African gov’t urged to bolster energy investment amid global shifts 

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The fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine rippled through global energy markets, prompting significant shifts in trade patterns and rekindling discussions about Africa’s potential as a key energy supplier for Europe. However, despite this potential, recent reports from the African Energy Chamber (AEC) highlight significant disparities between Africa and other regions in attracting energy investments.

NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC, stressed the urgent need for African governments to make exploration and production in Africa more appealing to investors. Ayuk emphasized the need for immediate action, citing the post-conflict reconfiguration of energy trade flows as a critical moment for Africa to establish itself as a reliable energy partner.

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Following the imposition of sanctions on Russian oil and fuel exports and price caps on Russian crude, world oil trade dynamics saw a substantial reorientation. Asian countries, notably China and India, increased their intake of Russian oil and fuel. 

Amidst speculations on Africa’s potential as Europe’s strategic energy ally, Ayuk highlighted a disconcerting trend: African states lagged significantly in awarding new exploration acreage post-COP27 compared to Asian nations. According to the AEC’s 2024 African Energy Outlook, Asia dominated in offshore and onshore acreage awards, while Africa trailed significantly behind. Additionally, the report underscored disparities in recent oil and gas discoveries between Africa and South America, with the latter yielding more abundant and oil-rich fields.

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Ayuk stressed the importance of African governments urgently adopting measures to enhance investor appeal. This includes offering tax incentives, expediting project timelines, ensuring transparent processes, and minimizing investor risk. Ayuk also emphasized the role of energy industry stakeholders in driving down unit costs to improve profitability, thereby attracting further investments.

While acknowledging the potential impact of the global shift towards renewable energy sources, Ayuk highlighted the prolonged relevance of Africa’s gas resources, urging sustained investments in gas-rich acreage. 

“Prompt action and cooperation will create a win-win that will allow African nations to reap the socioeconomic benefits of their oil and gas resources and companies to capitalize on the significant opportunities our continent’s oil and gas offer,” Ayuk underscored. 

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