close

APO-GROUP

Africa

DRC: Eight UN peacekeepers killed in helicopter crash

A Pakistan Army helicopter deployed on peacekeeping duties with the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) crashed during a reconnaissance operation on 29 March. There were 8 UN peacekeepers including 6 Pakistani troops on board, none of whom survived the unfortunate crash. The exact cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained.

Pakistan deeply values the vital role played by the “blue helmets” in maintaining security and stability in many conflict-ridden areas around the world

We would like to extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of maintaining international peace and security. 157 of Pakistan’s bravest peacekeepers have already fallen in the line of duty while serving in UN missions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations New York are in constant touch with the UN authorities to facilitate and expedite the early repatriation of the mortal remains, and to ascertain the details and cause of the helicopter crash.

As one of the top troop-contributing countries, Pakistan deeply values the vital role played by the “blue helmets” in maintaining security and stability in many conflict-ridden areas around the world. Pakistan is proud of its long-standing and consistent contributions to UN peacekeeping spanning over six decades. Since 1960, over 200,000 of our servicemen have served with honour and valour in 46 UN Missions in almost all continents of the world. Through their professionalism and dedication, our peacekeepers have always distinguished themselves in every mission they have participated.

read more
APO-GROUPCoverInternationalNewsTechnology

Digital Infrastructure Resilence

Press Release

Canon EMEA reaffirms commitment to Middle East

Canon EMEA President & CEO, Yuichi Ishizuka, visited EXPO 2020 Dubai and reiterated Canon’s commitment to the UAE and wider GCC

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16th Feb 2022: Canon EMEA reaffirmed its commitment to the UAE and wider GCC region, with a visit from Canon EMEA President and CEO, Yuichi Ishizuka, who toured EXPO 2020 Dubai to witness “The Greatest Show on Earth”. With the UAE being the first Arab nation to host this prestigious event, Canon is proud to support the vision of the UAE and be the Official Printing and Imaging Partner for this global event and continue its legacy of investing in important events across the Middle East.

 The UAE is a leader in economic development and digital infrastructure, ranking first in the GCC for its digital competitiveness and with the recent success of EXPO 2020 Dubai, has further solidified its position as a progressive, transformative, and forward-looking nation. Since signing the partnership in January 2020, this is Mr. Yuichi Ishizuka’s first visit to experience the impact of investing in such a large-scale event, that is not only dedicated to human brilliance and achievement but is also a celebration of UAE Vision 2021 and underscores the UAE’s international reputation as a business hub.

As governments across the Middle East continue to diversify their economies and highlight digital transformation, the Middle East continues to be an important market for Canon. In addition to investing in making EXPO 2020 Dubai a success, Canon’s resolve to continue uninterrupted services across the Middle East and ensure high customer satisfaction levels, even during a global pandemic, can be seen in the EMEA results which accounted for 30% of global sales, wherein Canon Middle East and Turkey contributed 27% of regional sales, making it the largest sales market in the region. This result is also a testament to the resolve, hard work and adaptability of all Canon staff who persevered to implement the philosophy of Kyosei – living and working together for the common good, especially during a challenging 2021.

Mr. Yuichi Ishizuka commented: “Our sponsorship of Expo 2020 Dubai is rooted in our shared principles and values. It starts with adopting advanced technology to enhance the visitor experience and extends to exploring opportunities to drive innovation within key areas, such as sustainability. EXPO 2020 Dubai

underscores Canon’s plans to continue investing and strengthening its operations within both the UAE and the Middle East and we are privileged to have played a part in the making of this iconic event.”

As the exclusive Official Printing and Imaging Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, Canon has deployed its pioneering, innovative and game-changing imaging products and high-speed printing expertise to provide a unique visitor experience, as well as ensure data protection and safety of over 300,000 participants via state-of-the-art accreditation “passports” issued at EXPO 2020 Dubai.

For additional information, please visit: www.canon-cna.com.

-END-

Editor’s Note:Published unedited

 

 

read more
International

Qatar Strongly Condemns Attack in Nigeria

The State of Qatar strongly condemns an attack on the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, which led to the killing of two people and the kidnapping of 20 children.

The Ministry expresses Qatar’s condolences to the families of the two victims

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates Qatar’s firm position rejecting violence, terrorism and criminal acts, regardless of the motives and reasons.

