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Official Africa Oil Week 2017 Recap

Africa Oil Week 2017 featuring ministers from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, along with independent oil companies including, Tullow Oil, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Eni Spa and Sasol.

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Gastech appoints Anne-Sophie ahead of 2023

Gastech has announced the appointment of Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a Global Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs as Co-chair of its new Governing Body.

Anne-Sophie Corbeau’s academic work focuses on hydrogen and natural gas, but she is equally passionate about nurturing the next generation of talent in the energy sector. She was once part of the sector’s “next-generation” herself: “I started working on fuel cells and hydrogen 20 years ago,” she says. “I was way too early for my time!”

After switching research focus to natural gas, Anne-Sophie took a job with Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and from there moved to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Her time at the IEA coincided with the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/08. The need to better understand short-term gas market movements led her to develop a short-term gas market forecast – the first such IEA report to focus on natural gas. It went on to become the IEA quarterly Gas Market Report, which remains a vital industry tool to this day.

After the IEA, she joined the then-nascent King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Saudi Arabia. Initially drawn to the challenge of something “completely different”, Anne-Sophie enjoyed three years at KAPSARC, before the strain of separation from family, who’d remained in Paris, proved too much. She moved to bp in September 2017, as Head of Gas Analysis – her first role with a major energy company. Reporting directly to Chief Economist Spencer Dale, she helped to grow bp’s renowned suite of research, and was centrally involved with the annual Statistical Review and Energy Outlook reports. Newly based in London, she was much closer to home, but the COVID-19 lockdown again left her feeling unhappily remote from her family. The opportunity to return to Paris and work with CGEP on advancing “smart, actionable and evidence-based energy solutions” was too good to refuse. Her longstanding professional acquaintance with Jason Bordoff, CGEP founder and former Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, only served to make the transition easier.

Anne-Sophie is also a published author, having written multiple long-form academic research papers, and shorter-form commentary-led articles for a variety of outlets.

“I’ve known Anne-Sophie since her time at KAPSARC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” says Paul Sullivan, Co-chair of the Gastech Governing Body, and Senior Vice President at Worley. “I have absolutely no doubt that she’ll bring a fresh perspective to the role. Her background in business research and strategy will be equally insightful. Gastech is already known as a forum for peerless thought-leadership; with Anne-Sophie taking a bigger role in the development of our content, we can only build on that well-deserved reputation.”

“The breadth of Anne-Sophie’s professional experience made her an obvious choice,” adds fellow co-chair, Nick Milne, Managing Director – Upstream Energy Capital, Macquarie Bank. “She has already made valuable contributions to recent Gastech programmes, both as a Governing Body member and conference speaker. Her knowledge of the lower-carbon energy space and genuine commitment to empowering the next generation of energy professionals made it a perfect fit.”

Although Anne-Sophie attended her first Gastech in 2012, she cites her second Gastech experience, in 2017 in Japan, as the point at which the penny dropped: “I presented a paper that was titled ‘LNG for Africa’. It was only then that I really became aware of just how important Gastech is. What I like most is that it has really evolved with the industry. At the very beginning it was a gas conference, but now it is a gases conference. We talk as much about green gases and hydrogen as we do about natural gas.”

And she is in no doubt that the event has only grown in importance over recent years. “We are facing the biggest energy crisis in history. It’s the conjunction of a huge geopolitical event and the bigger problem of climate change. We need to do something about emissions.”

It’s a call to action that has been repeated across the globe. Gastech 2023 is a unique opportunity for energy leaders of today and tomorrow to agree on a roadmap for the future health, wellbeing, and prosperity of the planet.

“I am delighted to welcome Anne-Sophie as a Co-Chair of the Gastech Governing body,” says Sarah Howell, Vice President – Energy, dmg events. “We first met through the ExxonMobil Power Play which supports women working across the energy and LNG sector. It’s critical that we have a more diverse representation across the sector, and I hope that by welcoming Anne-Sophie to the Governing Body we will be able to encourage more women to submit abstracts during our call for papers for the technical and commercial conference, and increase the female participation at Gastech, and throughout the energy industry in general.”

