attempting to capitalize on its own natural resources. The government isn’t trying to make a quick buck. It’s working to lay a foundation for long-term growth. And efforts like the Exxon and Total Mozambique Projects are more than an opportunity for international oil companies, or even Mozambique’s government. They have the potential to improve the lives of millions of everyday people.

I recognize the need to protect our planet and prevent climate change. But interfering with financing for Africa’s fossil fuel projects is not the right path. We must not dismiss the value of projects like these or their ability to make meaningful changes for the better in Mozambique. And we must not put environmental ideals ahead of the pressing needs that are facing people right now.

* Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber
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African Energy Chamber to Outline Post-COVID-19 African Energy Roadmap in New Book
September 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
The book will contain data, insight, analysis and interviews, and will assess risks, opportunities and what is ahead for the African energy sector.

The African Energy Chamber will launch the book “African Energy Road to Recovery: How the African energy industry can reshape itself for a post-COVID comeback” in December; The book will contain data, insight, analysis and interviews, and will assess risks, opportunities and what is ahead for the African energy sector; Leading voices in African energy and global oil markets will create a valuable resource for the continent’s post-COVID-19 rebound.

The African Energy Chamber  is pleased to announce the launch of a pivotal publication – “African Energy Road to Recovery: How the African energy industry can reshape itself for a post-COVID comeback”’ – in December 2020. This important work will unpack how Africa’s energy industry can overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the entire energy value chain.

Produced by Africa Oil & Power  – the African continent’s leading investment platform for the energy sector – the book will highlight crucial aspects of Africa’s post COVID-19 energy industry recovery by harnessing the knowledge and expertise of the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board.

Made up of 35 seasoned energy professionals, the Advisory Board will be central to the Chamber’s policy advocacy and advisory efforts across the continent to provide an enabling business environment for investors and entrepreneurs.

The inaugural Advisory Board book will include interviews, moderated discussions, articles, resources, opinion pieces, round table discussions and vital data for moving beyond the pandemic. It will also provide a clear picture of how the African energy industry can not only recover, but make a strong comeback, offering a roadmap to create a strong and sustainable context within which energy companies can thrive.

“The onslaught of COVID-19 has impacted every country and every sector around the globe – the energy sector has not been spared. Moving forward, it is critical that the African Energy sector unites around a shared strategy and on a unified path toward recovery post-COVID-19,” says NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

The publication will further emphasise how to create a competitive environment that will attract investment, pinpoint how African countries can tackle the energy transition while also addressing issues of energy poverty across the continent. Through its incisive content, readers will better understand the range of recovery strategies which can be applied to Africa’s energy sector value chain, from upstream oil and gas to the renewable energy transition, while key insights from industry leaders will provide a framework for moving forward.

“At the African Energy Chamber, we know the African energy sector can make an incredible rebound and that the opportunities for investment and growth will be exponential, but the energy industry must first be reshaped for a post-COVID-19 comeback — to be ready to spring into action once a recovery is possible,” Ayuk adds. 

Be Part of Africa’s Energy Revolution:
To advertise or be featured in the African Energy Chamber’s “African Energy Road to Recovery,” out in December 2020, contact sales@africaoilandpower.com.

About the African Energy Chamber:
The African Energy Chamber is the voice of the African energy industry, representing all facets of the African oil and gas sector. The Chamber was created out of a need to ensure a strong, united voice advocating for the African continent on the global energy stage. It is now the leading chamber of successful networks, transactions and partnerships at the helm of Africa’s growing energy industries. The Chamber’s work funnels into four key pillars: advocacy and campaigning; community building and networking; capacity building; and investment outreach. The African Energy Chamber’s passion and core tenets are that of creating jobs, free market policies and limited government, because we know that is the recipe for prosperity.
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Chancellor Merkel’s Africa Envoy, H.E. Günter Nooke, leads discussion on German investments in Africa
September 15, 2020 | 0 Comments
The discussion will be centred on the topic: Investment and Trade for Africa’s Economic Development.
The webinar will be moderated by Sebastian Wagner, Executive Chair of the Germany Africa Business Forum and Gugu Mfuphi, Presenter of Kaya FM’s prime time business show, Kaya Bizz; the discussion will be centred on the topic: Investment and Trade for Africa’s Economic Development; panelists include NJ Ayuk, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and Rene Awambeng of the African Export-Import Bank; the webinar will be held on 23 September at 3PM CET. To attend, please register here.

With German visibility and participation on the rise in Africa’s energy industry, the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) will host its second instalment of its Germany-Africa cooperation focused webinar series.

The webinar will facilitate the discussion on how FDI can sustainably strengthen the development of the African continent on September 23rd at 15:00 CET. Anchored by the topic Investment and Trade for Africa’s Economic Development, the webinar will highlight key efforts to mobilise German funding for African energy markets as a means to advance the German-African cooperation which can already be seen in Equatorial Guinea, Angola, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Congo DRC,  Senegal and recently, through the expression of interest by German investors in the DRC’s Inga III Dam.

The webinar, moderated by Sebastian Wagner, Executive Chair of the GABF and Gugu Mfuphi, Presenter of Kaya FM’s prime time business show, Kaya Bizz, will be opened by H.E. Günter Nooke, personal Africa representative of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We are honoured to announce that H.E. Günter Nooke will spearhead our webinar. With his vast and unmatched knowledge in both the German and African markets, he will be able to bring many interesting aspects of the discussion,” said Sebastian Wagner.

Joining the panel discussion will be NJ Ayuk, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and Rene Awambeng, Vice President at the African Export-Import Bank.  “With their expertise in the African finance and energy sector, we look forward to a high-ranking and diverse panel. Especially the energy sector is an important cornerstone of any African economy, and we are looking forward to the outcome of the discussion,” said Mr. Wagner.

German interest in Africa as an investment destination has continued to grow and we hope to see a more diversified investment beyond energy and sales of German products to Africa. Africa is and will continue to be an investment market with the potential for significant growth post Covid and superior returns.

While South Africa and Egypt have seen a huge part of German investment, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Congo DRC and Zambia are considered hotspots for potential investors from Germany.  Projects in the financial services, climate change, energy poverty, health care, energy transition, manufacturing, retail and consumer goods have seen a huge increase. 

This event is in collaboration with the Africa Energy Chamber and Africa Oil and Power

The webinar will be held on 23 September at 3PM CET. To attend, please register here https://bit.ly/2ZAFbAU

*Source African Energy Chamber
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Senegalese President Macky Sall is right about African Debt Relief – and the G20 shouldn’t stop there
September 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk

The Senegalese leader urged members of the G20 group of countries to continue helping African nations balance their obligations to creditors with their obligations to their own citizens in the face of a deadly pandemic.

“Flatten the curve.” Do you remember that phrase? It was on everyone’s lips back in the spring, when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began rampaging across the world in earnest.

At the time, the idea was that the best way to combat the germ known as SARS CoV-2 was to go home and stay there long enough for hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities to build up the capacity needed to handle the expected flood of new patients. Most of us expected that this departure from routine would be a temporary thing. We hoped it wouldn’t last long — that we’d be able to return to our normal routines after a brief disruption, with confidence that all necessary safeguards were in place.

Of course, it didn’t turn out that way. We spent far more time than we expected sheltering in place, unable to visit friends and family, attend school, or go to work in the usual manner. Many of us lost our jobs and saw our businesses fail, and the cumulative result of all these individual disasters was that the global economy took a sharp downward turn.

We Still Need To ‘Flatten the Curve’ … But How?

Along the way, of course, we’ve learned quite a bit more about SARS CoV-2 — how it makes people sick, how to treat it more effectively, what kind of resources our medical providers need most, and so on. But we’ve also stopped talking about “flattening the curve.” Even in places where hospitals and clinics have been able to build up their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other necessities, we’ve moved on to other topics.

In my view, this is a mistake. I’d like to explain why I think so.