The Ministry expresses Qatar’s condolences to the families of the two victims, and its hope for the speedy release of the kidnapped children and their return to their families.

read more
Oil & Gas

West Africa’s Premier Energy Event Returns for its Second Edition on the 1-2 September 2022

Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022; Representing the region’s official energy event, the conference is proud to host Ministries and high-level officials from across the region; MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 will be developed in partnership with Senegal’s national oil company Petrosen, the Business Council of Renewable Energies of Senegal, and COS-Petrogaz, ushering in a new era of growth for the region.

Energy Capital & Power (ECP), in partnership with Petrosen, the Business Council of Renewable Energies of Senegal, and COS-Petrogaz, is proud to announce the return of the esteemed MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power conference and exhibition. Taking place on the 1st-2nd of September 2022 in Dakar, the second edition of the region’s premier energy event represents the best platform for the exchange of topical information on the energy sector and current marketplace.

Speaking to the caliber of the event, the support and participation of regional ministers has positioned the conference as the most suitable platform for energy stakeholders to engage and sign deals, a trend that will only continue in 2022. In addition to high-level executives, the 2022 agenda and topic program will be relevant to all stakeholders across the value chain.

Delegates can expect a range of technical and strategic sessions, lunch conversations, investor match making functions, as well as live on-stage interviews with energy professionals. Touching on topics ranging from energy sector financing; regional cooperation in energy development and promoting cross-border synergies; MSGBC energy industry youth; women in energy; and the latest developments in exploration and new licensing round opportunities, to name a few, the conference will focus on ensuring that natural resource development continues to translate into long-term economic and sustainable regional growth.

The MSGBC region is unique in that it boasts significant resources across multiple sectors. On the oil and gas front, the region is considered to be in the early stages of a hydrocarbon boom, having hosted a succession of world-class discoveries such as the cross-border GTA field and the Sangomar oil field. Notable discoveries include the BP-operated Yakaar-Teranga and BirAllah discoveries offshore Senegal and Mauritania, which have been appraised to contain up to a combined 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Additionally, the Bambo-1 well offshore The Gambia, operated by oil and gas exploration company FAR, is expected to contain a prospect of 1.1 billion barrels of oil while in Guinea-Bissau, the Sinapa oil discovery, also operated by FAR, features contingent resources of an estimated 72 million barrels of recoverable light oil. While independent explorers have been highly successful in revealing the potential of the basin, regional leaders remain focused on ensuring world-class discoveries translate into sustainable developments.

Speaking during the 2021 edition of the event, H.E. President Macky Sall stated that “A few days after the end of COP26, I must also draw the attention to the decision taken by certain countries to stop foreign financing to fossil fuels, including the gas sector, even as the use of other more polluting energy sources continues. At a time when several African countries are preparing to exploit their significant gas resources, the end of funding for the gas sector, under the pretext that gas is a fossil energy, would bear fatal cost to our emerging economies.”

Natural gas has a key role to play in the energy transition as well as in the power generation ambitions of our country, particularly within our gas-to-power strategy

Identified regional prospects have the potential to transform both the region and the continent at large, ushering in a new wave of development and accelerated socioeconomic growth. Covering an area of 600,000km2, extending from the Cap Blanc Fracture Zone, offshore northern Mauritania, to the Guinea Fracture Zone, situated off the coast of Sierra Leone, these discoveries have resulted in the region becoming a hotspot for development, placing it near the top of the list as one of Africa’s most exciting opportunities for exploration and development.

“The central part of our efforts in Sangomar is structured around our great drilling campaign. The Ocean black rhino FPSO, operated by Diamond Offshore, is drilling away as we speak on what is one of the largest drilling campaigns in the world today,” stated Andy Demetriou, Managing Director for Woodside Senegal.

“Natural gas has a key role to play in the energy transition as well as in the power generation ambitions of our country, particularly within our gas-to-power strategy,” Massaer Cisse, BP’s VP and Head of Country for Senegal, said.

In addition to oil and gas, the region is considered to be one of the richest regarding renewables resources and human capital, while offering lucrative associated sector opportunities such as forestry, agriculture, and mining. Large-scale projects such as the 450MW Souapiti hydropower station in Guinea Conakry and the 158MW Taiba N’diaye Wind Farm in Senegal emphasize the renewable potential of the region, and while stakeholders move to diversify the energy mix and enhance green investment, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 will serve to enhance this trend.

