The highly anticipated Africa Oil Week (AOW) 2021 that kicked off today at Madinat Jumeirah in UAE recorded a quite impressive response on its inaugural day with participation from over 1500 attendees from around the world.
This event, which is expected to come to an end on 11th November brought together more than 30 heads of government departments from the African continent and the Middle East and high-level delegations including executives from some of the biggest global oil and gas companies.
The African Oil Week’s first day offered an opportunity for networking and engaging in meaningful conversations aimed at African prosperity.
The Symposium was attended by 26 Ministers including, Hon. Aïssatou Sophie Gladima, Minister of Petroleum & Energy, Republic of Senegal and Hon. Thomas Camara, Minister of Mines, Petroleum & Energy, Côte d’Ivoire.
The official Africa Oil Week opening ceremony featured Nicolas Terraz, President of Exploration & Production, TotalEnergies, in his first speaking engagement since his appointment, in conversation with Simon Flowers, Chairman & Chief Analyst, Wood Mackenzie on the future of the African upstream, and saw Hon. Minister Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Energy and Petroleum launch a mini-licensing round for block A1 for the Republic of the Gambia.
Promoting trade ties between the UAE and Africa
With the UAE’s investments in Africa reaching $5.64 billion in recent years, AOW will serve as a platform to fuel future collaborations and partnerships that can result in additional high-value deals in the energy sector.
In a keynote address, H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure in the UAE, emphasized the UAE’s long-standing ties with African nations and highlighted the country’s position as an emerging global financial hub.
According to Al Mazrouei Africa is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and the huge economic transformation in the energy sector in the continent makes it ideal for investments from around the globe, especially the UAE and the Middle East.
During the EXPO 2020, Dubai Uganda signed a new business deal with the United Arab Emirates which is a regional leader and a global benchmark in industrial development through the efficient use of energy resources.
“We are certain that Africa Oil Week will act as a platform to facilitate more such investments and forge greater partnerships between international investors and the African public and private sector. As a close partner of Africa, we hope to facilitate capital flow that will result in socio-economic development for Africa and the Middle East.” H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei said.
He adds that although the Oil and Gas sector has seen unprecedented volatility since 2020 due to the pandemic with the economy reviving, so far there is a sign of hope.
Global economic growth for this year has remained strong, especially in the second quarter of 2021.
In the UAE, moving forward to 2022, H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei says that the Central Bank of the UAE estimates that the country will experience significant growth in terms of GDP.
“It is evident to the world that oil and gas are significant sources of primary energy supply and strongly impact economic growth and the development of the industrial sector”, he said.
With three days left to the end of this event, numerous topical discussions are being lined up such as energy transition and energy access, policies and regulations in the market, green economy, ESG practices in the sector, onshore exploration, the role of digitalization, and technology in Africa’s future energy mix, opportunities, and challenges in the sector in the post-pandemic world, achieving a clean and competitive energy future for the continent, among others.
In addition to discussing the impact of digitalization in the oil and gas sector, the event serves as an ideal platform for experts to design an economic blueprint for the development of the African energy sector.
It will also help governments and key organizations to formulate their approach towards achieving a clean energy future for the continent, thus enabling the green economy transition.
Africa is currently home to 1.2 billion people, with an additional estimated population of 600 million below the age of 25 by 2050. The continent relies on the energy sector to power wealth creation, entrepreneurship, private sector expansion, and industrialization.
Staying committed to the UN SDGs and the African Union Agenda 2063, the organizers of the Africa Oil Week also announced the Green Energy Africa Summit 2022 (GEA Summit) on day one of the conferences.
The new event will run alongside ‘Africa Oil Week’. The GEA Summit will focus on driving investments into low-carbon energy for Africa, by bringing together key stakeholders to facilitate innovation and dialogue, driving capital for the socio-economic development of Africa.