The Gastech 2023 Governing Body is made up of a senior, select group of professionals spanning the full gas, LNG, hydrogen, and energy supply chain. The Governing Body is a 60-member committee focused on ensuring the conference supports research of the highest standards. Individuals who serve on the committee must complete an application for selection to ensure the appropriate balance of knowledge, skills, experience, diversity, and independence of the Governing Body is maintained.

Speakers featuring in the technical and commercial conferences are usually selected by the Gastech Governing Body based on abstracts submitted in response to the call for papers.

Coming at a very critical time, her appointment sets the stage for uniqueness and exhaustive contents as Gastech prepares for its yearly gas feast taking place from 5-8 September 2023 in Singapore. It is one of the major fora for companies across the energy value chain to showcase the latest technological innovations in a rapidly evolving energy landscape.

Known as one of the world’s largest natural gas, LNG, hydrogen, low carbon solutions, and climate technologies event, is billed to attract upwards of 40,000 international visitors and providing heads of state, government officials, ministerial and global business leaders, disruptors, innovators, and students with a platform to engage in conversation.

An internationally renowned event will feature more than 600 speakers across the value chain but experts in their own fields to discuss crucial industry topics, including energy industry megatrends, net zero ambitions, next generation energy solutions, project funding, investor activism, and energy justice.

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Reps engage three oil operators on tax matters

The APC-led House of Representatives has questioned Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, TotalEnergies and First E&P over alleged tax evasion.

The companies appeared before the ad hoc Committee investigating the Structure and Accountability of the Joint Venture (JV) Business and Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) of the NNPC since 1990 to date.

Abubakar Fulata, the Chairman of the committee was reported to have frowned at their operations regarding the payment of taxes to Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) Service. Noting FIRS does not rely on Stock Certificate of Crude Oil as well as Certificate of Acceptance of fixed Assets (CAFA).

The Committee was of the opinion that the Stock Certificates gave clearer pictures of the oil being lifted while the CAFA certificate was the basis for capital allowances claims.

Bashir Bello, leading the Shell delegation who also promised to furnish the Committee with the relevant documents except the CAFA certification said that SPDC had been in operation since 1929 and so has no fears whatsoever.

The Committee said Shell, Total and First E & P were in violation of Nigeria Law for making capital allowances claims without the CAFA Certificate.

The companies in their separate submissions and presentations admitted they had been in operation and relying on Petroleum Tax Act to make capital allowance claims, adding that the CAFA was domiciled with the Ministry of Industry.

The Committee was also reported to have maintained that it was not only the PT Act they were bound to obey, insisting that they had no power to choose which law to obey or disobey.

The panel demanded that the oil companies, among other things, furnished the Committee with stock certificate, capital allowance enjoyed and the contributions to NNPC-JV and PSCs Account, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reported.

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Verisk announces sale of Wood Mackenzie to Veritas Capital

Transaction drives enhanced shareholder value and makes Verisk a dedicated strategic technology partner to the insurance industry, while creating a global independent data services market leader in Wood Mackenzie serving the energy, renewables and natural resources industry

Verisk (Nasdaq: VRSK), a leading global data analytics provider, and Veritas Capital (“Veritas”), a leading investor at the intersection of technology and government, have announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which an affiliate of Veritas has agreed to acquire Verisk’s Energy business, Wood Mackenzie, for $3.1 billion in cash consideration payable at closing plus future additional contingent consideration of up to $200 million.

Wood Mackenzie is a globally recognized industry leader that has been providing quality data, analytics, and insights used to power the energy, renewables, and natural resources industry for nearly 50 years. Wood Mackenzie’s Lens platform, according to a press statement posted to Energy Window International, enables world class analytics and insights to drive critical decision making for the company’s longstanding clients that operate at the leading edge of the rapidly evolving energy sector. Adding that since it joined Verisk in 2015, Wood Mackenzie has developed strong data and analytics capabilities which has also positioned it at the nexus of energy industry tailwinds, offering clients leading renewable energy and energy transition data and analytics, intended and ultimately positioned towards transforming the way the planet is powered.

