H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse
Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Senegal
Mr. Chairman of Africa Oil and Power,
Ladies and gentlemen heads of delegations,
Dear oil and community,
Distinguished guests in your ranks, titles and grades,
Africa Oil & Power’s organisers have given me the honor of opening this event, on behalf of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, of whom I have the immense to represent during these three days.
It is a pleasure to be here in Cape Town with you today, at Africa Oil & Power 2019, to discuss the most exciting opportunities in Africa’s energy space. I want to thank the organizers of Africa Oil & Power for bringing together an elite group of top-level officials, company executives and industry experts from across our great continent and from the world to engage and empower each other.
My country being particularly honored on this occasion, I’d like to highlight both the immense achievements we have managed in the last few years as well the potential of the MSGBC basin which remains underexplored despite latest sizeable discoveries.
In that sense, I’d like to give a shout out to petroleum companies to consider our region as land of investment regarding exploration given the high chances of new discoveries. Africa as a whole is showing great potential proven by East Africa’s gas discoveries in Mozambique and also in Central Africa which is one of the continent’s most active production areas alongside Angola and Equatorial Guinea.
Therefore, this event is a great opportunity for us to create meaningful connections with investors and stakeholders to build together a strong oil and gas industry in our country.
That is the commitment made by President Macky Sall right from the first discoveries and even well before. He put together a strong framework in order to build a performant oil and gas industry, supported by sound and transparent management, on the road to success.
Among other initiatives I will talk about, I’d like to state the Cos-Petrogaz was launched whose mission is to apply the presidential vision in the oil and gas industry. The first oil and gas industry specific school was created, the INPG, in order to shape tomorrow’s petroleum engineers for Senegal and beyond.
Prior to oil and gas discoveries, HE Macky Sall launched the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE). The emerging Senegal plan is a comprehensive development plan aiming to make Senegal a developing country in 2035. This plan did not take into account the oil and gas discoveries meaning these will create opportunities aiming to boost our economy rather than weaken it.
As such, energy is a prime part of the plan as a driver for economic growth; and universal access to electricity are among the 4 key objectives of the PSE. A goal which we hope to achieve in 2025 while the initial goal was 2030. Although Senegal boasts one of the highest rates of access to power in Africa with over 61 percent in 2017, we are aware much progress is needed.
As a country with relatively low hydrocarbons production and little capabilities to deal with offshore projects, the challenges were immense. Immediately following the discoveries, our president – who is also the former director general of our state-owned oil company Petrosen – vowed to design a development plan to build a sound, profitable, transparent and long-term oil and gas industry.
Senegal’s presidential vision in the oil and gas space is driven by one key goal: local content development.
Local content is not only an outstanding component of social inclusion and job creation, it also makes sense from an economic standpoint.
We are on the path of creating a well-rounded oil and gas workforce ranging from engineers to technicians as well as support sector specialists in finance, logistics and legal aspects.
In this sense, the civil society has a great role to play in helping us build Senegal’s economy of tomorrow.
The population was involved in the new oil and gas code process and our adhesion to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative means we are required to publish all documents relative the oil and gas industry in our countries.
Furthermore, as per our commitment to the long-term vision, we are in the process of designing a “future generations fund” aiming to allow our children to bear the fruits of these oil and gas finds.
Aside from oil and gas, Senegal is paving the way across the energy space. Our renewables sector is booming with numerous solar power plants built in the past few years (8 in total) and the biggest wind farm project in West Africa currently under construction.
We are also very active in the power sector as we are participating in the building of the West Africa Power Pool, hoping to create a regional electricity market, as well encouraging off-grid solutions for rural areas with individual solar kits and other solutions.
I would like to finish this speech by addressing those who know less about our country, those who are interested but lack appropriate information about what Senegal has to offer.
For the first time ever, a report dedicated to our booming energy sector has been published and will officially be launched later on today. I invite you to take a complimentary copy as it will give you a great overview of the structure of the sector, the key players as well as major opportunities.
As you may know, Senegal is one of the few countries in West Africa which has never suffered major political unrest. Our democracy is stable, thanks to an amazingly resilient population and an open dialogue between different layers of our society.
Located at the westernmost point of continental Africa, just like Cape Town is located at the southernmost point, we are often nicknamed “the gateway to Africa”. Since 2014, we are seeing more than six percent GDP growth per year and the IMF sets our growth above 10 percent by 2022, the year of the first productions from SNE and GTA.
I am very proud to be representing my country’s energy sector. I am proud to see the various initiatives impulsed my President Macky in order for our people, who have ownership of their natural resources, will primarily take advantage of them.
This great testimony of Senegal’s growing importance on the global oil and gas stage is the sign of major opportunities and challenges to come. I would like to state, once again, that we are determined to build a ambitious, profitable and inclusive energy sector. Our actions go first and foremost, to our people, the Senegalese people who work hard to build a better future for them and their families. We are all together in this quest and today is the start of a long journey to prosperity.
I hereby declare Africa Oil & Power 2019 officially open. Thank you for your attention.