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Africa Oil & Power Conference kicks off

Africa Oil & Power Conference kicks off

The fourth annual Africa Oil & Power (AOP) conference commenced in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday.

Petroleum ministers from across the continent landed at the CTICC for the conference and exhibition which continues until 11 October to discuss the future of Africa’s energy industry..

Through its theme #MakeEnergyWork, the 2019 AOP conference has set out to be a catalyst for greater economic growth and development through facilitating key conversations on the substantial role the energy sector has in empowering other sectors and building thriving and competitive economies.

Kicking off the powerful three-day programme, the day began with keynote addresses from Guillaume Doane, CEO of Africa Oil & Power; NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, Senegal’s Minister of Petroleum; Energy and H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.

“The energy industry is the economic engine of the African continent. We must and we can do more to attract more investment,” said Guillaume Doane, who also challenged industry decision-makers with important questions that are necessary in Africa achieving prosperity.

“Investors, are you ready to make Africa a bigger priority of your spending agenda? African governments, are you prepared to do what it takes to create a better environment for investors to come in. The time is now for Africa to be the leading destination for global energy investment. We must and we can do more,” he said.

H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea also delivered a keynote address in which he noted the role the oil and gas sector plays in Africa’s development and, championed the energy sector as critical in Africa’s growth. Putting it clearly, he said: “Oil and gas is good for Africa. I will repeat it again, oil and gas is good for Africa.” Adding that, “The future of resources in Africa is going to be gas.”

Representing H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, Minister Cissé spoke of the West African nations’ hydrocarbon potential and outline the government’s plans in leveraging this potential to see through greater economic growth: “Senegal’s presidential vision in the oil and gas space is driven by one key, goal: local content,” he said.

“Local content is not only an outstanding component of social inclusion and job creation, it also makes sense from an economic standpoint.”

On the importance of new investment relationships and especially, intra-Africa cooperation in making energy work for greater economic growth, NJ Ayuk encouraged delegates to engage in the dynamic presentations and gain first-hand knowledge of a wealth of investment opportunities in countries like Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and South Africa.

“We need to see African nations engage each other more, as the intra-African energy dialogue has remained too low given the natural resources potential of our continent,” he said.

The keynote addresses were followed by the minister’s panel which featured H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Senegal; Hon. Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Gambia; H.E. Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Somalia and H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial.

In the ministers’ panel, Challenging the Status Quo – Making Energy Work for Africa, moderated by CNN’s Africa Editor Eleni Giokos, Minister Obiang Lima expressed his optimism that investors would return to Africa citing Africa’s hydrocarbon potential as a massive draw card for global investors. With this however, he noted the lack of necessary infrastructure in Africa’s energy sector as one of the major factors that have held back progress particularly in the LNG industry.

With the country concluding its licensing round, Minister Obiang Lima, also shared that the results of the EG Ronda would be available on 1 November 2019. And said while his ministry focused on “drill or drop” in 2019, 2020 would be anchored by “invest or drop”

During his AOP Talk, Guillaume Doane addressed key challenges and opportunities in Africa’s oil, gas and power sectors. He reminded the room that, “Africa continues to be amongst the top regions for making large oil and gas discoveries. In 2016, five of the 10 largest oil discoveries were in Africa. Whether it’s Mozambique, Angola, Senegal, or the Republic of Congo when companies drill, they tend to find oil more frequently than the world average.”

On the power sector, he provided that, “Solving South Africa’s and the rest of the continent’s power problem will require more market liberalization, more privatization, more public-private partnerships. Making that possible will demand that we change our mindset just as much as we change our policies.”

The AOP conference continues until 11 October, programme highlights include the launch of the Africa Energy Series investment reports on Angola, Senegal, South Africa.


 

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.