By utilizing its significant natural and human capital resources, the MSGBC region is poised to drive itself towards a new era of energy sector growth while striving towards a fair and just energy transition. Following the 2021 edition of the conference and exhibition – which endeavored to increase investment across the entire energy value chain and in sectors ranging from hydrocarbons, renewables, infrastructure, and power generation – MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 will present regional ministers, high-level delegates, and top-tier energy business leaders with the opportunity to sign deals for regional development within the basin. Covering the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors, the event aims to empower capacity building and motivate a transfer of skills and technology to the region.

“While we have to be able to adapt and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the climate injustice that we are facing today makes us believe that we must do our level best to turn towards social justice, otherwise, we will run the risk of destabilizing the world,” stated H.E. Aïssatou Sophie Gladima, Minister of Petroleum and Energies for Senegal, concluding that, “The world needs to work hand-in-hand to grow, develop, and to be stable.”

Overall, the summit serves as the only event dedicated to energy development in Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea-Conakry, demonstrating ECP’s long-standing commitment towards attracting investment in one of Africa’s most exciting regions. Built against a backdrop of sizeable oil and gas discoveries and associated large-scale multi-sector project developments, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022, under the auspices of the Government of Senegal, will return to Dakar in September 2022 to further enhance investment in the basin while emphasizing the region’s success regarding cross-border cooperation and integration.

During the 2022 edition, speakers and delegates will gain knowledge, exchange ideas, develop strategies, and benefit from critical insight offered by industry peers on topical issues surrounding the energy sector. MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 appeals to a diverse audience and will be instrumental in the region’s energy and economic future.

“MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power is the sole energy conference dedicated to the entire MSGBC region. During the 2022 edition, delegates can expect a strong line-up of industry-focused panel discussions, innovative networking experiences, technical and strategic sessions, as well as investor-matching functions that all serve to position the region as a globally competitive energy market. Backed by sizeable oil, gas and renewables reserves, modernized legislature, and strong regional relationships, the region is set to experience unprecedented energy and economic growth, with MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 further enhancing this trend. By attending and participating in the conference, energy stakeholders from all over the world can be a part of the region’s energy revolution,” states Kelly-Ann Mealia, ECP chairperson.

read more
Oil & Gas

Republic of Congo to Host First-Ever International Energy Summit in Brazzaville

Taking place on June 15, 16 and 17, The Congo International Energy Summit and Exhibition 2022 – organized by Energy Capital & Power under the patronage of H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons – will represent the first international energy event of its kind held in Congo-Brazzaville; Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest producer is seeking to reassert its oil, gas, and power industries through an influx of foreign direct investment and heightened regional energy diplomacy; As global investors turn an eye to green energy investments, the African continent is undertaking an ambitious drive to harness and monetize its vast natural gas reserves, with gas-rich countries like the Republic of the Congo set to become a major regional gas player and exporter.

Energy Capital & Power (ECP) is excited to announce the launch of the first-ever Congo International Energy Summit and Exhibition taking place in the Republic of the Congo on June 15, 16, and 17 2022, which is set to position the country as a key driver of the Central and West African energy narrative. The summit will introduce investors to the post-COVID-19 energy transition landscape of one of Africa’s most mature markets while opening up broader discussions on the role of regional and international players in facilitating investment and maximizing African gas plays.

The event will showcase partnership and investment opportunities in hydrocarbon exploration, gas monetization, green energy, and downstream industries across the continent, with a focus on the Republic of the Congo as a key energy investment destination across oil, gas and power sectors.

Representing Africa’s third largest oil producer – with reserves estimated at 2.9 billion barrels and output at 336,000 barrels per day (bpd) – the Republic of the Congo boasts the active participation of some of the world’s top oil and gas companies. Notable operators in the country include Total Energies E&P, recognized as the largest producer in the country with an estimated 200,000 bpd output. With participating interests in four offshore fields – including Moho-Bilondo; Nkossa/Nsoko; Sendji; and Yanga – the company is a key contributor to the country’s hydrocarbon success. Additionally, Italian multinational player Eni has been active in the country since 1968 in the exploration and production, refining, marketing and chemicals sectors. The company produces in over ten oilfields including Nené Marine and Litchendjili – 140,000 bpd -, Ikalou, Awa Paloukou, M’Boundi, and Kouakouala, to name a few. Meanwhile, Perenco, one of the newest operators to enter the market, operates the Yombo, Masseko, Likoula, Emeraude and PGNF South fields, producing on average 75,000 bpd. Additional international oil companies driving the Congo’s energy expansion include Chevron Overseas Congo Ltd – with operating interests in the Lianzi Unitization Zone and the offshore fields of Nkossa, Nsoo and Moho-Bilondo, producing an average 49,000 bpd.

