APPO Executive Retreat Explores Africa’s O&G Future in the Age of the Energy Transition

African intergovernmental organization the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) held an executive retreat to discuss the future of the African oil and gas sector amidst the ongoing energy transition on July 8-9. The retreat was in preparation for the opening ceremony of APPO’s 18th Executive Board Meeting which will be held on Thursday June 11, where the Republic of the Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons Bruno Jean Itoua and APPO’s Alternate President will give an opening address.During the retreat, APPO member nations discussed strategies for embracing the energy transition, including leveraging centers of excellence, seminars and training programs to combat gas flaring, improve local content and promote research and development. Former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources Emmanual Ibikaichuku; Chief Academic Officer of Maarifa Education Olubayi Olubayi; and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC) NJ Ayuk led thought-provoking conversations on African petroleum development and sustainable energy during the meeting.

Building on its long-standing role in Africa’s oil and gas industry, APPO has been instrumental in pioneering financial solutions for the sector. APPO has played an integral part in Africa’s oil and gas industry since its establishment in 1987. The organization – alongside pan-African financial institution the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) -established the newly formed African Energy Bank (AEB) – an institution that will provide finance for African oil and gas projects. The organization recently announced that the banks headquarters will be situated in Abuja Nigeria, a decision that followed a meticulous review process. The goal of establishing the AEB was to support oil and gas projects that have been struggling with financing due to the ongoing energy transition as global financers shift investment towards alternative energy sources. The establishment of the AEB will also support Africa’s energy security by ensuring a reliable supply of energy from both traditional and renewable sources, contributing to a more diversified African energy sector.

Continuing its collaborative efforts, APPO has strengthened its alliance with the AEC to further bolster Africa’s energy landscape. APPO continues to work hand-in-hand with the AEC, supporting existing initiatives and driving new ones forward. In January, APPO and the AEC signed a MoU in the Republic of the Congo to enhance Africa’s energy security and support local content development. This collaboration seeks to target African companies in the oil, gas and broader energy sector and encourage them to undertake larger projects. The collaboration further aims to stimulate technology-focused investments and partnerships across the industry, address obstacles and create an enabling environment for investors through the utilization of private sector potential and intra-African energy commerce.

Moreover, APPO has also established a strong partnership with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The collaboration between these two organizations aim to advance African oil and gas projects though shared expertise, coordinated efforts in market stabilization and investment opportunities. Recently, OPEC held the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue, in which APPO attended. The third High-Level Meeting of this dialogue emphasized the importance of cooperation between OPEC, APPO and the African Union Commission to cultivate a sustainable intra-African oil and gas industry. This partnership demonstrates APPO’s commitment to engaging in collaborative action to address Africa’s energy needs as well as advancing sustainable development on the continent.

“APPO been a steadfast advocate for the continent’s oil and gas industry. Through its strategic initiatives and partnerships, such as the collaboration with Afreximbank to establish the AEB, APPO is not only addressing the financing challenges faced by the sector but also ensuring Africa’s energy security. By prioritizing traditional energy sources, APPO aims to support the continued development of oil and gas projects while simultaneously facilitating a balanced energy transition in Africa,” states Ayuk.With major oil and gas projects underway in Africa –  such as the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim, Mozambique LNG, Uganda’s Lake Albert Development, Senegal’s Sangomar Field Development and others – APPO stands ready to support these initiatives by ensuring access to necessary financing. Additionally, the organization aims to facilitate technology-driven solutions while promoting practices that align with the continent’s energy transition goals.