Across a three-event calendar in 2022, Energy Capital & Power (ECP) has attracted broad governmental support of its conferences, with the Presidents and First-Vice Presidents of Senegal, South Sudan and Angola delivering opening addresses at each of their respective events (MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022; South Sudan Oil & Power 2022; Angola Oil & Gas 2022).
Presidential participation in investment promotion efforts not only demonstrates the importance of the energy sector to African economies, but also a growing commitment to accountability, transparency and engagement with foreign investors. Below are a few of the most poignant revelations from Africa’s leading Heads of State at ECP events in 2022.
H.E. President Macky Sall Calls for Just Energy Transition
At the second edition of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 Conference in Dakar last September, Senegalese President H.E. Macky Sall highlighted the need for pan-African unity and partnerships in championing an African energy transition narrative during his opening address.
“In this new configuration of the world, energy resources are major assets for Africa. Therefore, we must not accept that our continent is an object of world geopolitics, but an actor, aware of its natural wealth of interests, which acts on the competition instead of suffering it,” H.E. President Sall stated, calling for the continued exploitation of Africa’s hydrocarbon resources and improved access to development finance. “It would be an aberration to give up the exploitation of our resources while more than 600 million Africans still live in the dark.”
Senegal has been a pioneer in the simultaneous development of fossil fuel and renewable resources, with the country’s diversified energy mix striking a balance among other, single resource-centric economies. With the election of H.E. President Sall in 2012, the country’s leadership adopted a dramatic shift with regard to its vision for the energy sector, acknowledging the importance of energy independence and vowing to design a diversified energy strategy, which includes the development of Sangomar and GTA oil and gas megaprojects, Senergy 2 solar power plant and the Taiba N’diaye wind farm.
First-Vice President Hon. Dr. Riek Machar Welcomes Investors
For the fifth edition of South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2022 in Juba, First Vice-President of South Sudan, Hon. Dr. Riek Machar, opened the first day of the conference by inviting investors to participate and engage in energy and infrastructure development. As the only major oil-producing country in East Africa, South Sudan is of strategic importance to its neighbors and has been focused on establishing mutually beneficial partnerships,which remain a top priority under the current administration.
“We have a vision to become the economic hub of this part of the world, particularly east and central Africa. This is a land of abundance. We have what it takes to make this country an economic hub. We call upon you to come and invest. We are more oriented to increase production so that from the revenue, we can build our infrastructural base and provide the necessary delivering services such as health, education and clean water,” stated Hon. Dr. Machar.
H.E. President João Lourenço Speaks to Global Energy Supplies
Last month, Angolan President H.E. João Lourenço opened the third edition of Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) 2022 with a moving address on the importance of African resource development in the context of the energy transition and limited energy supplies globally. As Angola seeks to increase its oil output and harness untapped gas resources, the country has also been targeting enhanced refining, storage and distribution infrastructure, with a view to delivering refined petroleum products to the region.
“This Angola Oil & Gas 2022 conference is of great importance and is taking place at a moment when geopolitical cooperation is imperative towards promoting the development of oil and gas in Africa,” stated H.E. President Lourenço, adding that, “Angola has always aspired to become a leading supplier of oil and gas to the global market while striving towards alleviating energy poverty in Africa.”
With Angola’s legislative elections taking place last August, the achievements of re-elected H.E. President Lourenço have been in sharp focus, including the broad restructuring of the oil and gas sector through the Regeneration Program of state-owned Sonangol, along with other government-led reforms aimed at increasing economic stability and the size of the private sector, diversifying the national economy and reversing declining oil production.