It’s not because our understanding of the virus has changed over time.

It’s not because we’ve seen infection rates rise after the lifting of lockdown orders.

It’s not because we don’t have a vaccine yet.

It’s not because the idea of “flattening the curve” seems callous when more than 900,000 people out the nearly 28 million infected around the world have already died of COVID-19.

It’s because we need to rethink the idea of what “flattening the curve” means.

And I believe President Macky Sall’s call for African debt relief is a good place to start that rethinking.

The President’s Perspective

First, let’s look at what President Sall has to say.

In late August, the Senegalese leader urged members of the G20 group of countries to continue helping African nations balance their obligations to creditors with their obligations to their own citizens in the face of a deadly pandemic. Speaking to a group of business leaders at the French Entrepreneurs’ Conference, he noted that the group had taken up his call for a moratorium on the collection of debt from impoverished countries in Africa and elsewhere in April. He suggested that this moratorium be extended into 2021 rather than allowed to expire at the end of 2020.

“For the most part, and for all African countries, internal efforts will not be enough to lessen the shock of COVID and revive economic growth,” he said. “We need more financial capacity, which is why, with other colleagues, I have made a plea for substantial relief of Africa’s public debt and private debt on terms to be agreed upon.”

What the President’s Words Mean

Sall’s statements reflect the fact that the emergence of SARS CoV-2 was not a one-off event that sparked a short-term crisis, but rather the start of a struggle that will take a long time to resolve. They recognize that the outbreak is likely to be a drag on the world economy for years to come — and that the countries battling COVID-19 outbreaks need time to build up their capacity to fight back.

What’s more, the president’s words advance the idea that African states will be in a better position to meet their financial obligations in the future if they take the time and the trouble to address the public health situation first. Indeed, he made a point of stressing that Africa takes its financial commitments seriously, since he mentioned debt relief and not debt forgiveness. (He also suggested that members of the G20 group offer debtors the same kind of breathing room they have granted themselves, such as temporary exemption from rules limiting debt to 3% of GDP or less.)

In other words, Sall is asking the G20 group to give Africa time and space to flatten the curve. He may not have used those exact words, but that appears to be his goal. He is hoping creditors will agree to suspend business as usual so that African states can build up their capacity for economic growth, just as regular citizens of many countries around the world agreed to disrupt their usual routines of work and school and leisure activities so that hospitals could build up their capacity for patient care.

Sall also understands that this flattening of the economic curve is not a simple process. He knows it will take more than one round of deferred payments to compensate for the economic consequences of the pandemic, and that is why he has now asked the G20 to extend the debt moratorium, which was originally due to expire at the end of 2020, into next year.

Compensating for the Setbacks of the Last Six Months

And make no mistake: Africa needs that extra time. The continent has suffered enormously over the last six months.

On the economic front, the pandemic has triggered a global recession that has caused millions of salaried African workers to lose their jobs. Meanwhile, many more millions have seen their livelihoods dwindle or disappear because restrictions on movement have stifled the informal sector and forced the closure of small businesses. Additionally, the continent has experienced shortages of fuel and other essential goods as a result of disruptions in the supply chain.

Some parts of Africa have also weathered political disruptions. Mali suffered a coup in mid-August, following more than two months of anti-government demonstrations. Libya’s civil war, pitting the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli against Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), has continued to grind on, effectively crippling the country’s lucrative oil industry. Investors in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Mozambique have grown more nervous since a militia with ties to the Islamic State group, also known as Daesh, seized control of a key port in Cabo Delgado state.

Under other circumstances, African fossil fuel producers might have been able to use their reserves to help build up the cash needed to cope with the consequences of COVID-19. After all, as I explained in my latest book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, the oil and gas industry has the potential to serve as a springboard, amplifying and accelerating economic growth. It can create opportunities for economic diversification and — through petroleum companies’ research and investments — help pave the way to the creation of a renewable energy sector.

Unfortunately, though, world oil prices crashed earlier this year, partly because of the competition between Russia and Saudi Arabia for market share and partly because the pandemic undercut energy demand. Prices hit historic lows in late April. And since they have yet to recover completely, African producers will need more than oil and gas to compensate for the setbacks they have experienced this year.

A Necessary Step: Debt Relief

That’s where debt relief comes in.

Debt relief will help African states weather the storms caused by the pandemic.

Debt relief will help African states take the steps needed to help people go back to work or build up their businesses.

Debt relief will help African states re-establish stability following political disruptions.

Debt relief will help African states make up for the sharp decline in oil and gas revenues and begin building renewable energy sectors.

Debt relief is necessary to flatten the curve. It’s what will give Africa time and space to start carving out a path towards recovery — to take the steps necessary to bring new investment to the oil and gas industry, to build Africa’s sustainable energy sector, to expand business and residential consumers’ access to electric power, to revive small businesses, to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, to foster job creation, and to remove red tape and regulatory obstacles.

Asking for More: Debt Forgiveness

Senegal’s president understands this — and I hope the leaders of the G20 group’s members do, too. I hope they can see how reasonable it is for impoverished countries in Africa and other regions to ask for what they need to flatten the curve.

But I’d also like to take it a step further. I’m going to ask for more.

I’m going to ask for debt forgiveness.

I’m going to suggest that members of the G20 group agree to forego payments from African debtors — specifically, from eligible African debtors. And by eligible debtors, I mean countries that commit themselves to a forward-looking agenda that includes wide-ranging and market-oriented reforms, as well as safeguards for economic freedom, good governance, free trade, and investment in education.

All of these points are in line with the ideals that have helped most G20 member states achieve so much with respect to economic growth. What’s more, they are exactly the sort of things that African states ought to do in order to maximize their chances of building up the momentum lost as a result of the pandemic — and to extend their recovery far into the future, beyond the point when vaccines, cures, and more effective treatments remove the threat of COVID-19.

I hope that G20 lenders to Africa will see it my way. I hope they will agree to help Africa do as much as it can to flatten the curve.

*NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

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CenturionPlus to support Mozambique’s Economic and Energy Boom with In Country Presence
September 7, 2020 | 0 Comments
Keseena Chengadu, Director of CenturionPlus
Keseena Chengadu, Director of CenturionPlus
CenturionPlus will especially focus on supporting new joint-ventures and partnerships in Mozambique to build domestic capacity.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 7, 2020/ — Centurion Law Group is delighted to announce the launch and opening of its lawyers-on-demand service CenturionPlus in Mozambique. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Mozambique remains in the top 15 of the fastest growing economies this year, and is expected to grow by almost 5% next year. On the back of massive LNG projects under-development that represent billions of dollars, the Mozambican economy is set to be one of the world’s most dynamic in the coming years.

CenturionPlus will especially focus on supporting new joint-ventures and partnerships in Mozambique to build domestic capacity, assisting foreign investors to work in country, helping state entities to build an enabling environment, supporting local content development for national companies, and empower local Mozambican lawyers. The upcoming gas revolution in Mozambique will notably create tremendous growth opportunities for the local services industry, opening up the door to new regional and international partnerships that can create jobs and nurture the development of a strong local industry in Southern Africa.

As a tailored legal service offering, CenturionPlus is adapted to respond to a growing need for flexible and bespoke legal services in Mozambique. As the country develops, the need to build legal capacity domestically while bringing in world-class regional and international expertise in key areas such as oil & gas or energy infrastructure is growing. By leveraging on its network of carefully vetted African and international lawyers and consultants, CenturionPlus can both inject know-how and expertise into the local industry while offering best-in-class legal solutions to the country’s rapidly developing economy.

“Our clients have made so much progress in Mozambique thanks to our work. They value our great insights of the country’s legal framework. Mozambique will be Africa’s next growth success story on the back on upcoming LNG projects and increasing domestic monetization and valorization of natural gas. Such activity will have positive effects across all sectors of the economy, offering a unique opportunity for CenturionPlus to make a difference for its growing base of clients in the country, but also for the legal industry of Mozambique,” stated, Zion Adeoye, Managing Director of Centurion Law Group.

