Highlights of the Africa Energy Week #AEW2023

During the African Energy Week (AEW) 2023 conference and exhibition, a Women in Energy Roundtable Discussion convened a diverse group of influential women leaders in the energy sector. Moderated by Grace Orife, CEO of Adelaar Energy, and hosted by the African Women Business Energy Network and bp SA, the panel explored innovative strategies and collaborative efforts to ensure access to affordable and reliable energy for all Africans, with a focus on empowering women in the energy industry. The discussion encompassed various critical topics, such as energy generation capacity, decarbonization, job creation for Africa’s youthful workforce, infrastructure development, and the need for increased investments in capacity building.

The panelists emphasized the importance of addressing Africa’s energy challenges while ensuring a sustainable future. They highlighted the need for a compromised strategy that combines hydrocarbons for baseload power with off-grid and renewable systems to provide access to underserved communities. The transition to cleaner energy sources, such as gas, was also emphasized. Furthermore, the discussion emphasized the significance of local content development, research and development, and maximizing value addition in projects to boost Africa’s energy economies. The panelists underscored the importance of government-private sector cooperation, interconnectivity, and market stability to attract private investments and achieve energy security for the continent. These insights and recommendations reflect the commitment of these women leaders to drive progress and tackle Africa’s energy challenges as part of AEW 2023’s mandate to make energy poverty history by 2030.

African nations are increasingly recognizing the critical importance of harnessing and processing their abundant resources within the continent. A focal point of this effort is to bolster procurement, fabrication, and manufacturing capabilities in the oil and gas industry, with a particular emphasis on local content development.

A panel discussion at African Energy Week 2023, organized by the African Energy Chamber and sponsored by the NCDMB, brought together industry leaders to deliberate on the imperative of strengthening local content. In his keynote address, Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) underscored the significance of making local procurement, fabrication, and manufacturing a national agenda, backed by appropriate legislation and driven by local needs and aspirations.


This approach aims to promote human capacity development, employment, infrastructure, and local manufacturing within the industry. Wabote highlighted Nigeria’s progress under the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD), implemented in 2010. The act set minimum Nigerian content targets in 278 services, contributing to the growth of fabrication capacity, substantial engineering work carried out in-country, and investments in oil and gas industrial parks. However, the discussion also acknowledged persistent challenges, including inconsistent government policies, the lack of support for local content development efforts, skills gaps, and limited market access.

Panelists stressed the importance of conducting gap analyses to identify necessary infrastructure, skills, and frameworks and encouraged collaboration among governments, energy companies, stakeholders, and communities to drive local content development initiatives. This collaborative approach seeks to bridge gaps, enhance local self-sufficiency, and ultimately improve the quality of life for people in the oil and gas sector.

African Energy Week 2023 featured insightful presentations during the NOC Summit, sponsored by PGS, which aimed to accelerate global investment and partnership in the African upstream sector. Wood Mackenzie delivered a presentation focused on driving new investments in Africa’s exploration and production activities. It discussed strategies to commercialize Africa’s vast resources and position the continent competitively in comparison to other high-growth markets. Mohamed Mansur, VP, of sub-Saharan Africa for Wood Mackenzie, highlighted that despite recent discoveries boosting the appeal of Africa’s resources, investment has stalled in some African countries due to project delays. Challenges related to above-ground risk, gas monetization project lead times, and fiscal attractiveness persist in the region. The presentation emphasized the significance of addressing these challenges to further attract investment.

Another key focus at the NOC Summit was natural gas and its potential as a transition fuel, leveraging demand drivers from power generation, energy diversification, and its role in the transition to cleaner energy sources. However, the continent faces challenges in harnessing its gas resources for domestic use and export. Mansur pointed out that many of the discovered gas reserves in Africa are not deemed commercially viable. Gas monetization requires long-term agreements across the entire value chain, including sustainable off-take agreements and attractive pricing. Addressing these complexities is crucial to unlock the potential of natural gas in the African energy landscape.

Additionally, a technical presentation by global geophysics company PGS discussed the pivotal role of data in technology-based exploration. Real-time data was highlighted as a tool to de-risk investments and promote safety, efficiency, and skills development in the oil and gas exploration and production sectors. Chris Drag, Senior VP for PGS, emphasized the transformative impact of the Internet of Things in optimizing production processes and reducing risks, including predictive maintenance to prevent unexpected equipment failures. These presentations at the NOC Summit shed light on the challenges and opportunities in Africa’s energy sector, reinforcing the importance of innovation.

For more updates on this premier energy event, visit www.aecweek.com.

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