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From the Executive Chairman’s Desk – Bullish About African Energy. Thank you #AEW2023

The energy industry has spoken, and amazing support and confidence at African Energy Week in Cape Town was humbling. We don’t take this lightly; we understand that with this trust comes a duty to serve all Africans as the AEC has always done.


The energy industry has spoken, and the amazing support and confidence at African Energy Week in Cape Town was humbling. We don’t take this lightly; we understand that with this trust comes a duty to serve all Africans as the AEC has always done.

I want to thank our superb team and sponsors. They put in the work. And because you did the incredible work, we had an amazing week. I am proud of the team; they ran a well-managed and dignified project. There is an old saying: Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.

If anyone wondered what we meant by Africa’s energy renaissance, we saw it in Cape Town. We saw a new era that is very much within our grasp. This is why we believe, by harnessing the power of technology, innovation, and collaboration, we can unleash the full potential of our oil and natural gas.

And by doing so we eradicate the energy poverty plaguing more than 600 million Africans and monetize our petroleum resources to industrialize Africa. We can grow and diversify our economies, build our infrastructure and pave the way for a just energy transition in Africa.

These goals are reasonable, they are critical for Africa’s future and they are doable. That is why the African Energy Chamber pushes back against narratives that call for an immediate transition from fossil fuels and keeping our oil and gas resources in the ground. NO. NEVER.

As in Cape Town, we unapologetically insist upon an African energy transition that occurs at the right time for Africa. That harnesses a rich energy mix that includes fossil fuels and renewable energy sources and allows Africa to reap the same benefits that the wealthy nations of our world enjoy, and in many cases, take for granted. This will be our push in 2024.

This pathway, which utilizes free-market solutions, instead of continuing Africa’s debilitating pattern of relying on aid rather than empower Africans to create a better future for themselves. By being part of Africa’s energy industry and African Energy Week, you are playing a role in making these objectives a reality. You worked so much with us to create a week that provided you with networking and deal-making opportunities and brought you into discussions on some of the key issues, challenges, and opportunities facing our industry and our continent today.

I was proud that our strategic session topics this year explore energy opportunities ranging from Coal, Oil, Gas to green hydrogen. They delved into key goals ranging from capacity-building to strengthening African supply chains.  And they covered urgent priorities ranging from a just energy transition to strategies for advancing African priorities at COP28, which is only weeks away.

As we go into COP28, we must be very pragmatic and apply common sense. Climate action must embrace free enterprise principles and incentives that allow businesses to innovate and prosper in Africa. Our environment is important, but ultimately, the lectures, mandates and demonization of our energy industry from Western elites while they use energy to grow their economies will not protect our planet. Change must come from the market.

Our many roundtables this year included a look at Africa’s energy landscape, presented by women in the industry and because the chamber wants to bring more young people into the energy space, we scheduled roundtable discussions and programming specifically for them including our just energy transition concert, featuring African superstars. In 2024 we might just go big with Burna Boy.

The energy industry can’t be a game only for people 50 and older, it’s got to be one for young people under 30 coming in, too. So, we’ve created space for them at African Energy Week to thrive and drive big ideas. We armed delegates with information about Africa’s oil, gas, and renewable sectors. And they saw what we see: that the timing is right to usher in Africa’s energy renaissance.

As the chamber recently reported in the State of the African Energy 2024 outlook report, Africa’s oil and condensate supply for the year is expected to increase from 2022 levels, with output estimated at 6.66 million barrels per day.

Africa’s natural gas is seeing output grow, with output driven by Algeria, Egypt, Libya, and Nigeria with Algeria and Nigeria leading in LNG output. Because of significant recent finds in Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Ivory Coast, roughly half a billion barrels of oil equivalent in new recoverable resources have been identified this year alone.

As a result, merger and acquisition activity has been surging with announced and completed transactions totaling $1.85 billion in the first half of 2023. In terms of renewable energy, plans for high-capacity projects have been announced this year in Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa. And interest in green hydrogen has been so acute that Africa’s planned hydrogen capacity has grown more planned solar energy capacity this year.

When we launched African Energy Week, , we made it clear to the world that talk of Africa’s energy future must take place in Africa and not Dubai and that Africans should be taking the lead to drive our energy industry forward and ensure that African deals, projects, and commitments—first and foremost benefit Africans.

Since then, African Energy Week has continued to grow and build momentum. We remain committed to our mandate of making African energy poverty history by 2030 and attracting investments in Africa by encouraging ongoing natural gas exploration, development, monetization, and domestic usage. We remain committed to cultivating an energy mix in Africa that includes renewable energy projects that provide well-paying jobs and business opportunities for Africans and investors. And ongoing oil and gas activity that allows African states to industrialize, while creating opportunities for African jobseekers, businesses, young people, and women. And, we remain committed to insisting on an African energy transition that happens at the right time for Africa, mindful of African priorities and just.

I must report to you that the AEC will continue beyond AEW with its mission, not only of challenging investors to do more to drive Africa’s energy renaissance but also continuing to work with African countries to create an enabling environment for investors and oil companies. We are determined to open up the industry for even more investment and more growth, so we can fully unleash the power of African energy.

Thank you for joining us at African Energy Week, let’s seize this opportunity to be part of something exciting, impactful, and bigger than our own self-interest.

Please continue to bet on Africa, signup for AEW2024,

Thank you.

NJ Ayuk

Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

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