“CenturionPlus is now ready to take the lead on any projects in Mozambique. Our dedicated pool of commercial and corporate lawyers both in and outside of Mozambique offer the best blend of local anchorage and on-the-ground presence with the best global practices in the legal industry. We truly look forward to bringing new legal solutions that benefit both investors coming into Mozambique, and the country’s local economy as a whole,” added Keseena Chengadu, Director of CenturionPlus.

About CenturionPlus:
Launched by pan-African energy and corporate law conglomerate Centurion Law Group in 2018, CenturionPlus has become one of the fastest-growing on-demand legal service on the continent. Having recently expanded across Western Europe, CenturionPlus is now globalizing a new approach to the practice of the law, combining flexibility of service with cost-efficiency without compromising on quality. With a pool of over a 100 carefully-vetted lawyers on demand, CenturionPlus is able to answer to any legal needs or requirements with agility and speed, ensuring that the needs of both clients’ short and long-term legal services are met.
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Liquidation Proceedings in South Africa Post-COVID: how to respond to creditors unjustified attempts to liquidate a business
September 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
To circumvent liquidation, proactive engagement with creditors at the early stages of financial distress is imperative.

 It is well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on businesses. Commerce in most sectors are fighting to keep their doors open, grappling with creditors to avoid winding up proceedings and its far-reaching implications.

In the past few months our offices have experienced a significant increase of queries relating to creditors threatening with liquidation proceedings. In this article we explain what can be done in these situations.

The impact of COVID-19

In a recent survey by Stats SA, the national statistical service of South Africa, conducted during the lockdown, they asked a total of 707 businesses in the formal sector how the current crisis is affecting their business operations. In their response to the survey, the businesses outlined the pandemic’s detrimental impact on turnover, trading, workforce, imports and exports, purchases and most importantly, the business survival.

The outcome is an unfortunate indicator of Businesses being confronted with insolvency and many critics believe the impact is much greater.  Here are some of the key findings:
Four in ten businesses conveyed that they cannot continue to operate:
42.4% of the respondents indicated that they will not have the financial resources to continue with their operations, with 54% confirming that they will only be able to survive without a turnover for one to two months.
Almost half of responding businesses have temporarily closed their doors: 
The hospitality, construction, manufacturing, trade and mining reported the highest percentages of temporary closure.
Five in six businesses have experienced a drop in turnover:
85.4% of the participants indicated that during the period of March to April 2020, turnover was below the normal range.
Almost two-thirds of businesses feel that this pandemic will be worse than the 2008/09 recession:
The recent findings published by the National Dynamics Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey, reported that approximately three million people lost their jobs over the lockdown period in South Africa.

The pandemic forced businesses to enter into unforeseeable and unplanned commercial loan agreements in an attempt to keep the boat afloat and to settle burdensome overheads. Creditors are now implementing legal proceedings against their debtors to save their own businesses through relying heavily on liquidation proceedings. But is this the right legal avenue to follow?

Action of motion proceedings?

To understand the possibility of a creditor instituting legal proceedings, it is important to shortly address the difference between action and application proceedings. A creditor can either institute legal proceedings by application on notice of motion supported by affidavits, or by summons initiating action or trial proceedings. Liquidation proceedings are in the form of motion proceedings.

The most salient distinction is that action proceedings envisage the presentation of facts and evidence verbally in court during a trial, whereas application proceedings envisage the presentation of facts and evidence in affidavits that will be read by a judge before hearing arguments in court on the issues raised in the affidavits.

It is imperative to note that application proceedings are usually heard in court shortly after their initiation, whereas action proceedings may be heard several years after their initiation. Application proceedings are usually disposed of more expeditiously than action proceedings. As a result, application proceedings are generally cheaper and lead to a relatively speedy resolution of disputes compared to action proceedings.

Liquidation proceedings are the easy way out for creditors in need of expeditious results. It may be for this reason that creditors are often advised by their legal representatives to follow this route.

Section 345 Notice of the companies act

The initiation of action proceedings usually commences with a letter of demand, demanding debtors to make payment, following with a summons if payment is not made.

Liquidation proceedings, initiated by creditors, usually originates by instructing the Sheriff of the relevant court to serve a Section 345 notice of the Companies Act on the registered address of the Company. Section 345’s effectiveness lies in the threat of a liquidation application based on the deeming provisions relating to commercial insolvency.

It is trite law that commercial insolvency, being the inability of a company to pay its debts as it becomes due and payable, justifies the liquidation of a company. When faced with a section 345 demand based on an amount that is allegedly due and payable, the options of a company are limited. The Company has 21 days to either pay, secure or settle the amount claimed to the satisfaction of the creditor or alternatively, show on a balance of probability that the alleged indebtedness is disputed on bona fide and reasonable grounds.

If the company neglects to adequately respond to a section 345 demand within 21 days it will run the risk of being deemed to be unable to pay its debts and ultimately face a liquidation application based on its deemed commercial insolvency.

If a company elects to dispute the alleged indebtedness it must send a detailed response within the three weeks allowed for under section 345 of the Act recording the basis upon which the alleged liability to pay is disputed, mindful also of the legal principles that will apply, if a liquidation application is to follow.

Liquidation proceedings are not intended to be used as a means of deciding claims which are bona fide and reasonably disputed. Its foundation lies in the fact that court will not entertain factual disputes in application proceedings because of the need to hear oral evidence to properly adjudicate the factual disputes. An application for liquidation will thus fail if the alleged liability to pay is disputed on bona fide and reasonable grounds.

Creditors frequently exploit the shortcut of utilizing liquidation application proceedings as debt collecting tool with an attempt to scare the debtor to pay immediately. This is a common tactic used by legal representatives to force debtors to pay unrealistic amounts purportedly due.

It has crystallised in numerous of case law that the unjustified attempt to liquidate is a clear abuse of court processes and to be deprecated. Such application will be mala-fide and courts easily grant punitive cost orders against such applicants.

Factual Dispute & Bona Fide Defence:

The question to consider is whether the specific matter can be argued on paper through application proceedings or if oral evidence and witnesses are required to properly adjudicate the matter.

Legal representatives of creditors should, before instituting liquidation proceedings, consider if there is real, genuine and clear factual issues at hand that cannot be realized on paper. Real issue of fact can be described as real, genuine bona fide dispute of fact that can only exist where courts are satisfied that the party who purports to raise the dispute has in his affidavit seriously and unambiguously addressed the facts said to be disputed.

Thus, it is imperative to ascertain and address the facts in dispute and the grounds upon which the dispute is founded.

Conclusion

To circumvent liquidation, proactive engagement with creditors at the early stages of financial distress is imperative. An open line of communication and the right legal team to provide advise and guidance are key.

Companies should immediately obtain legal assistance when faced with an application for liquidation in terms of Section 345 of the Companies Act.

The legal representative will identify if the application is a misuse of legal process or may even recommend alternatives like business rescue proceedings to save your business.

*Centurion
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In Central Africa, Economic Recovery Must Go Through a Reform of Forex Regulations
August 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

In his latest analysis on the African oil sector, Leoncio Amada NZE, Executive President for the CEMAC region at the African Energy Chamber and CEO of APEX Industries argues that there will not be a recovery in Central Africa without addressing the region’s forex regulations first.

By Leoncio Amada NZE*

Leoncio Amada Nze
Leoncio Amada Nze

The health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is devastating the productive, economic and financial systems throughout the entire planet: businesses went bankrupt, millions of people lost their jobs, economies went into recession and depression, small and medium-sized businesses had to close doors, and dreams and business ideas faded away without materializing.