“This transaction best positions Verisk to expand our role as a strategic data, analytics, and technology partner to the global insurance industry, and as a result, drive growth and returns that will create long-term shareholder value,” said Lee Shavel, Verisk CEO. “It will also further advance Wood Mackenzie’s competitive position and support the vital roles both organizations play in their respective industries.”

“As co-presidents of Wood Mackenzie, Mark Brinin and Joe Levesque have demonstrated remarkable leadership and have continued to grow the business by relentlessly innovating on behalf of their clients. We’re proud to have supported Wood Mackenzie’s growth and are confident in their bright future as part of Veritas,” Shavel added.

The announcement, seen as Verisk’s latest demonstration in its continued efforts to optimize the business for peak performance and long-term sustainable growth and value came after an in-depth portfolio review and consideration to divest its financial services and environmental health and safety businesses earlier this year.

Veritas brings deep sector knowledge and operational expertise to Wood Mackenzie. As a premier investor in technology and technology-enabled companies that provide critical products, software, and services to government and commercial customers worldwide, the firm is uniquely positioned to further advance Wood Mackenzie’s goal of accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future.

“Drawing from its decades of leadership and innovation, Wood Mackenzie is playing a vital role at the forefront of the global energy transition by providing essential data and insights to organizations across the value chain,” says Ramzi Musallam, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Veritas. “In partnership with Wood Mackenzie leadership, and with the strong backing of our strategic investment, we have an opportunity to enhance and expand the datasets and solutions the company provides to its growing customer base, from upstream producers who are looking to decarbonize to new energy asset managers who want to optimize their investments.”

The total purchase price according to the press statement will be subject to typical adjustments for, among other things, the working capital and the debt of the business at closing. This is as Verisk intends to use the after-tax proceeds to pay down debt and return value to shareholders through share repurchases.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, the statement indicated. Verisk also intends to announce its third-quarter 2022 results afterwards. Details on the quarterly announcement and investor teleconference to be held Wednesday, November 2, 2022, can be found at https://investor.verisk.com.

Morgan Stanley & Co LLC is acting as financial advisor, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal advisor to Verisk in the deal, while Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as legal advisor to Veritas.

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Local Content and Asset Transfer: Weighing Africa’s readiness

“We can see the majors starting to talk about their energy transition, with them now focusing on carbon emissions and leaving the long-hanging fruit behind where local African companies can make a significant living from. This is a natural handover and we are helping, starting as operator in charge of getting the finance and then gradually help you pick up the remaining skills you have been lacking to take over operatorship with us as a strong partner.”

With the challenge arising from the growing concern for climate change, and the aggression with which the IOCs are navigating away from oil into new energy frontiers, speakers at the just concluded Africa Energy Week brainstormed on certain key areas including whether or not African companies and technical staff are ready to harness the opportunities which are still present within the assets originally owed by IOCs who are also relinquishing them to harness new business opportunities.

Kicking off discussions, Robin Sutherland, President and CEO, Baobab Energy Africa stated: “We can see the majors starting to talk about their energy transition, with them now focusing on carbon emissions and leaving the long-hanging fruit behind where local African companies can make a significant living from. This is a natural handover and we are helping, starting as operator in charge of getting the finance and then gradually help you pick up the remaining skills you have been lacking to take over operatorship with us as a strong partner.”

Expanding on this natural evolution, Dr. James Edet, President Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationist, NAPE stated said: “A lot of expertise is leaving the industry. So, who takes over? NAPE is involved in all kinds of training and business discussions, bringing a lot of young people up. We need to change the way we educate our students and young people. Training and education are key.”

Engineer Fuad Mosa, General supervisor of Local Content, Risks and Crises Management, Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia said: “The subject of local content and securing energy is key. To secure energy in a sustainable way, you need to think about local content. You need to first understand your value position. Our leaders thought long-term about how to leverage our value position. Based on this, we have set up the right incentives in order to create demand. Local content starts by creating demand.”

