Nigeria To Strike Big Gas Investment Deal At African Energy Week

Investment, Deal-making and Energy Transition to Top the Agenda at African Energy Week 2021 - AP News

Yemisi Izuora

Organizers of the African Energy Week (AEW), scheduled to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, will present opportunity for Nigeria to strike significant gas investment deal.

They said that Africa’s energy industry is on the cusp of an evolution, with the commencement of new exploration campaigns, large-scale renewable energy projects, and an emerging natural gas industry driving the energy transition and initiating wide-spread socio-economic growth.

For Nigeria the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, will give the industry a shot in the arm and will attract investment in gas projects and marginal fields in Nigerian gas projects.

They organizers also discredited the misrepresentations by Africa Oil Week and Portfolio Director Simon Ford, stating that events cannot be held anywhere in Africa.

According to them, the AEW will take place in Cape Town with full Ministerial support and against a backdrop of other successful energy events.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing significant socio-economic and industry impacts continent wide, the time for an Africa-focused energy event that prioritizes African narratives and African people has never been more crucial, they said.

The AEC, through African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, has reaffirmed its position on the value of African held events and remains committed to the continent in the wake of the pandemic. Despite the ongoing narrative by organizations such as London based Hyve Group and Africa Oil Week (AOW) stating that Africa is not good enough, AEW 2021 will prove otherwise, and will take place under all government COVID-19 protocols, and legally, in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November 2021, they organizers said in a statement.

“Our position is clear, we simply do not agree that African energy events cannot take place in Africa

As the continent continues to face significant challenges – with the COVID-19 pandemic causing project delays and disruptions as well as reducing global oil and gas capital expenditure – the need for an Africa-centric energy event that prioritizes deal-making, investments, and partnerships has never been more prominent.

With AEW reaffirming its commitment to the continent, AOW has responded in a patronizing and disrespectful manner.

They have fabricated information regarding the legality of AEW 2021, proposing that the event cannot take place in Africa, as well as misrepresented their own event, stating Ministers that have, in fact, committed to AEW will be attending AOW. With South Africa currently under an adjusted Level 3 lockdown – millions of people being vaccinated and a strong commitment from the city of Cape Town, this event will take place.

“AOW is looking down at Africa with a superiority complex. Despite pushing a narrative that they are committed to Africa, they maintain an elitist mindset, disrespecting the continent and the people that we love. Hype Group and AOW did not have to go to Dubai, they chose to go to Dubai, abandoning Africa simply because they do not believe Africa is worth it anymore. They wanted to use Dubai to undermine the Abu Dhabi ADIPEC conference. Why will the London based Hyve Group even make an announcement and a big deal about signing a venue contract? Really? We will not follow in these footsteps, but rather, we will maintain our commitment to the African people and the Oil and Gas Industry, fighting to for an energy transition that is just, equitable, and inclusive so we can make energy poverty history,” stated Amina Williams, Spokesperson of the AEC.

The African Energy Chamber does not take the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lightly and places the health and safety of all attendees as a top priority. However, the AEC will not succumb to misguided narratives that Africa is unable and ill-equipped to host energy events in 2021.

The AEC refuses to accept the London based Hyve Group narrative that Africa is an inhospitable destination but rather emphasizes that Africa-focused events can and should take place in Africa. AEW 2021 is not the only energy event taking place in Africa this year. They are a number of energy events planned for 2021 in which some have already been held– including the successful NOG in Abuja, Nigeria and South Sudan Oil & Power 2021.

Unlike international conference venues which continue to restrict travellers from South Africa – Dubai, for example, prohibits travellers from entering or transiting through Dubai if they have been in or through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days – AEW 2021 emphasizes the value of African voices regarding any discussion on Africa’s energy future. As the AEC has already and continues to declare, any discussion about Africa should happen in Africa.

“African Energy Week is not Africa Oil Week, and we refuse to be associated with an organization that prefers personal attacks on Africans for not accepting their London narrative that Africa is bad and we must go to Dubai. What story are they trying to tell our children? Our position is clear, we simply do not agree that African energy events cannot take place in Africa. AOW has chosen to directly attack your Energy Chamber, an organization committed to realizing African growth and progress in the wake of the pandemic. Rather than focusing on getting their tickets to Dubai, AOW has chosen to lie, slander, and fabricate misinformation about Africans,” concluded Williams.

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