In this context, the CEMAC zone is one of the most affected areas in the entire African continent due to its very limited integration and economic diversification. Its six countries: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Chad, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo share an economy mostly dominated by hydrocarbons, which represent 80% of exports revenues and 75% of fiscal income according to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Despite the CEMAC zone registering only a limited number of Covid-19 cases, it is estimated that the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be of considerable proportions for its member countries. The fall in external demand, trade and economic activity, along with restrictions from its main trading partners (China and Western Europe) and the tightening of financing conditions weighs on already fragile economies, which suffer from inadequate health care systems, as well as serious challenges to an orderly and sustainable economic development.

Adding to the economic risks, is the falling oil prices amid continued short-term pressure. Although CEMAC member states have embarked themselves on programs to reduce public debt and debt accumulation since the Heads of State Summit in Yaoundé in December 2016, supported by IMF programs and significant financial support from partners to development, they have made little progress in diversifying their economies away from oil.

Of the six member states, only Cameroon is a net oil importer. However, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon are more dependent on oil than Cameroon, which accounted for around 68% of CEMAC’s nominal GDP in 2019. In fact, the timid recovery of the CEMAC economies that began in 2017 after the previous oil price shock has been stopped due to the global recession, triggered by measures to contain the pandemic. A sharp deterioration in the budget and trade deficits in the region is expected.

For decades, governments of CEMAC countries have been talking about economic diversification programs that have not known the success we all expected. The reason? Excellent economic diversification plans and programs have been prepared on paper, but the private sector development has not kept pace. In fact, the development of a robust and vibrant private sector with access to finance, and that operates within an economic ecosystem where the rule of law guarantees the sanctity of contracts and protects investors, is something the CEMAC region is yet to witness.

One cannot speak of diversification and economic growth in the absence of a strong national or regional business fabric that generates employment and business opportunities for nationals and foreigners. Ultimately, the private sector must have the weight it deserves and must be the orchestra master in the design and articulation of any macroeconomic program in the medium and long term so that it has a minimum guarantee to prosper.

Despite all the difficulties caused by Covid-19, the CEMAC subregion must use its hydrocarbons sector as a catalyst to build a vibrant and solid regional business fabric through the implementation of coherent Local and Regional Content policies that are effective, responsible and consistent for the transformation, strengthening and diversification of economic activity across the bloc.

However, we observe with great concern the dynamics in the CEMAC area, where the implementation of counter-productive economic, monetary and fiscal policies of the pre-Covid19 pandemic era continues. Regulations that only accentuated the dependence on economic activity in the oil and gas sector and that in a transversal way prevented the financial resources obtained from the extractive industries from being reinvested in other economic sectors that were also or equally promising and possibly profitable. Policies that, if maintained, will further exacerbate the already difficult and deteriorating economic situation in the area.

Aggressive fiscal policies continue to be implemented in the CEMAC subregion in times of crisis, which is translated into a decrease in investments in oil exploration, cancellation of projects, etc.

The flee of capital from the CEMAC area through illicit methods, money laundering, and other illegal economic activities are acts that regional and national monetary authorities must pursue and combat; we do support those efforts. But this work must not be done to the detriment of legitimate economic activity that generates employment and national wealth.

The BEAC’s new foreign exchange regulation is causing considerable damage to the oil sector and is destroying the incipient local and regional private sector in the CEMAC oil industry, a sector on which the subregion depends for 80% of its GDP.

The new forex regulation is a blow to the attractiveness of the CEMAC region for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), since it significantly prevents the free flow of capital and repatriation of profits. In addition, it also denies local companies in the countries of the subregion the possibility of competing on equal terms with Western services companies in the oil sector. The large factories and suppliers of all the machinery and materials used by the oil industry in CEMAC zone are not manufactured locally. If a local company cannot pay its supplier within the agreed terms due to the obstacles and blockages generated by the BEAC Forex Regulation, it will inexorably lose the contracts that it has been laboriously able to obtain with the large oil companies that operate in our economic zone, which will result in the closure of the local company, dismissal of employees, and ultimately less generation of national wealth.

It is important that the economic decisions adopted in the CEMAC look after the economic interests of its member states in the first place before any other considerations. We must not be reactionary in the face of crisis, we must be analytical and strategic. We should not prioritize the opinions and recommendations from outsiders with whom we compete in the international arena, but rather prioritize the real needs of our economies and business fabric.

It is not Mr. Smith from North Dakota who comes to invest in the African oil and gas sector who wants to destroy local content, but Mr. Sisoko, Managing Director of an African bank who does not support the national private sector through financing of projects that are viable. It is not Mr. Nakayama from Tokyo who comes to bring the cutting-edge technology for the liquefaction of natural gas in an African country who wants to destroy local content, but the public institution that does not want or does not know how to implement its own regulation on the same matter. It is not Mr. Johnson from Houston who comes to an African country as Country Manager for a big oil firm who wants to destroy local content, but the African who occupies the position of Supply Chain Manager at the said oil firm and who continues to let Mr. Johnson brings his friends from Texas to win contracts that could have been awarded to local businesses. It is not Mr. Andrew from Alaska who comes to Africa as a drilling engineer for an offshore platform who wants to destroy local content, but the CEO of a Central Bank whose monetary policies impede the growth and internationalization of our national companies.

The development of local content policies in the African oil sector is the responsibility of all economic actors (public and private); it is time for Africans to lift their boot from the neck of African local content and let it flourish.

* African Energy Chamber.Leoncio Amada NZE, Executive President of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of APEX Industries SA

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Stakeholders Engagement and Security Will be Key to Ensure the Success of Mozambique’s LNG Projects
August 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By C. Derek Campbell*

C. Derek Campbell is the CEO of Energy & Natural Resource Security, Inc

The scale and enormous economic potential of Mozambique’s LNG projects constitutes a seminal effort with national, regional and global implications and visibility. In fact, Total’s Mozambique LNG project alone costs about $20bn and represents Africa’s single largest foreign direct investment to date. Led by French major Total, it gathers a wide range of private and state-owned entities including Mitsui, Oil India, ONGC Videsh, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, PTT Exploration and Mozambique’s ENH.

Given the stakes associated with this vital project, investors, government officials and all other stakeholders must be assured it will not suffer operationally due to security issues. An essential element of that assurance requires project stakeholder leadership to actively demonstrate its value to Mozambique’s citizens and simultaneously appreciate there is a regional and global audience to be addressed. In turn, those associated messages must be carefully crafted, and their content reflect cultural accuracy.

This engagement of Mozambique LNG’s stakeholders must also be active and well-constructed. While providing relevant information is critical, it must also be timely, and its substance reflect institutional credibility. Further, project leadership must be prepared to counter misinformation at all levels – ideally, this is accomplished by active assessment of information atmospherics and by staying ahead of any negative messages.

The current threat to the LNG project has elevated the need to institute measures that account for all domains of security operations. This increasing sense of urgency is demonstrated by the deadly 27 June 2020 ambush of a construction contractor’s vehicle near the Tanzanian border. The attack itself was meant to send a definitive message and the LNG project’s stakeholder leadership must understand how information-related activities could have provided indications and warnings that may have prevented/mitigated this attack. Simultaneously, the LNG project will realize improved protection of vital operational information.

It can realize those results by consciously establishing and resourcing a dedicated information entity within the Security directorate. Their key functions will include the ability to synchronize actions with the project’s senior leadership and they must be empowered to coordinate with the media, local populations, and law enforcement agencies at all levels. Additionally, due to the varied nature of Mozambique LNG’s infrastructure (offshore, coastal and interior facilities), security officials must account operational and administrative activities in and around facilities that potentially affect contested or culturally sensitive territory. Therefore, it is essential to define the most effective manner to present security-related messages to respective audiences in those affected areas.

For obvious reasons, the security of Mozambique’s LNG is an absolute. The development and implementation of capabilities that actively account for information’s impact on all related goals and activities, to include the local community, is critical to the development and deployment of modern security operations in Mozambique.