Focusing on Nigeria, Yemi Adetunji, Group Executive Director Downstream, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd, emphasized that “the country’s downstream sector is 100% Nigerian. We have had the benefit of a long period of development. Development has moved through the IOCs, and we have acquired a lot of experience in this time. Even when the majors were in the country, Nigeria had 60% of these operations so it was easy for us to take over that. Now, with IOCs leaving shallow waters to focus on deep offshore basins, Nigerians are ready to take this over.”

Meanwhile, Tony Paul, the African Development Bank Advisor stated that he has “admired what Nigeria has done,” adding that, “The level of projects allows you to invest in capacity. Firstly, you have the capacity to oversee it: the regulator, and then you have the projects and the capacity building. Ghana has done something similar and moving forward, putting in place a regulator but they have a small population with lots of projects. The level of implementation is based significantly on the market base. Regulatory frameworks give clarity and consistency but you need someone to oversee it and implement it.”

Moving on to Equatorial Guinea, Jacinto Owono, Local Content, Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea said: “When we started exploring, we did not want to invent the wheel. We sat down and planned the journey with people who have done it before. This way, we were able to put our local content framework in place. Now, we encourage partnerships and create joint ventures with companies who have expertise. We feel that sooner or later, we will take our destiny in our own hands.”

With international oil companies moving ahead with divestment strategies, prioritizing renewable projects above oil and gas, African NOCs and independents are stepping up to the challenge, with speakers providing insight financing as well as the organization driving local content in Africa.

According to Ejike Egbuagu, CEO/Founder, Moneda Invest Africa “We are faced with the possibility of being locked out of financing, but we still need to develop. So, we need to think about how to channel African funds into African projects. For the purpose of scale and fulfilling the interests we have jointly, we need to recognize Africa as one block and be able to pull together demand and then look at funding as a block. We have coined the term ‘African content’ and we want to see African countries adopting this. We want to see Nigerian companies operating in Namibia, creating skills and transfer programs. We created Moneda to be a bridge between banking and execution.”

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How Africa will improve its energy efficiency – Panel

“If you want to be green while continuing to provide baseload, you will need to invest in LNG.” This was Karl Staubo, CEO Golar LNG, as he made his keynote presentation during a panel discussion with the title, “Africa’s LNG Revolution: Solution for Africa and the World”, held during the African Energy Week conference in South Africa. It was a conversation around leveraging Africa’s vast natural gas resources, with LNG as a catalyst and fast-track to address the continent’s looming electricity crisis, developing and monetizing it where necessary for revenue and economic growth purposes

Staubo said that natural gas and LNG were the second-fastest growing energy sectors through 2050 because the resource can provide baseload power.

Commenting on why LNG is important for African consumers, Asante said “LNG is the least atmospheric-offensive energy resource compared to other resources available for Africa. Stating that most of the power generation in Africa currently is thermal, with gas basically as the fuel of choice.

“Using oil to generate 1,000 MW of power, we needed 4,000 barrels per day, which costs $70 million. But with gas the bill is now half, meaning gas is cheap. In terms of carbon emissions, with oil we used to emit 8.3 million tons of carbon. But now with LNG, we are only emitting 1.2 million tons. We are also planning to use gas as a feedstock for industries including cement and plastic, beyond power generation, to decarbonize our wider economy. LNG is the only resource at the moment that can help us address power outages. With LNG, we can store and use the energy at a later time, unlike piped gas, which you have to use instantly.”

Miloyan while lending his voice also on the significance and benefits of LNG said: “it is a reliable source of energy and it is flexible as it avoids bottlenecks created by geopolitics. In terms of good health to the community, LNG is one of the best solutions and in regard to job creation, provides long-term opportunities and skills development.”

Speaking on the challenges hindering the growth of the African LNG industry, Asante said: “Infrastructure has been the main barrier to transporting and trading gas across Africa. Ghana is a net-importer of gas, although we have local production from three fields. However, our demand is so huge that we will have to import. Among 55 countries in Africa, 16 are landlocked, hence an opportunity for the continent to use shipping and LNG to address energy poverty.”

Mitchell said, “Funding is one of the biggest challenges. Only 33% of the continent’s proven resources are economically recoverable. Hence, Africa needs to develop local markets and invest in its entire energy value chain and build an integrated energy system.”

