11/09/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/09/2021 09:58
The Secretary General delivered a keynote speech at the event's opening session.
In the pre-recorded video message, the Secretary General highlighted the importance and timeliness of AEW 2021, noting that the four-day event has managed to bring together a plethora of energy industry stakeholders from across Africa to discuss current pressing issues.
The Secretary General underlined the key contributions made by African OPEC Member Countries to the success of the Organization, stating that "African countries have historically assumed strong, proactive leadership roles in OPEC."
The Organization currently has seven Members located in the continent of Africa, namely: Algeria; Angola, which holds the Presidency of the OPEC Conference in 2021; Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Libya; and Nigeria.
Referencing OPEC's World Oil Outlook (WOO) 2021, the Secretary General underscored the critical role that Africa's oil-producing countries are set to play in meeting current and future energy demand.
"The world will continue to rely on Africa's precious resources in the long term in order to meet the rapidly rising global demand for oil and gas," he said, noting that "we foresee a bright future for African oil industry with significant opportunities for growth."
On the future of energy, the Secretary General stressed that "access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is a right for all, not a privilege," and emphasized that "the energy poverty numbers for Africa are stark." He underlined that these facts must be reflected in dialogues and conversations, including those on climate change.
"OPEC has argued for an energy transition that is broad and inclusive, equitable and fair, and reflects common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities," he highlighted, adding that the Organization believes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to combating climate change.
The Secretary General additionally addressed a number of key issues relevant to Africa's oil industry, including its potential in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as the importance of investment and the right enabling environment to ensure that supply meets demand.
"Creating the stability in the oil market necessary to attract the required levels of investment has been one of the primary motivations behind OPEC's collaborative efforts with 10 non-OPEC countries under the 'Declaration of Cooperation' umbrella," Barkindo highlighted.
Several Heads of Delegation to OPEC participated in the opening session of AEW 2021: HE Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Congo's Minister of Hydrocarbons; HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy; and HE Mohamed Oun, Libya's Minister of Oil and Gas.
Ms Irene Etiobhio, Senior Petroleum Industry Analyst at the Secretariat's Energy Studies Department, will later today take part in a panel session to discuss the African oil and gas sector and its importance to global energy growth. She will also present OPEC's latest WOO with a special focus on Africa tomorrow, 10 November 2021.
OPEC's Public Relations and Information Department is also participating at the event and is hosting a stand at the conference's exhibition.