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South Africa: African Energy Chamber (AEC) to Host Local Content, Business Development Roundtable at Namibian International Energy Conference (NIEC) 2023

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is pleased to announce that it will host a roundtable at 12:30 on Tuesday 25 April at the Namibian International Energy Conference (NIEC) 2023. Taking place under the theme, ‘Business Development in Oil and Gas,’ the roundtable serves as a foundation for investing in and developing Africa’s oil and gas resources while exploring opportunities for Namibian stakeholders and business players across the country’s burgeoning oil and gas industry.

Hosted by the AEC, speakers include Robert Mwanachilenga, General Manager of Reconnaissance Energy Namibia and Anthony Paul, Energy, Policy & Strategy Advisor. The roundtable will focus on local content, discussing opportunities for Namibian-owned businesses and stakeholders, while advocating for oil and gas monetization in Africa. It will emphasize Africa’s vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas as critical resources to provide consistent power supply for over 600 million people currently lacking access to electricity.

Despite holding vast quantities of oil and gas, lack of investment in major producing countries, delayed exploration campaigns in potential markets and global pressure to reduce oil and gas utilization has significantly delayed development progress in Africa. However, recent trends are expected to turn this around with new discoveries being made in Namibia – at the Venus, Graff and Jonker wells – accelerated exploration campaigns in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, among others, and large-scale infrastructure projects being developed in Angola, Uganda, Senegal and Mauritania. These developments not only make a strong case for investment opportunities in Africa but are set to transform the economic space through new supplies being brought on the market, the opening of economic opportunities such as job prospects and infrastructure rollout on a large-scale basis.

In Namibia, for example, the three major oil and gas discoveries made in 2022 and 2023 by global energy majors Shell, TotalEnergies and Qatar Energy promise new opportunities for both domestic market growth and regional economic development. Since these discoveries, E&P players have been quick to seize the opportunities present in the basin with the launch of new exploration campaigns country-wide. Reconnaissance Africa, for instance, is actively exploring the Kavango Basin. Additionally, the country has made significant progress in regional collaboration, engaging with neighboring countries such as Angola, South Africa, and Equatorial Guinea to establish partnerships and foster knowledge-sharing. These advancements are anticipated to create more opportunities for investors, and the roundtable discussion will provide clear insights on these prospects.

The opportunities created by these three major discoveries transcend energy supplies, with the AEC roundtable exploring what these developments will mean for Namibian-owned businesses. In addition to job creation opportunities, Namibia’s nascent oil and gas market is expected to trigger newfound prospects for business expansion and involvement, as more Namibians turn their attention to the high-potential hydrocarbons sector. During the roundtable, speakers will investigate how Namibians can seize opportunities created by the discoveries, the opportunities for enhancing the participation of women and youth in the industry, and how businesses and people can build partnerships, forge joint ventures and drive the industry into a new era of success. It will also provide insight into the AEC’s recently launched local content office in Namibia, detailing how the office will serve to promote local content and capacity building across the entire energy value chain.

The roundtable will play an important role in bringing together experts, stakeholders and key players in the industry to discuss the challenges, opportunities and strategies for promoting sustainable growth and development across the African oil and gas sector. Such discussions will help identify key trends and issues facing the industry, such as unproductive policies, global market dynamics and investment trends while speakers being to explore ways to overcome these challenges and maximize opportunities. On the engagement side, the roundtable will serve as a crucial platform for the facilitation of networking and collaboration across the industry, as delegates share insights, experiences and best practices. Critically, the roundtable will promote dialogue, knowledge sharing and collaboration, serving as the foundation for sustainable growth on the back of industry-focused dialogue and knowledge exchange.

“The AEC-hosted roundtable discussion at the NIEC 2023 represents a crucial opportunity for driving the conversation around Africa’s oil and gas resources in the 2023, energy-transition landscape. Africa cannot afford to leave its oil and gas in the ground. Africa needs these resources to develop, industrialize and electrify its economies, ensuring long-term and sustainable economic progress. Africa’s oil and gas resources give it a competitive edge and the roundtable will focus on how to invest, where to invest and why to invest in Africa. We look forward to hosting a lively discussion around business development in oil and gas,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

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