The Republic of the Congo and the President have championed the energy sector for years and we are honored to work with this country

The Congolese government has implemented several key reforms aimed at attracting upstream investment and cementing its status as sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer. National oil company SNPC has been at the forefront of establishing new regulatory frameworks that mitigate organizational and performance inadequacies –investing heavily in infrastructure projects that enhance E&P capabilities. Leading upstream activities in the Kundji and Tilapia fields, SNPC drilled five appraisal wells in 2021, with a view to increasing output by 30,000 bpd. Meanwhile, Italian multinational Eni will bring 12 new wells online in 2022 in Phase 2A of its offshore Nené field development – increasing production by 26,000 bpd – while also carrying out exploration activities involving the construction of an additional platform and drilling of seven new wells.

“The Republic of the Congo and the President have championed the energy sector for years and we are honored to work with this country and all stakeholders to drive investments into Congo’s energy sector,” stated Kelly-Ann Mealia, Chairperson, ECP. “This investment and dealmaking push comes at a critical time in the country’s energy sector development. The event is the official platform to communicate the direction in which the country and its leading companies are headed ­– in particular, attracting investment to continue exploration and increased production of hydrocarbons, advance domestic and regional gas monetization and facilitate a continent-wide energy transition,” Concluded Mealia.

In addition to upstream exploration, the African continent is undertaking an ambitious drive to monetize its vast natural gas resources, meeting domestic supply of gas to power to fulfill Africa’s electrification objectives while meeting global decarbonization demands. Harnessing Africa’s natural gas and meeting the domestic supply of gas-to-power to is important to support industrialization throughout the continent. Last November, the Republic of the Congo launched its Integrated Natural Gas Master Plan (GMP) at African Energy Week 2021 in Cape Town, establishing a framework to incentivize and promote the exploitation and development of the country’s 284 billion cubic feet of gas reserves. The Congo has the potential to become a major regional gas player and exporter, obtaining energy independence and security while exporting to gas-hungry regions like Europe. Moreover, the EU’s latest decision to label designated natural gas projects as ‘green’ marks a critical turning point for African gas development, with gas-rich countries like the Republic of the Congo better positioned to attract project financing while fostering an African green dialogue.

The Republic of the Congo also serves as a leader in regional energy diplomacy, having joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2018 and serving as the headquarters of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO). Last September, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo applauded the Congo’s renewed efforts to promote its energy industry during an official visit to Congo-Brazzaville and reaffirmed his endorsement of H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons as President of OPEC for 2022. The OPEC delegation helped solidify the country’s position among established and leading oil-producing partners. In the wake of oil price volatility, OPEC-led coordination and unity among petroleum producers have proven critical, particularly for African producers that depend on crude oil exports for the lion’s share of their GDP and foreign exchange earnings.

read more
Africa

3rd Africa-Turkey Summit to enhance Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity

The transition from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU) highlighted the need to promote African integration and the African continent ‘as one’ on the international stage, defend Africa’s common interests, and strengthen Africa’s position in the global economy and in the international community. These objectives are reinforced in both the Constitutive Act, which mandates the AU to “encourage international cooperation”, and in the Agenda 2063: Aspiration 7 which envisions “Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner”. Achieving this will entail improving Africa’s place in the global governance system; improving Africa’s partnerships, and refocusing them to respond to African priorities for growth and transformation, while ensuring that the continent can finance its own development and reduce aid dependency.

The Africa-Turkey partnership was formalized in the 2008 Istanbul Summit, during which two outcome documents were adopted, namely the Istanbul Declaration and the Framework for Cooperation. The second Africa-Turkey Summit took place in November 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The 2nd Summit adopted the Malabo Declaration, the Africa-Turkey Joint Implementation Plan and the Matrix of the Key Priority Projects covering Trade and Investment, Peace and Security, Culture, Tourism and Education, Youth Empowerment and Technology Transfer, Rural Economy and Agriculture, Infrastructure: Energy, ICT, and Transport as well as other topics such as health and media.