Ilyanin highlighted that, with cooperation among African countries vital to ensuring energy security, Africa is yet to explore regional LNG trading to boost industry growth. Adding that LNG provides a solution for the continent to exploit and monetize stranded assets.

In agreement with Ilyanin’s notion, Kane reiterated, “With 85% of gas produced in Africa exported, we need to make sure that the LNG is leveraged in Africa to address continental energy challenges and to ensure the system is cost effective. Africa needs to focus on developing its own gas market.”

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Fulfill your pledge – Prof Urama tells industrialized nations

African Development Bank Group (Acting Chief Economist and Vice President Kevin Urama has called for more robust capacity development and research on the impact of climate change in Africa.

Urama made the call when he presented the African Development Bank’s African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2022 report to senior faculty members of Harvard University’s Center for African Studies recently.

The report titled, Supporting Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition in Africa, highlights the growing threat climate change poses to lives and livelihoods in Africa.

Several Harvard University experts who participated in Urama’s presentation were James Stock, Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability; Emmanuel Akyeampong, Oppenheimer Faculty Director, Harvard Center for African Studies; Peter Huybers, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences; and George Sarrinikolaou, Assistant Provost for Climate and Sustainability.

While highlighting the need for African countries to take advantage of opportunities presented by the green transition and climate change, Urama said Africa was home to most of the world’s green development minerals, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, rare earth, copper, aluminum, and natural.  Noting that these resources present Africa with huge potential to lead the world in the emerging climate-resilient development markets.

“Continued investment in high carbon energy sources presents significant asset-stranding risks as technologies, policies, and markets are increasingly shifting towards the green transition,” he added.

Urama said world leaders must take climate finance and just energy transitions in Africa more seriously while urging industrialized countries to fulfill the pledge made at the 2009 COP meetings to provide developing nations with $100 billion in climate finance.

He further highlighted the importance of holding further discussion on the financial preconditions for supporting climate resilience and the just energy transition at the next COP27 meeting. Those talks, he said, should include an open conversation on the loss and damages that African countries face owing to climate change impacts.

He added that the current framework for financing climate action favors countries that are more resilient over those that are more susceptible to the effects of climate change, as participants also decried misappropriation of the financial resources for climate change in Africa, insisting that the situation poses huge problems.

Research meanwhile has shown that nine of the world’s ten most vulnerable countries to climate change are in Africa, as the impact of climate change on lives and livelihoods is already costing Africa between 5 and 15% of its GDP per capita growth annually.

Urama said the African Development Fund (ADF), which is the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank Group, could serve as a vehicle for climate finance to reach fragile and climate-vulnerable countries. Adding that channeling climate financing through the African Development Fund has the tendency of accelerating the pace of climate action in these nations because the Bank can, according to him, leverage funds by up to four times.

A discussion also followed Urama’s presentation of the African Development Bank Group and Harvard University experts. Topics included areas for potential collaboration on work program development and implementation, focusing on inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa.

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US $25bn investment needed to guarantee worldwide electricity access by 2030

  • Finance solutions for infrastructure as key to Africa-Europe trade reality
  • Africa must strengthen ties with the West and its financial institutions
  • Balancing the gains of sacrificing oil on the altar of renewables

As the European Union (EU) restructures its plans for energy security in light of shifting geopolitical realities, the Africa-Europe Roundtable – organized on the first day of African Energy Week 2022) in Cape Town believes that the role of the African continent in advancing the global energy revolution and supplying Europe with energy security cannot be overemphasized.

Roundtable speakers which include Hon. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa; Eng. Fuad Mosa, General Supervisor of Local Content, Risks and Crises Management, Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia; Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO of AppsTech; Nangula Uaandja, CEO of the Namibian Investment Promotion Development Board; Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); and Anja Casper-Berretta, Head of Energy Security and Climate Change in sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The panel was moderated by Eleni Giokos, CNN Anchor and Correspondent.

