SWAKOPMUND - A collaborative mindset is needed to fully maximise the potential of Africa’s oil and gas industry to reinvest its earnings to other sectors such as agriculture and infrastructure.
This is according to Selma Shimutwikeni, the co-founder and managing director of RichAfrica Consultancy that hosted the third international oil and gas conference that concluded on Thursday in Swakopmund.
The conference brought together key players, government entities as well as entrepreneurs in the oil and gas industry to build partnerships to transform Africa’s oil and gas industry.
Shimutwikeni says that collaboration is key to ensure that Africa’s oil and gas industry contributes to the wider society for the advancement of current and future generations and community development.
“Africa continues to strengthen its position and has emerged as one of the most promising oil and gas frontiers in the ever-changing global economy,” she said.
She explained that this growth is driven by the global race for commodities, increased access to international capital and the continent’s ability to forge new types of economic partners due to shifts in trade patterns.
However, she says the oil and gas industry also experienced various dynamics and challenges including increasing volatility, pressure from shale oil, environmental concerns as well as rapid technology development that are set to influence the future of the sector.
“Despite these challenges, the potential of the African oil and gas sector remain unchanged. The continent possess 7.5 percent and 7.1 percent of global oil and gas reserves respectively and as the international energy price recovers, the continent is attracting investors again,” Shimutwikeni added.
According to her all, all these factors call for a collaborative mindset to maximise the potential of the industry. Hence she says platforms on this level (i.e. the conference) are much needed as they allow Africa and its partners to discuss how to unlock the potential of the oil and gas value chain by leveraging strategic partnerships.
“It is a much needed continental engagement to shift the perception and bring about progress towards a sustainable oil and gas industry. The traditional dialogue of the sector has focussed on the need to attract investment which is important, however we belied that Africa needs to adopt a collaborative approach and share best practices between regions’ governments, companies and most importantly communities,” she said.
She added that it is also important that countries embark on economic diversification as well as investing earnings from the industry in human capital, and sectors such as agriculture and infrastructure in a way that it speaks to the needs of present and future generations.