Against this backdrop, the 3rd Africa-Turkey Summit will kick off on 18 December 2021 and will be preceded by Senior Officials and Ministerial meetings from 16 December. On the margin of the Summit, a parallel Session on Health under the theme “Mobilizing Potentials for African Health Needs in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Era” will be organized by Ministers of Health and Heads of Delegation from Africa, representing the Continent and the African Union and the Minister of Health of the Republic of Turkey on17 December.

The high-level participation of the AU shows the commitment in strengthening collaboration on current issues in the global arena

The Summit will be officiated by the leadership of the African Union: H.E. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chairperson of the AU, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Albert M Muchanga, Commissioners for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining (ETIM) and H.E. Ms. Josefa Leonel Correia Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE), among other high officials from AU Member States.

The high-level participation of the AU shows the commitment in strengthening collaboration on current issues in the global arena as it relates to health, peace, security, governance and justice, human-focused development and strong and sustainable growth. The Africa-Turkey common actions for the period leading-up to the next Summit can be summarized under the following three sub-themes: Peace, security and justice; Human-focused development; and Strong and sustainable growth.

These sub-themes will be implemented under five strategic cooperation areas through a Joint Action Plan for the period 2021- 2026 leading up to the next Summit. Areas are as follows:

  • Peace, Security and Governance;
  • Trade, Investment and Industry;
  • Education, STI skills, Youth and Women Development;
  • Infrastructure Development and Agriculture; and
  • Promoting Resilient Health Systems.

It is expected that the 3rd Summit will adopt capacity building trainings, including increase of judicial cooperation and relations between judicial institutions, including training cooperation and support, particularly when related to terrorist offenses, as well as security cooperation agreements to increase training cooperation on combating drug-related crimes, and vocational and technical education.

The Summit is expected to adopt the “Turkey-Africa Partnership Joint Action Plan 2021-2026″, which contains concrete actions to be implemented jointly by Turkey, the African Union and its Member States.

read more
Agriculture

Transforming Africa’s Agrifood Systems Requires Coordinated Policies Across Sectors

To make them more sustainable, the transformation of agrifood systems across Africa needs a “cross-sectoral, holistic, coherent and coordinated policy environment,”  QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today at a high-level African Union (AU) event.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Partnership Platform (CADP PP) is the AU’s main platform for agricultural policy dialogue, lessons-sharing, and accountability. This year’s CAADP PP meeting, taking place over three days under the theme ‘Ending hunger in Africa by 2025 through resilient food systems’,  brought together representatives from the African Union Commission, Ministers from the 55 AU Member States, and partners.

During his participation at the High-Level Partners Panel event on Friday, the FAO Director-General noted that this is an “exciting time for Africa”. The discussion focused on how to strengthen institutions and increase investments to accelerate agriculture transformation and streamline efforts towards building resilient food systems aimed at ending hunger on the continent.

Qu emphasized three key ways of accelerating change for agricultural transformation in Africa: increasing agricultural productivity; building resilience by addressing water and climate-related challenges in agriculture, and increasing the use of data and digitalization.

FAO is committed to leveraging its expertise and experience to work with key partners and stakeholders to transform Africa’s agrifood systems

“FAO is committed to leveraging its expertise and experience to work with key partners and stakeholders to transform Africa’s agrifood systems for a better and brighter future for all,” the Director-General said.

The panel also included representatives from the African Development Bank, USAID, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.

FAO’s work with the African Union

FAO has supported the AU on a number of projects to boost agri-food systems transformation. In 2021, FAO and the AU launched the Framework for Boosting Intra-African Trade in Agricultural Commodities and Services, a blueprint for expanding agricultural trade between African countries and unlocking the potential of the agricultural sector to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth for Africa.

FAO has also worked with the AU on the Africa Open Data for Environment, Agriculture and Land initiative, which has made Africa the first continent to complete the collection of digital land use and land-use change data, and in the development of policies and strategies for country-specific plans to reduce post-harvest food losses.

read more
Oil & Gas

Developing African Petroleum Value Chains

Despite the global shift towards cleaner sources of fuel, the African continent – representing the highest number of people without access to energy globally – still requires fossil fuel development, if it is to meet its developmental goals. Accordingly, oil and gas-producing nations across the continent are ramping up efforts to develop a sustainable, viable, and high-reward petroleum sector in Africa. Speaking at an African energy producers’ forum at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, African oil and gas ministers provided insight into Africa’s oil potential, strategies to expand the energy value chain, and opportunities for regional and international cooperation.