Setting the pace, Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, on the current state of the energy mix, said:

“We are heavily dependent on coal generation. Renewables now supply only about 10% of energy in South Africa. But the first problem we have is the polarized energy debate, which doesn’t achieve solutions. We must transition, but we must be very practical in our transition.”

“We believe that the new energy mix will have everything – coal, oil, gas, renewables. All types of energy creation will continue,” Eng. Fuad Mosa, General Supervisor of Local Content, Risks and Crises Management for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy added.

“The world has been blessed with resources and our ultimate goal is securing the right volumes of energy at the right price. In Saudi Arabia, we will continue accelerating oil and its role in the global energy mix, while natural gas and renewable energies also need to be expanded.”

Noting that till date, African oil producers have largely exported crude oil to China, with a few exceptions of North African producers who export to Europe. However, current sanctions against Russian gas and the ongoing war in Ukraine has reignited interest in African hydrocarbon and renewable energy projects alike, which could result in billions of new investments into emerging energy markets like Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Nangula Uaandja, CEO of the Namibian Investment Promotion Development Board also said: “In Namibia, there have been recent discoveries of oil and gas. We are one of the few countries where renewables can be produced at relatively low prices.” Then adding rhetorically, he said: “How can we produce energy at lower rates so that we can export to Europe? It is definitely possible to use countries like Namibia, where our carbon emissions are already some of the lowest in the region.”

“From the European perspective, for a long time, the acute need for access to energy was not so dominant,” said Anja Casper-Berretta, Head of Energy Security and Climate Change in sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Adenauer Foundation. “Yet in Africa, you can’t have an energy transition discussion in countries where more than half of the population doesn’t have access to electricity. So energy security comes from a very different angle. How do we assure energy security? Diversification is a key component. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a more practical approach to finding pragmatic solutions to the current crisis.”

He stated that to make an Africa-Europe energy trade a reality – even later down the line – would be contingent on ensuring the availability of financing solutions for energy infrastructure development. Prior to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a growing number of multilateral financial institutions had reduced or eliminated their support of fossil fuels altogether, in accord with the Paris Agreement and climate concerns. Now, the African continent will need to strengthen ties with the West and its associated financial institutions to forge global energy partnerships and guarantee energy security and project stability.

“Unlocking financing for investment is crucial for addressing not only the clean energy transition, but also the energy access issue,” stated Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA. “Our estimates show that in order to achieve universal access to electricity 2030, 90 million would need to gain access on average every day from now until 2030. This will require $25 billion in investment. It’s not impossible, but it will require clear policy and commitment and a more flexible approach to financing.”

“In the issue of funding, we also have to think about risk capital,” added Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO of AppsTech. “A lot of the risk capital that goes into energy projects does not go to local entrepreneurs. A few years ago, a famous start-up in Nairobi raised about $260 milion for pay-as-you-go solar panels – and failed – because no one knew how to fix and maintain them. We need to look at where the capital is going. Is it going to local founders who understand the local ecosystem and needs of the people and build wealth?”

“In South Africa, we have not run across the problem of a lack of funding,” contrasted H.E. Minister Mantashe. “There is a lot of money going into renewables. The issue is that the money that goes into renewables does not compensate us for what we lose by moving out of the existing sectors. When funding for coal stops and flows to renewables, the capacity to help the same number of people is not comparable. It’s not apples and apples. You get less energy from more megawatts from renewables.”

For Africa, new investments could be critical to capitalizing on untapped hydrocarbon reserves left behind in the midst of the energy transition and green lending behavior. This according to Rystad Energy, has the capacity to trigger renewed European interest for African gas to ultimately boost African production from 260 billion cubic meters per day in 2022, to nearly 500 billion cubic meters by the late 2030s.

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ADIPEC sets strategic and technical energy transition agenda

The die is cast, the eagles are about to gather, the energy transition debate is gathering so much waves whose direction in the interim seems more centripetal than centrifugal, even with a few unresolved issues – issues of developmental disequilibrium, hence the contention among countries that net-zero targets must be based on economic, infrastructural and or industrial development peculiarities of economies – all of these articulations are just part of a comprehensive whole – knitted together through  extensive and exhaustive research and consultation that cut across a wide spectrum of the global audience by the ADIPEC team working in conjunction with the global event organizers – dmgevents group.

