African Energy Week: Driving Regional Energy Growth in Central Africa

energytransitionAfrican Energy Week in Cape Town has emphasised market-driven policies, local content development and an enabling environment for the growth of the continent

Through a series of high-level meetings with industry leaders and international oil companies in Leoncio Amada NZE, African Energy Chamber executive president for the CEMAC region, is driving a strong narrative on the role of regulation and an enabling environment in accelerating investment in Equatorial Guinea.

By promoting African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa as the ideal platform whereby global and African stakeholders can network and collaborate, he is driving an Africa-focused narrative and pushing for a multi-stakeholder approach to attracting investment and establishing a competitive African market both Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region.

The CEMAC region comprising Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo, is endowed with multiple natural resources, in which a recent oil and gas boom has the potential to accelerate economic growth and alleviate energy poverty throughout the region. Despite comprising one of the richest areas on the continent- with existing production levels at 700,000 barrels of oil per day and five million tons of LNG per annum- the CEMAC region also remains one of the most challenging business environments in Africa.

One of the primary challenges hindering investment in the CEMAC region concerns excessive regulations such as the Bank of Central African States’ (BEAC) newly established foreign exchange (forex) policies. By increasing operational costs and reducing the ease of doing business across the region, such regulations reduce the appeal for foreign investors, rendering the region uncompetitive. With the focus on an effective COVID-19 recovery and accelerated energy sector growth requiring significant amounts of foreign capital, disrupting regulations such as the BEAC’s could significantly hamper any progress made by the region in recent years.

In a bid to promote AEW 2021 and invite international participation at Africa’s premier energy event, Leoncio Amada NZE met with Jesus Alfonso Osa and representatives from ExxonMobil’s Malabo team to discuss how the oil and gas industry can drive an economic transformation in the CEMAC region. Through events such as AEW 2021 in Cape Town, ExxonMobil can enhance partnerships and promote growth across the CEMAC region.

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