Opening the African energy producers’ talk, Irene Etiobhio, Senior Petroleum Industry Analyst at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), emphasized the role of oil in Africa’s energy future. Presenting OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2021, launched earlier this year, Etiobhio offered key insights into both Africa’s and the world’s oil outlook.

“The OPEC outlook provides an in-depth view and analysis of global oil issues. It is important to restate that the outlook is not about projections, but should be viewed as a helpful and insightful guide. Our data is based on key assumptions,” stated Etiobhio.

Oil will play a significant role in the African energy mix and will take the highest share over all forms in the future mix

Alongside the presentation, African energy ministers elaborated on the role of oil in Africa. Panel participants included H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea and Hon. Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy of Ghana.

Africa’s oil and gas industry is facing a dual challenge: to satisfy growing demand for petroleum products and to outpace the deployment of alternative, non-fossil sources of energy. Taking these two challenges into consideration, the panel participants provided insight into how the sector, and oil and gas companies in particular, plan to increase production while decarbonizing industry activities.

“Oil will play a significant role in the African energy mix and will take the highest share over all forms in the future mix. However, with the demand of over 600 million without access to electricity, Africa must do this in a modern way. We must not solve one problem while creating another. Africa needs to also take care of the environment,” continued Etiobhio. “We must have a clear mandate and one voice on how we are going to meet our emissions targets. China has said that by 2060, it will achieve carbon neutrality. Europe has set its target for 2025. Africa needs to do this, as well.”

Many African countries are looking to significantly enhance production, and are therefore looking to attract investment, as well capacity enhancement, across the entire energy sector value chain. During the panel, speakers discussed how Africa can fast-track the creation of an investor-friendly environment, while still increasing local capacity.

“At this stage in Africa, we have come to the realization that someone has to be responsible, and for the first time, we have to take responsibility for the sector,” stated H.E. Minister Lima. “When the lockdown started, flights and movements stopped, and many ex-pats could not fly or work. Could we actually continue operations with just national companies? The answer was yes, and for five months, Equatorial Guinea was operating almost 90% domestically. Our installations were operated by our own people, and so it was thanks to COVID-19 that we realized this.”

“Ghanaians took over the Liquefied Natural Gas processing facility. We have built a reasonable local capacity to operate this facility. I am so hopeful that it is potential for Africa to develop, but we have to start doing it. If we make the effort to develop our capacity, then we will be able to do that,” added H.E. Deputy Minister Dr Adam.

read more
Oil & Gas

Monetizing Natural Gas in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

Africa’s natural gas resources have the potential to accelerate socio-economic growth and eradicate energy poverty. Accordingly, many nations are seeking enhanced investment in order to maximize and monetize resources. As the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, aims to build on this momentum, promoting innovative strategies to monetization, addressing challenges hindering development, and chartering a way forward for the African gas sector.

Speaking at an investor forum under the theme ‘Monetizing Natural Gas: Current Opportunities and Challenges,’ panel participants investigated Africa’s natural gas landscape. Participants at the panel included Mamadou Goumble, CEO Energy Business, JCG; Frank Fannon, Former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources; Olakunle Williams, CEO, QSL; Dr Tshepo Mokoka, COO, CEF; Gabriel Lorenzi, VP of Sales, Galileo Technologies; and Taiwo Okwor; Vice President, Investments, African Finance Corporation.

During the discussion, participants provided insight into how African gas projects can be made more bankable and attractive for international investors. With the continent aggressively pursuing the development of its natural gas resources so as to ensure sustainable socio-economic growth, Africa’s gas has garnered significant regional and international attention.

“The limitation that we as African countries have from a research and development point of view. There are two constraints for us to develop: financing and technology. We have to find ways of financing our own development. You need to find better ways of opening up the space. If we depend more on FDI, we rely on Ministers in Europe,” stated Dr Mokoka.

If you want to develop your natural gas you need to think about transmission aspects and distributions aspects to both the domestic and international market

“At the end of the day, it is about risk and reward. Some of the key things are around the regulatory framework and lack of credibility, of which one of the key points is transparency. There needs to be predictability and a regulatory framework that is planned for the long term. The second aspect is around the security of supply. There need to be ample gas reserves and uninterrupted supply. Another other aspect is around lack of regional integration. There is no realistic approach to planning infrastructure assets. If you want to develop your natural gas you need to think about transmission aspects and distributions aspects to both the domestic and international market. If you can address these, you will see a lot more international and local investors,” stated Okwor.

