Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The African Energy Chamber of Commerce (AECC), which has been advocating for several months for upstream oil and gas producers, service providers, downstream suppliers and governmental bodies throughout the continent, has been formally established.
Backed by executives from across the continents oil and gas, power, and renewables industries, the AECC, said in a statement sent to THISDAY on Tuesday in Abuja, that it would be the continentâ€™s voice for the ongoing change and progression in its energy industry.
According to it, from the robust regulatory reforms of Angola and the interest of Congo-Brazzaville in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to the impressive local content strides taken by South Sudan, it would firmly stand with the re-emergence of Africaâ€™s energy industry.
It also explained that it was coming at a time Africaâ€™s energy sector was experiencing some advancements, and its revamped development agenda now at the center of international investorsâ€™ interests.
â€œAfrica is continuously proving itself to be capable of developing large scale progressive energy initiatives, such as Equatorial Guineaâ€™s recent plan to construct a natural gas mega-hub.
â€œOver the past 12 months alone, Mozambique saw a final investment decision on a $7 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) development program, Cameroon became the first African country to bring a floating LNG platform on stream, Uganda gave the green light to lay the worldâ€™s longest electrically-heated crude oil pipeline, Nigeria is taking significant strides to rebalance its crude refining capabilities, and Burkina Faso commissioned one of the worldâ€™s largest hybrid fuel/solar power plant,â€ it explained in the statement signed by Mickael Vogel, its Director of Strategy.
Furthermore, the statement quoted NJ Ayuk, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Centurion Law Group, one of the AECC founding members to have said that: â€œAfrica is a fast-growing energy powerhouse. New oil frontiers are opening up in West Africa, investment in gas infrastructure is picking up in West and East Africa, while landmark reforms are expecting to transform the way natural resources are being exploited in markets such as Nigeria and South Africa. There truly has never been a better time to do business in Africa.â€
In promoting such opportunities within a pan- and pro-Africa institution, the AECC said it would advocate for the growth and expansion of indigenous African companies across the continent.
â€œFrom personnel training to community partnerships and relationship building, the AECC is a unique home for African companies to grow and take the lead in the development of their continent. The energy chamber equally focuses on promoting sensible local content, pushing for EITI, mutually beneficial joint ventures, transfer of technologies, and advocating for an enabling environment for business growth.
â€œAs African nations revise their regulatory frameworks, such as the recent hydrocarbons regulations in Nigeria, Gabon and Congo, the AECC works to provide access to a unique pool of policy makers and seasoned experts to engage into a meaningful dialogue with industry stakeholders to shape policy. The AECCâ€™s also services international companies seeking to invest or expand in Africa by providing them with inside-track information and contacts to ensure successful partnerships and market penetration and expansion strategies,â€ it added.