Live and in person, from the 31st October until the 3rd of November 2022 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the convention presents five key fundamentals upon which deliberations and arguments shall be predicated, geared towards accelerating the speed of consolidation on what should be a working template that takes into cognizance the concerns of both the developed and the developing economies on the ongoing global emission reduction or elimination debate.

With thousands of products and services spread across more than 2, 200 exhibition companies, which also comprise 54 NOGs, IOCs, NECs, IECs globally, who were equally reported to have expressed their readiness to provide unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers, the stage was therefore set for a heart-to-heart business engagements aimed at heralding a mutually-benefitting result.

Opportunities also abound as programmes have been compartmentalized to include what was called “specialized industry zones”, billed to run parallel with the principal event. They include, offshore and marine zone, digitalization in energy zone, smart manufacturing zone, and of course, the “newly launched” decarbonization zone – all of which are intended to serve as platforms and vistas for new business opportunities across the entire spectrum of the energy industry. Meanwhile, more than 28 international exhibition pavilions have been established for the purpose of enhancing proper networking, and providing exceptional opportunities for all categories of industry players, toward a robust energy transition conversation.

“This year, ADIPEC 2022 will accelerate the energy transition, unlock real value in a decarbonized future, showcase ground-breaking technologies and explore actionable strategies and solutions to the challenges and opportunities created by the complex global energy market dynamics of today.

“Taking place pre COP27, ADIPEC 2022 is positioned as the global forum for leaders to reinforce strategies and commitments that will drive the industry towards reducing emissions and meeting net-zero goals.

“It is against this backdrop that the ADIPEC 2022 conference programmes are shaped, providing both strategic and technical insights that gather over 1,200 global policy makers, energy CEOs and industry professionals to discuss key trends shaping the future of energy; what are the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition, geopolitical factors, new finance and partnership frameworks and the latest technical developments.”

Both the Strategic and Technical Brochures have been published and are available to download on the website, both the Strategic<https://www.adipec.com/conferences/strategic conference/> and Technical<https://www.adipec.com/conferences/technical-conference/

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Create quality jobs and provide social protection – UN Scribe urges

Secretary-General of the United Nations, UN António Guterres has urged governments across the world to quickly invest in quality job creation the and the provision of social protection for those without coverage.

Guterres was speaking during one of the sessions on the Global Accelerator on jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions initiative during the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

He had told leaders to focus on concrete solutions to implement the initiative and warned, “the path of inaction leads to economic collapse and climate catastrophe, widening inequalities and escalating social unrest and leave billions trapped in vicious circles of poverty and destitution.”

An initiative, launched in 2021 by the United Nations International Labour Organization, brings together governments, international financial institutions, civil societies, the UN, and the private sector to create 400 million new, decent jobs, especially in the green, care, and digital economies, and extend social protection to more than 4 billion people worldwide that are currently without coverage.

Present at the session were, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, Uganda’s Vice President Jessica Alupo, and Egypt’s Minister for Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.

The UN chief said Togo was one country among many others who made efforts to protect thousands of its citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic using what he called “innovative digital solutions to expand social protection to hard-to-reach populations.”

He equally commended South Africa for launching the Just Energy transition partnership, which according to him was a signal and an important step in the fight against climate change.

African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina also highlighted the bank’s rapid response to the Covid-19 pandemic, launched through its $10 billion facility assistance towards providing social protection for more than 28 million people. It was besides the $3 billion social impact bond on global capital markets launched in 2020.

“But that is not enough”, Dr. Adesina added, “We have to restructure our economies to be productive with education, infrastructure, energy and making sure we have productive sectors that can use people’s skills and absorb that into the economy.”

“At the African Development Bank, we have taken a proactive approach job, jobs, jobs approach,” said Adesina. As an example, he named the bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa program to create 25 million jobs by 2025. Nearly half of those jobs had already been delivered, he said.

To generate more jobs, Adesina cited sectors such as agriculture where the bank is investing $25 billion to transform rural areas and turn the sector into a business.