“We strongly believe small scale is the solution. From a financial point of view, it is always easier for financial organizations to approach the financing of smaller projects that can be scaled. This will be a gamechanger. Start small and then scale up. We need to provide jobs while at the same time providing solutions to scale up,” stated Lorenzi.

Meanwhile, the panel discussed actionable strategies to enhance investor interest in gas infrastructure projects across Africa. With the African Continent Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) providing new and improved trade opportunities for stakeholders within the energy industry, the panel promoted intra-African gas markets, made possible through enhanced infrastructure developments.

“The AfCFTA is a wonderful opportunity for everyone in Africa. it will open up the market. Already the testament of the AfCFTA is already being shown. In June 2021 a 1 single electricity market was passed. How do you integrate yourself into one energy market in Africa? 60% of the world today is used for manufacturing. We need to channel more gas towards our industries, creating a supply chain that will take our gas resources to demand centers around Africa,” stated Williams.

“It is an execution issue in my opinion. How are countries at the individual level going to execute? How are we going to get the high level of coordination down to execution? By having these energy trade relationships, it creates a halo effect of stability, economic integration and cooperation. With the high level and political will, there will be a model of success,” stated Fannon.

Africa’s significant resources and emerging project developments will not only create opportunities for African countries but offer the chance for Africa to assist Europe with its current gas crisis. With existing pipeline infrastructure in place already supplying Europe, panel participants discussed how to enhance supply chain networks.

“In Africa we have two kinds of countries, those with gas and those without. Those with gas are left with the question of how to use it. By using gas throughout the region, it will be able to help us tap into global markets. Let us get the foundation sorted to be able to have a suitable market before we manage to export,” stated Mamadou.

read more
Business

IFC Partners Liquid Intelligent Technologies to Boost Africa’s Digital Infrastructure

To support universal and affordable broadband access in Africa, IFC has partnered with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to expand data center capacity and the rollout of fiber-optic cable on the continent.

The partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Africa’s leading independent fiber and digital services provider, aims to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and to support the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

IFC’s equity and debt investments in Liquid Intelligent Technologies, which to date total approximately $250 million, will support the company to grow its hyper-scale data center capacity in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa through its subsidiary, Africa Data Centres. As Africa’s population grows and is increasingly urbanized, data consumption is expected to grow strongly, and with this comes the need for secure local data hosting.

The investments will also support Liquid Intelligent Technologies in the continued rollout of its fiber broadband network, which today covers more than 100,000 kilometers of sub-Saharan Africa. The continued build-out of its network will help to connect businesses and individuals to the Internet across the continent and position Liquid intelligent Technologies to be at the forefront of Africa’s digital transformation with the provision of complementary digital services.

The investments in our data centers and fiber broadband network will directly support our growth plans over the coming years

“We are very pleased that IFC continues to support Liquid. The investments in our data centers and fiber broadband network will directly support our growth plans over the coming years by encouraging the adoption of new services such as Cloud and other digital services, services that are critical in driving sustainable development across Africa,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Executive Chairman and Founder.

“Digital technologies are rapidly transforming how people, businesses, and governments communicate, transact, and access information and services. By working with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, we can help expand access to infrastructure and digital services that power Africa’s digital economy, creating new opportunities for growth and jobs. This is an essential element for Africa’s economic transformation and building back better,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.

Digital infrastructure is the backbone of the digital economy, but sub-Saharan Africa needs around $100 billion in investment to achieve universal, affordable, and high-quality broadband access by 2030, according to the Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development (https://bit.ly/3H3XUJ5). To achieve universal broadband access, the continent needs at least 250,000 kilometers of new fiber (https://bit.ly/3H3Y2Iz).

IFC’s digital strategy in Africa is aimed at enabling ubiquitous, reliable, and affordable connectivity. This includes investing in the growth of independent tower operators, data centers, and broadband, as well as support to mobile operators primarily in fragile and conflict situations (FCS) and low-Income International Development Association countries (LIC-IDA).

IFC’s latest investment in Liquid follows its investment in the company in February 2021 through Liquid’s bond placement on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange. The issuance raised $620 million.

read more