The South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2022 conference and exhibition, taking place this week in Juba, is centered around the role the country plays as a gateway to East African energy development, and as such, represents the official platform for deals to be signed that will advance the regional energy sector.
To this effect, during the first day of the conference, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Djibouti and South Sudan to enhance cooperation across the energy sector for both countries.
The signing was conducted by Djibouti’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, H.E. Yonis Ali Guedi, and South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Hon. Puot Kang Chol. Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, the two countries have agreed to expand trade, investment and cross-border energy opportunities, leveraging regional collaboration to expand both the energy sectors in Djibouti and South Sudan.
“Djibouti is now open with the markets of east Africa. We are waiting for all investors to come to Djibouti. We have facilitated all processes to create the free zone in Djibouti. Now, we have signed the MoU and will work together,” stated H.E. Guedi.
“The agreement we have signed is a cooperation agreement between the Republic of South Sudan and Djibouti in the area of oil and gas. What is important is the fact that we are very interested in opening rooms, not only to us, but to all South Sudanese. As a landlocked country, without access to the rest of the world we will not be able to export. Now, with the MoU, we have three routes. Through Sudan, Kenya and now, Ethiopia through Djibouti,” stated Hon. Chol.
Additionally, H.E. Chol emphasized that the MoU has paved the way for South Sudanese companies and stakeholders to seize opportunities across the entire region, with Djibouti representing the first step.
“Now that we have signed this MoU, you have the opportunity to go to Djibouti and explore the opportunities that are there, as they will do the same here. You have the opportunity to operate elsewhere. We will be working closely with the country and encourage you to go there, identify opportunities and we will support you,” Hon. Chol concluded.
For South Sudan, the MoU further reaffirms the country’s position as a gateway to East African energy, enabling the country to leverage and share its expertise across the energy industry in pursuit of regional market development. Meanwhile, for Djibouti, as a relatively young energy sector, the MoU triggers a new era of industry growth on the back of regional collaboration.