*African Energy Chamber.C. Derek Campbell is the CEO of Energy & Natural Resource Security, Inc. Article written with supporting information from ENRS Strategic Partner, Andy Vonada, CEO – JB Management, Inc

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Democratic Republic of Congo Expresses Strong Political Will for Gas Monetization Projects
August 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
Felix Tshisekedi

The administration of President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi has made energy security and investment its top priority, seeking to get massive hydropower projects off the ground.

Surrounded by major African oil & gas producers Republic of Congo and Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has so far remained relatively absent of Africa’s league of hydrocarbons producers. In 2019, only French independent Perenco produced from the DRC, at an average rate of 25,000 boepd from 11 onshore fields.

In this context, the administration of President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi has made energy security and investment its top priority, seeking to get massive hydropower projects off the ground but also to diversify the country’s energy basket and create jobs in the process.

In yet another decision supporting the development of the DRC’s hydrocarbons industry, President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi requested its Minister of Hydrocarbons, Hydraulic Resources and Power and its Minister of Finance to fast-track legal processes and permits pertaining to the valorization of the natural gas produced onshore by Perenco. The decision was taken at the latest Council of Ministers last week in Kinshasa.

The move is expected to result in the monetization of natural gas through power generation, especially to address the DRC’s energy deficit and provide stable supply of power to its booming mining industry.

“We are extremely optimistic about the future of oil & gas in the DRC given current political support for the industry. While market-driven policies are needed to ensure investments in gas monetization, an enabling environment is key to unleashing the massive potential of the DRC and the energy industry is open to supporting the DRC,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

“The DRC also offers 100GW of hydropower potential, and its upcoming hydroelectric stations are expected to require billions of dollars. It is a chance for investor and local players to participate and support the ambitious growth plans of President Felix Tshisekedi fighting energy poverty and boosting energy for industrial development that will create jobs and transform the economy with a post covid-19 recovery strategy,” concluded Ayuk.

The African Energy Chamber is encouraged by the governments decision as we believe locally available natural gas offers the perfect opportunity to build power capacity in the short-term and ensure a stable and cheaper power to DRC’s industries and mining companies.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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Dr. Robert N. Erlich Joins the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board
August 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Robert N. Erlich
Robert will be advising and supporting the Chamber’s work within its Exploration Committee.

American geologist and oil expert Robert Erlich has joined the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board for 2020 and 2021. Robert will be advising and supporting the Chamber’s work within its Exploration Committee.

Robert brings decades of exploration experience working in the hottest oil & gas frontiers in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa. During his career, he has notably worked assignments in the US, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, the United Kingdom, and the People’s Republic of China.

His demonstrated leadership, and successful track record of leading technical and operational programs that have resulted in the discovery of several major oil and gas fields make him a key asset to the Chamber’s Advisory Board. Robert has worked both for international oil companies such as BP, and for several junior and independent firms such as Hess Corporation. He is currently a partner and Executive Director, Upstream for Cayo Energy L.P., an oil and gas consulting service specializing in the assessment and evaluation of upstream and midstream projects and investments.

“Bob understands geology and exploration better than anyone else and is known across the industry for his ability to successfully execute exploration programs,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “More importantly, he has significant experience exploring Cretaceous depositional systems of the Equatorial Atlantic margins on both sides of the Atlantic. His expertise will be crucial to supporting the Chamber’s agenda of incentivizing exploration across the continent.”

Bob received his BS degree in Geology from the University of Miami, his MS degree in Sedimentology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his PhD in Paleoceanography from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

*African Energy Chamber
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Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani Joins the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board
August 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani
Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani
Rolake will be advising and supporting the African Energy Chamber within its Investment and Energy Transition Committees.

 Leading and prominent African energy expert and finance executive Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani has joined the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board for 2020 and 2021. Rolake will be advising and supporting the African Energy Chamber within its Investment and Energy Transition Committees.

Currently Managing Director of EnergyInc Advisors and Senior Africa Advisor for the IFU Danish Investment Fund, Rolake brings years of experience providing financial and strategic advisory services to the public and private sector in oil and gas and power. She has built a track record of helping to finance, invest in and successfully scale businesses across Africa’s energy sector.

“Rolake has critical experience in the financing and scaling up of gas and renewable energy companies, which is just what our continent needs at the moment,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “Rolake represents the next generation of African business women who is playing the most critical role in shaping the future of our industry.”

Rolake also sits on the global advisory board of Canadian Private Equity firm, Stonechair Capital advising on its #EnergyAfrica Fund for Sub-Sahara Africa. She was previously the head of energy and natural resources for FBN Capital and FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Nigeria’s oldest financial services group, where she helped energy, and oil and gas companies raise debt and equity capital. From 2017-19 she was also a member of the private sector economic advisory group in the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria, working closely with the Chief Economic Adviser to the President on a range of national development policy issues.

For her significant contribution to Africa’s growth story, Rolake was recognized in the United Nations’ MIPAD Top 100 (Most Influential People of African Descent) Under 40, in the Business & Entrepreneurship Class of 2018, and was listed in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Choiseul Institute’s (France) top 200 Under-40 Young Economic Leaders in Africa.

Rolake has a BSc and MSc degree from the London School of Economics (LSE), and a global executive MBA from TRIUM.

*African Energy Chamber
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Rene Awambeng Joins the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board
August 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Rene Awambeng
Rene will be advising and supporting the work of the Chamber within its Investment Committee

Renowned African banker Rene Awambeng has joined the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board for 2020 and 2021. Rene will be advising and supporting the work of the Chamber within its Investment Committee.

His impressive and successful track record in all aspects of structured trade, commercial and investment banking make him one of the most prominent figure of African banking. Rene has been Director and Global Head of Client Relations at Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) since 2016.

He brings considerable expertise in structured trade and commodity finance, cross border trade flows, risk management, sales, marketing, customer relationship, project finance, as well as general banking management in both Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone Africa.

“Rene is a dealmaker, and one who understands modern day Africa and the opportunities and challenges of doing business within the continent’s booming energy industry,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

Prior to joining Afreximbank, Mr. Awambeng worked for 4 years as the Group Head of Global Corporates, Regional Corporates, and Commodity Finance, Corporate & Investment Bank, Ecobank Transnational Inc. based in Paris, France and Lagos, Nigeria and London. Prior to this, he was Executive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Rwanda for 2 years and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Democratic Republic of Congo for 2 years.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Yaoundé, Cameroon and an MBA from University of Nottingham Business School, Nottingham, UK. He is a member of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), London, UK.

*African Energy Chamber
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Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo Joins the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board
August 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo
Nosizwe will be advising and supporting the work of the Chamber within its Natural Gas and Local Content committees

South African businesswoman, engineer and natural gas expert Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo has joined the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board for 2020 and 2021. Nosizwe will be advising and supporting the work of the Chamber within its Natural Gas and Local Content committees.

Nosizwe was one of South Africa’s first woman petrochemical engineers, and has built over two decades of experience working in the continent’s hydrocarbons industry. That experience and expertise in the petroleum and energy industry spans across several countries on the African continent during which she has been in the leadership of numerous key portfolios, projects and operations across the petroleum value chain: upstream, midstream and downstream in major oil and gas companies.

Her demonstrated leadership and industry knowledge has seen her serving within the boards of several oil & gas companies and development finance institutions where she brought an in-depth understanding of the sector and its dynamics. Nosizwe is currently the Executive Chairman & Founder of Raise Africa Investments, which focuses on investing in niche African manufacturing businesses with high-growth potential across the value-chain.

“Nosizwe is an accomplished and result-driven businesswoman who understands the most pressing issues our industry is facing today, from local content development and economic empowerment to capital raising and financing. Her passion for African entrepreneurship is remarkable and her expertise in growing businesses across the value-chain, especially in gas, will be critical to supporting the Chamber’s work,” stated Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

Nosizwe is an Alumni of Moscow State University of Oil and Gas Russia (MSc Petrochemical Engineering 1990), Baku Oil and Gas Academy Azerbaijan (Diploma Oil and Gas Refining 1984), INSEAD (International Management Certificate – 2003), GIBS (Global Executive Development Programme – 2004) and WITS (Certificate in Finance and Accounting-2004).

