Gabon’s New Government is Best Placed to Support Energy Industry Recovery
The new Gabonese government announced last week by President Ali Bongo Ondimba demonstrates Gabon’s intention to work on a post-Covid19 recovery based on sustainability, transparency and a sound and stable business environment.
The African Energy Chamber salutes the nomination of Gabon’s first women Prime Minister, H.E. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. Gabon has always set the tone in Africa when it comes to sustainability and inclusive growth, and the appointment of a capable woman technocrat with a strong financial and economic background is another step in the right direction.
In addition, H.E. Vincent de Paul Massassa has been reappointed Minister of Petroleum, Gas and Mines and will continue leading the industry through its historic crisis while ensuring a swift and sustainable recovery of energy markets in Central Africa. Sine its first appointment at the end of 2019, H.E. Vincent de Paul Massassa has been working to ensure the successful closing of Gabon’s going licensing round, bringing stakeholders together around the development of a stronger gas value chain, and multiplying efforts to further diversify Gabon’s economy with the development of its mining industry.
“Prime Minister Ossouka Raponda, along with Ministre Massassa, are a winning combination for the energy industry. The oil & gas sector needs sound economic policies, an enabling business environment, and a strong vision on how to guide our industry through a historic crisis. We believe that the new government announced by President Ali Bongo Ondimba sets the tone for the recovery of Gabon’s energy sector and increased investments in the value-chain in the coming years,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.
Gabon’s ongoing 12th Offshore Licensing Round was launched in November 2018 and has already been met with significant success, resulting in the signing of a record number of PSCs in sub-Saharan Africa last year. In response to ongoing market conditions and the pandemic of Covid-19, the Ministry of Petroleum, Gas and Mines extended the submission deadline beyond April 30th, 2020. The extended round gives investors an opportunity to keep studying what is one of Africa’s hottest upstream frontier, with 35 blocks on offer.
The country’s new Hydrocarbons Code, Law No. 002/2019 of July 16th, 2019 now offers a more competitive upstream fiscal regime, provides an even better enabling environment for investors, and promotes the development of marginal fields by local players. Until the start of the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent production cuts, Gabon had also successfully managed to reverse a historic decline in domestic oil production and had made new significant offshore discoveries.
The African energy sector continues to face challenging economic times due to the coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse. The Chamber continues to work with governments and the oil sector to enact bold changes that create jobs that get people back to work, build infrastructure and diversify our economies. The Chamber supports Gabon and Africa’s energy sector to build on its economic strengths, attract investment and position the country for future.