In the energy sector, Adesina gave the example of the Sahel region. “We are investing $20 billion to build 10000MW of electricity that will provide energy for productive use and create millions of jobs,” Adesina said. He added it was time for Africa to build a manufacturing capacity for polysilicon material that is used for solar panels “so that we can create a lot of green jobs.”

The creative industry especially Nigeria’s film industry, popularly known as Nollywood, is another area that requires significant investment given its potential to generate $20 billion of revenue and create twenty million jobs, Adesina said.

The UN expects each government to commit to the Global Accelerator initiative and its objectives by, among others, developing national policies and integrated strategies for just transitions.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera said given the financial constraints his country was facing, implementing the initiative would require the support of partners, donors, international financial institutions, and policy support from the UN system.

He said the overlapping crises of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and the war in eastern Europe, Malawi is left “to grapple with downgrades of our sovereign credit ratings, leading to higher borrowing costs and intensified debt risks.”

President Chakwera said his country was ready to be part of the fact-finding work of the Global Accelerator initiative.

Uganda’s Vice President Jessica Alupo said her government has initiated efforts to increase jobs for Uganda’s under 30 who make up 75% of the country’s population.

“We are increasing investment in skills development, supporting informal social enterprises to transition into the formal economy and supporting the private sector to create jobs in key growth areas, including providing incentives to investors,” she said.

Egypt’s Minister for Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said outlined various initiatives undertaken by her government to mitigate the impact of crises on people in Egypt.

“These include increasing beneficiaries of the cash transfer program to reach 5 million families in addition to substantially increasing food rations that benefit more than 64 million Egyptians,” she said.

“The government has embarked on an ambitious program, the Decent Life Initiative, to revamp the rural communities, and transform the lives of the more than 50 million Egyptians across 4,500 villages, constituting more than half of the total population,” she added.

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AfDB Group signs $20 million for Covid-19 off-grid recovery platforms

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $20 million concessional investment to support the second phase of the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP).

Making the approval, the board said the CRP was a blended finance initiative to unlock private capital for energy access companies to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic while advancing access to clean electricity and ensuring a green economic recovery.

It also said that the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) which also serves as a multi-donor fund under the management of the African Development Bank, would provide $7 million in financing for the expansion, as the remaining $13 million will come from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a multilateral environmental fund.

According to a press statement issued by the bank and made available to Energy Window International through the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), the second phase will help create an additional $70 million in funding for the energy access sector aimed at cushioning the pandemic’s persistent impacts on supply chains, inflation, the rising cost of capital, and the effects of the conflict in Ukraine.

Alix Graham, Fund Lead of the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund, said: “With the SEFA concessional funding under CRP, the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund was able to offer affordable financing solutions in markets such as Malawi and Sierra Leone that helped companies to reduce the impact of increased currency volatility and rising logistics costs.”

She described CRP as a partnership between the development and private sectors that offered innovative financing solutions without distorting the market or displacing private capital.

Off-Grid Energy Access Fund is managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners, one of three fund managers which jointly anchored Phase I of the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform. The other two are Triple Jump and Social Investment Managers and Advisors. Mark van Doesburgh, deputy head of sustainable energy at Triple Jump, said: “We appreciate the continuous support provided by the African Development Bank to accelerate progress towards SDG 7. The concessional funding provided under CRP phase II comes at a critical moment for early-stage energy access companies that continue to be affected by Covid-19 and allows Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund to release flexible financing into the sector at a time when risk-capital is increasingly scarce.”

Adding that through CRP partners, energy access firms can access a broad range of flexible debt financing solutions on more affordable terms. Stating that over $50 million in soft financing had already been approved for 12 energy access companies that were commercializing and deploying solar home systems, mini-grids, and commercial and industrial solar irrigation solutions.

“Thanks to this strong partnership, we have been able to mobilize over $140 million of patient capital to mitigate the unprecedented challenges faced by the energy access industry in recent years and to protect progress towards universal access in Africa,” said João Duarte Cunha, Manager of the Renewable Energy Funds Division in charge of SEFA at the African Development Bank.

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