*African Energy Chamber
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Germany to Ramp Up Investment in African Energy
August 7, 2020 | 0 Comments
An exclusive webinar explored the market dynamics set to shape post-COVID-19 German-African business relations.

“Germany-Africa Economic Relations: Making Deals Post COVID-19” highlighted opportunities for German businesses in Africa’s power production, clean energy, and digitalization and technology sectors; An opening keynote was given by H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea; Panelists included Ibrahima Mané, Director General for Cooperation & Financing for the Republic of Senegal; Onyeche Tifase, Head of Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Oil and Gas Divison for Siemens Energy; Tim Gengnagel, Deal Accelerator for the Rwanda Development Board; and Kenneth Reed, Managing Director for GEA Group, Southern & Eastern Africa; The webinar was hosted by the African Energy Chamber  and Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF), in collaboration with Africa Oil & Power (AOP), and featured moderators Sebastian Wagner, Co-Founder of the GABF, and Anine Kilian, News Editor at AOP.

In an exclusive webinar held on Thursday, “Germany-Africa Economic Relations: Making Deals Post COVID-19,” panelists sought to mobilize German investment into the African energy sector, establishing clean energy and digitalization as two major pillars of economic and investment cooperation.

In recent years, the African continent has shifted to the forefront of Germany’s foreign policy and development agenda, with programs rolled out under the country’s $1.1 billion Development Investment Fund for Africa, which is primarily dedicated to easing the entrance of German businesses into African markets.

Co-hosting the webinar, the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) is a private think tank whose goal is to strengthen investment ties between Germany and Africa, co-founded by moderator Sebastian Wagner. In July 2019, the organization announced a multi-million dollar funding commitment to invest in German energy startups that focus on Africa.

A prime example of German-African cooperation lies in Equatorial Guinea, which employed two German contractors in the construction of West Africa’s first LNG storage and regasification plant located on the country’s mainland.

“Equatorial Guinea initiated the Gas Mega Hub, in which we are capturing gas from Noble Energy’s Alba and Alen fields, building a pipeline and bringing it to onshore Punta Europa gas processing facilities,” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea in his keynote address. “The resources are here. We just need to make sure that we have the technology to transfer the goods. In Equatorial Guinea, there is substantial opportunity for synergy between Equatoguinean and German companies. This is not a country that is uncharted territory, or in which the resources are not there. We already produce oil, gas, condensate, methanol and CNG, and are going to start mining. As a result, to enter the market requires technology of transformations.”

The G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa through improvements of the macro, business and financing frameworks. The efficacy of the initiative has been demonstrated in countries such as Senegal, which enjoys a long-standing partnership with Germany that has mobilized over €1 billion in funding. “Germany-Senegal cooperation is rich in lessons, in terms of a project approach that is focused on the mode of intervention and implementation through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and KfW Development Bank, which are focused on technical operation and financial cooperation, respectively,” said Ibrahima Mané, Director General for Cooperation & Financing for the Republic of Senegal. “GIZ intervenes upstream to create pre-conditions for financial intervention, leading to better project preparation. KfW carries out studies before the agreement is signed, and recruits an international consultant to support the implementation. In addition to receiving a grant last year to create a more attractive investment climate for FDI, Senegal is working on a new law for Public-Private-Partnerships. The second phase of the Plan for an Emerging Senegal is focused on private sector development and bringing more clarity and transparency to help investors feel comfortable.”

In Senegal, Germany plays a significant role in power projects through investment in small-scale plants and renewables energy, facilitated by its agreement with the CwA that has supported almost 800 SMEs in the country. “We currently have more than €200 million in undergoing projects, primarily focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to electricity throughout the whole country,” said Ibrahima Mané. “No exclusivity and no exclusion – the energy sector is not dominated by one partner. It is a dynamic sector with many bilateral and multilateral partners. Germany is making a major contribution in the field of renewable energy, principally through power plants of 25 MW implemented in areas outside of Dakar.”

With a recently approved investment law and a top regional ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, Rwanda maintains an attractive investment climate for FDI, in part due to strong collaboration between public and private sectors.  “The [Rwanda Development Board] has a responsibility both on the policy side to keep the country reforming and improving, and on the project development side, in the promotion of projects and implementation,” said Tim Gengnagel, Deal Accelerator for the Rwanda Development Board. “Having a trusted government partner in that implementation journey is key to not only attracting investment, but also creating the jobs and exports that we are craving for.” The Rwanda Development Board echoed the need for German entrants to the market to be familiar with market size. “One point of concern that we hear from German companies is the small market size,” said Tim Gengnagel. “With many German companies, they try to sell products, which is a good first step into a market. However, if you are investing on the continent and in Rwanda, you are not only investing in a consumer market, but also making a regional investment and an export investment.”

In addition to boosting electricity access and fuelling a clean energy transition, key opportunities for German companies in Africa remain in digitalization, as German businesses possess the technical expertise and know-how to enable knowledge and technology transfer. “Opportunities are immediately available, in terms of smart-grids, automation of metering systems, automation of production lines and adoption of FinTech. On top of that, we are seeing companies invest in training youth and the utilization of digital technologies,” said Onyeche Tifase, Head of Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Oil and Gas  Divison for Siemens Energy. “For German companies that are in the high-tech space and have found ways to create a success story in advanced countries, now is the time to transition to Africa. Furthermore, with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, we are seeing an even greater push toward industrialization. We are hoping for Nigeria to become a net exporter, and this cannot be done without digitalization.”

Despite a wide range of investment opportunities in the African energy sector, limiting factors still constrain the advancement of industrial and manufacturing abilities on the continent, which include local content and skills development. “Why would people consider entering the African market? The better question is, ‘Can you afford to ignore Africa?’ The return on foreign investment is the highest in the world, and the continent also carries a significant availability of land for agricultural production,” said Kenneth Reed, Managing Director for GEA Group, Southern & Eastern Africa. “That said, the advice is to be aware of the differences between African and other cultural norms, as well as the actual market size and how much money you are going to invest. In addition, the shortage of skills, the need to create jobs and the need to enhance skills is critical to the collaboration between German companies and Africa.”

The GABF will, in cooperation with AOP Webinars, host future webinars that address the political, social and economic interdependence between Germany and Africa.

*Africa Energy Chamber
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US-Africa Energy Committee Makes Capital Markets Access its Priority
August 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
The meeting identified key areas and priorities to increase the level of capital and technology flows and address the challenge of accessing US capital markets.

The US-Africa Committee of the African Energy Chamber held its first Meeting this week to discuss the future of energy cooperation and investments between the US and Africa post Covid-19.

The US-Africa Committee gathers top private and public industry experts and executives from both sides of the Atlantic, all committed to fully exploiting the potential of US-African energy cooperation. The meeting identified key areas and priorities to increase the level of capital and technology flows and address the challenge of accessing US capital markets.

Committee Members especially highlighted the challenge of raising capital for exploration and development projects in upstream oil & gas, coupled with a lack of understanding of Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) mechanisms and structures. This challenge is now set to increase further given current market dynamics and conditions, and increasing lack of appetite for fossil fuels from traditional investors or lenders. Beyond just upstream, participants agreed that Africa offers the most attractive energy investment opportunities for American investors, stakeholders and entrepreneurs but the issue around messaging and perceptions of the continent continues to hinder investment.

In addressing perceptions of Africa in the US, participants highlighted the significant lack of adequate and objective messaging on African opportunities and African markets in the US. Addressing such issue of perceptions has been identified as a major priority for the Chamber and the Committee in order to properly communicate the opportunities of doing business in Africa as opposed to focusing solely on often exaggerated security and safety issues.

To unlock future growth potential in the US-African energy cooperation, Committee Members highlighted several issues and solutions. A key one pertains to expanded partnerships, with the need to increase engagement with a broader range of stakeholders, including public and private institutions, energy investors in North America seeking an interventional venture, and universities. More importantly, all agreed that the future of US-African energy cooperation will need to open up to SMEs and entrepreneurs and not be limited only to large and traditional corporations. The need to encourage African investments into the US was also brought to the table as a way to further support a win-win relationship that would support further capital flows going both ways.

Similarly, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria and Know Your Customers (KYC) requirements were brought to the discussion as key factors African companies need to embrace to further attract US investment and technology. Such criteria and requirements should not be seen as obstacles for investments but as true enablers of successful joint-ventures and partnerships between US and African companies.

About the US-Africa Committee:
The US-Africa Committee was appointed by the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) to serve on its Advisory Board in 2020 and 2021. Its members share a common belief that the US-Africa cooperation has the potential to transform Africa’s energy industry, and serve as advisors and transaction mentors to the Chamber and its network. Its members include:
Jude Kearney, President, Kearney Africa
Rogers Beall, Executive Chairman and CEO, Africa Fortesa Corporation
Reginal “Reg”​ Spiller, CEO, Azimuth Energy Investments LLC
Ann Norman, General Manager – Africa, Pioneer Energy
C. Derek Campbell, CEO, Energy & Natural Resource Security, Inc.
Kola Karim, CEO, Shoreline Energy International
Akinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman and CEO, Genesis Energy Group
Alicia Robinson-Morgan, Managing Director for Africa, Millennium Challenge Corporation
R. Dean Foreman, Chief Economist, American Petroleum Institute

*Africa Energy Chamber
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New Investment Committee to Provide Solutions to Finance Africa’s Energy Resurgence
August 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
Members of the Investment Committee serve in their personal capacity and gather a wide range of expertise in finance, legal and consulting.

The African Energy Chamber is delighted to announce the nomination of its Investment Advisory Committee, the last body to serve on its Advisory Board for 2020 and 2021. Its members include:

René Awambeng, Global Head, Client Relations, Afreximbank
Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, Managing Director, EnergyInc Advisors and Senior Africa Advisor, IFU Danish Investment Fund
Abongwa Ndumu, Former Oil Executive and Energy Consultant
Robert Erlich, Partner and Executive Director – Upstream, Cayo Energy LP
Folarin Lajumoke, Vice President – Africa, ION
Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, Executive Chairman & Founder, Raise Africa Investments
Rachelle Yayi, CEO, Afara Solutions

Members of the Investment Committee serve in their personal capacity and gather a wide range of expertise in finance, legal and consulting. Together, they will play a key role in supporting the African Energy Chamber’s investment outreach initiatives.

With billions of dollars required every year to upgrade its energy infrastructure and fight energy poverty, the continent needs to successfully mobilize a wide variety of capital and financing. In doing so, African energy markets should be engaging with a broader range of capital providers, from traditional lenders to global institutional investors and private equity firms to venture capitalists. The energy resurgence of the continent following the Covid-19 will require all stakeholders to come together and find new ways to structuring deals and raising capital for the benefits of local economies and jobs creation.

“Our Investment Committee is central to the African Energy Chamber’s objective of providing a bridge between investors and the continent’s energy industry. Africa has limitless investment opportunities across energy sources and across value-chains, and there is a pressing need to communicate better with financiers and investors to increase investments in the continent,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “The African Energy Chamber has made it its mission to boost capital and technology inflow on the continent, from engaging with new capital providers interested in Africa to advising on the structuring of better and future deals,” he concluded.

Landmark gas projects across Africa have managed to attract regional and global capital in recent months and years. From Senegal to Mozambique and Equatorial Guinea, Africa has demonstrated its ability to attract funding. However, investment is still falling short of market needs. While Nigeria’s ongoing Marginal Fields Bidding Round stands to be a success, access to financing the development of such fields will remain a key challenge for the operators.  African Energy companies in Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Mozambique and South Sudan, Uganda and South Africa continue to see capital as their biggest obstacle when it comes to developing African natural resources or even competing for service contracts.

*African Energy Chamber
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Chevron’s Entry into Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon Could be a Turning Point for Central Africa’s Gas Industry
August 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber believes that the entry of Chevron as operator for the offshore gas mega-hub could be transformational for the future of gas in Central Africa.

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, August 5, 2020/ — The recently-announced acquisition of Noble Energy by Chevron for $13bn gives the American major an entry into Equatorial Guinea’s oil & gas sector, where Noble Energy has interests in the Alba Field (33% non-operated WI and 32% revenue interest), Block O (Alen Field 51% operated WI and 45% revenue interest) and Block I (Aseng Field, 40% operated WI and 38% revenue interest). These assets in Equatorial Guinea represent 94 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved developed reserves and 38 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved undeveloped reserves. In addition, Noble Energy was also the operator Block YoYo in Cameroon and of the deepwater Block Doujou Dak (60% WI) in Gabon, where it was in the process of evaluating recently acquired 3D seismic data.

The acquisition has raised several concerns and questions, mostly because these assets are currently subject the CEMAC region’s most ambitious gas development project. While the Alba Field has been feeding gas into Equatorial Guinea’s Punta Europa complex for decades, including the EG LNG Plant, the AMPCO methanol plant and the Alba LPG plant, its declining reserves have led to the development of the Alen and Aseng fields as alternative sources of gas. In 2019, Noble Energy was at the heart of a groundbreaking agreement to launch the Alen Monetization Project, expected to ensure continued and stable gas supply to Equatorial Guinea’s LNG and downstream revenue-generating infrastructure.

The project is still on track for delivery in 2021 and is the first step of the development of a much broader offshore gas mega-hub in the Gulf of Guinea. This regional gas hub would ultimately include the development of the Yolanda and YoYo discoveries located in Equatorial Guinea’s Block I and Cameroon’s YoYo Block, both operated by Noble.

The scheme is one of the most ambitious cross-border gas venture in Africa, and Noble’s acquisition by Chevron has the industry worried about the future of the project under new operatorship. However, the African Energy Chamber believes that the entry of Chevron as operator for the offshore gas mega-hub could be transformational for the future of gas in Central Africa, especially at a time when Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo are all multiplying efforts to monetize their domestic gas reserves.

Chevron is indeed a true gas player in the African market. In Nigeria, it has been leading natural gas commercialization efforts for decades through its Escravos projects targeting the monetization of 18Tcf of gas. These have resulted in the Escravos Gas-to-Liquids facility and the Escravos Gas Plant, both cornerstones of Nigeria’s gas development strategy. In Angola’s Block 0 and Block 14, Chevron has demonstrated a remarkable ability to invest in cutting flaring and monetizing gas. In block 0, it still operates what is the world’s largest LPG FPSO vessel, turning previously flared gas into cleaner fuels for Africans and the for the world.

“What we need now is a pragmatic commonsense approach that welcomes credible investors and see gas taking the lead in economic development and industrialization, therefore the entry of Chevron is extremely welcomed and should be accepted by all stakeholders,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “Transaction and projects approvals should not be unnecessarily delayed, ensuring a quick and efficient takeover in the region so ongoing gas projects are not affected. This acquisition gives the region a very experienced and credible gas player with tried, true and tested solutions to support our gas ambitions. The Chamber believes that fast tracking approvals and driving commonsense measures around this deal will make the industry work,” added Ayuk.

“From its Nigerian and Angolan presence, Chevron understands the issues and opportunities of developing African content. We expect its entry to be beneficial from a local content and capacity building perspective,” said Leoncio Amada NZE, President for the CEMAC region at the African Energy Chamber. “We hope that the authorities in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea can do an efficient and fast track due diligence process, and ensure that Noble meets all its obligations to exit and create a seamless transition for Chevron. This is an opportunity for our public authorities to demonstrate their commitment to empowering investment and move away from an era of uncertainty to give confidence to future investors and stay competitive,” concluded Amada NZE.

*African Energy Chamber
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German Energy Investors Have a Bright Future in a Post-Covid 19 Africa
August 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
The reshaping of the continent from 2021 onwards provides a great opportunity for German companies and technology to fight energy poverty in Africa.

On Thursday, the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) is organizing an exclusive webinar to encourage new deals between German and African public and private energy stakeholders. This is an extremely timely initiative. Covid-19 has accelerated several major trends and dynamics within Africa’s energy sector which are set to significantly increase the demand for German capital and technology on the continent.

Energy has been identified by most African governments and financial institutions as a key sector able to support Africa’s economic recovery post-Covid-19. In parallel, global trends toward a cleaner energy transition are now accelerating and Africa is no stranger to the game. The reshaping of the continent from 2021 onwards provides a great opportunity for German companies and technology to fight energy poverty in Africa and support the natural gas monetization and valorization drive from Mozambique to Senegal, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.

“The African Energy Chamber is calling on Germany to work with African businesses to lower carbon emissions and support Africa’s path to a net zero future. From gas flaring to gas-to-power and cleantech, Germany has the capital and technology Africa needs to build an inclusive and sustainable energy future,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

By engaging not only with African governments but with the continent’s entrepreneurs and private companies, German stakeholders can structure the deals who will ensure a successful future for the German-African energy cooperation. German technical know-how and technology is increasingly looked after when it comes to assessing climate change risks and opportunities in business planning, and supporting public policies embracing decarbonization.

Germany’s appetite for Africa has already translated into landmark projects and deals across the continent. In West Africa, Siemens is currently supporting Nigeria in raising its electricity capacity of 25GW under the country’s Presidential Power Initiative. Meanwhile, Voith Hydro and the Commerzbank recently joined Angola’s Caculo-Cabaça Hydropower hydroelectric project to support CGGC in completing the 2172MW power facility by 2024. An increasing number of German SMEs are also involved in landmark gas and power projects, including the Akinokien LNG receiving terminal in Equatorial Guinea.

“We need to foster a candid and constructive dialogue with a broad range of German and African stakeholders on investment, energy poverty, the creation of an enabling environment for private businesses and the implementation of free market policies that benefit the poor and emerging African middle class,” concluded Nj Ayuk.

Register for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/30oT8m9

*African Energy Chamber
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Equatorial Guinea hold discussions with African Energy Chamber and updates on energy developments during Covid-19
August 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Chamber sought to understand the state of the hydrocarbon sector in the country and was briefed by the Minister and the Director on immediate and near-term plans by the Ministry.

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima

Last week, the African Energy Chamber held a bilateral discussion with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, led by H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, alongside the Director of Hydrocarbons, Robustiano Eyegue Ndong and NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

The Chamber sought to understand the state of the hydrocarbon sector in the country and was briefed by the Minister and the Director on immediate and near-term plans by the Ministry.

Equatorial Guinea has moved its Year of Investment program to 2021, with plans to add many more investments opportunities and projects, while taking into consideration the challenges of Covid-19. For instance, the Ministry is continuing its mining drive-in with a strong focus on the mainland and expects to drive new mining programs in 2021.

The Minister agreed with the Chamber that Covid-19 has been a great disruptor to the energy sector. The Chamber urges the Equatorial Guinean government to continue working with oil and gas operators to find ways to ensure operations continue.

The Minister advised the Chamber that the rapid development of the Alen unitization project operated by Noble Energy will be delayed until 2021. This is liquid-rich gas and condensate field is located in Block O, about 32km off the east coast of Bioko Island, in Equatorial Guinea. However, the Alen backfill gas project into EGLNG remains on track, with the project scheduled to come online in the first quarter of 2021.

When pressed on the rapid approval of Chevron acquisition of Noble Energy, the Minister advised the Chamber that the Ministry is currently studying the transaction as it pertains to Equatorial Guinea and will respond in due course taking into consideration compliance with the laws and regulations of the country as well as binding legal instruments like the Production Sharing Contract.

On the Gas Mega Hub, the Chamber was informed that Equatorial Guinea has contracted UK-based firm Gas Strategies to continue working on a revised Gas Master Plan as the Minister believes it is an important step towards the country developing a timely, economic and equitable plan for to monetise gas, and with a clear vision towards having a Gas Mega Hub anchored around Punta Europa.

The Chamber commends the development of gas, as LNG stands to be a game changer in the local, regional and international energy markets. It also puts Equatorial Guinea in line with other members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, of which Equatorial Guinea is a member, when it comes to monetizing gas.

The Minister advised that exploration activity is still ongoing in the country, with Kosmos Energy likely to proceed with a drilling campaign in 2022. Furthermore, Trident Energy started a 4D seismic survey over its Block G assets, which contain the Ceiba and Okume fields offshore with a potential to drill three wells in 2021.

Finally, the Ministry is engaged in discussions with Venezuelan state company PDVSA on the upstream and the downstream sector.

“Equatorial Guinea is an important oil and gas player and continues to be a great partner in advancing the relationships with investors while promoting local content. The Chamber welcomes this dialogue and we remain committed to more engagements with African energy leaders because this is vitally important to the private sector.” said NJ Ayuk

“The African Energy Chamber, supported by leading energy companies, is confident that by working together, we will ensure win-win opportunities as well as engage candidly on serious issues with African governments. These frank, no-holds-barred conversations concerning our energy industry can guide African governments to create an enabling environment that is effective for investors and citizens alike.” concluded Ayuk

The African Energy Chamber periodically holds bilateral discussions with governments and institutions on energy issues in Africa. These discussions are important for leaders and investors to engage in discussions of the most important economic and commercial issues, including investment in oil and gas, infrastructure development, local content, and enabling policies that make in country operations better.

*African Energy Chamber

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Senegal, Equatorial Guinea set to discuss post-Covid-Investments in Africa with Germany’s Private Sector at Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) Webinar
July 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
In 2019, the GABF launched a multi-million Euro funding commitment to invest in German energy startups that focus on Africa.

The Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) is organizing an exclusive webinar on the topic “Business in Africa after Covid-19” on August 6th, 2020, at 16:00 Central European Time. The high-level panel will be expanded with an opening speech by the Minister of Mines & Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Gabriel M. Obiang Lima.

“We are proud to announce that H.E. Gabriel M. Obiang Lima, a true champion of German-African relations, will be enriching our webinar. We are excited that through his expertise and leadership, His Excellency Obiang Lima will bring fresh perspectives to the discussion”, said Sebastian Wagner, co-founder of the GABF.

Further, the GABF is happy to confirm the participation of Senegal’s Director General for Cooperation & Financing, Mr. Ibrahima Mané, as a keynote panel member. “German businesses have been important cooperation partners of Senegal for a long time. We are thus honored by Mr. Mané’s participation in our discussion”, added Mr. Wagner.

Other confirmed panelists are Mrs. Onyeshe Tifase of Siemens, Mr. Tim Gengnagel of the Rwanda Development Board and Mr. Kenneth Reed of the GEA Group. The panel will discuss the business opportunities and possibilities arising post-COVID between Germany and Africa. Germany’s strong capabilities in LNG, petrochemicals, gas to power, biomass, and renewable energy have become central to the African energy agenda, with German expansion through the construction of world class facilities in Senegal, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, Angola and other African countries.

In 2019, the GABF launched a multi-million Euro funding commitment to invest in German energy startups that focus on Africa. The funding commitment, which pledges funds to German startups with exposure to African energy projects, is the first such intra-regional initiative. It goes in line with Germany’s renewed focus on Africa, with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) providing new stimulus to cooperation with the continent through the Marshall Plan with Africa.

*African Energy Chamber
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