• July 10th, 2020

Nyambe on Africa’s energy agenda

A shift towards cleaner fossil fuels and natural gas has been identified as critical for the energy agenda in Africa to develop in a sustainable manner. This was indicated in a statement by Shakwa Nyambe, Managing Director of Shakwa Nyambe & Co Inc, following his recent appointment as director to the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) board and Regional Director for the association’s Regional African Chapter.  AIPN is an independent not-for-profit professional membership association supporting international energy negotiators.

Nyambe highlighted that a different mindset must be adopted by both the energy industry and political figures in light of the switch towards cleaner energy coupled with the seismic shock of Covid-19 on the global petroleum industry.  

He highlighted a major focus in his new role with the Regional African Chapter of AIPN will be the establishment of a Regional Executive Committee to manage chapter events, along with organizing training and workshops to better support the sector in the Africa. He also pledged to make AIPN more relevant and help it grow to an internationally renowned energy association, stating, “I will also contribute by helping to increase AIPN’s membership in Africa to ensure maximum benefits to African entities.” This will involve the engagement of other stakeholders across the energy sector to collaborate with AIPN.  

Reflecting on his motivation to become involved with AIPN, Nyambe commented on his longstanding desire to ensure Africa’s energy agenda is not left behind and that the continent benefitted from AIPN’s support to develop the continent’s energy sector. He stated: “AIPN has a sustainable approach and vision towards the international energy community. AIPN produces model contracts that are widely accepted and used in the international energy industry and I will use this opportunity encourage African energy companies, governments and consultants to get involved in drafting and reviewing these model agreements so their wishes and concerns are catered for. As Africans, we cannot afford to be spectators anymore and should actively partake in this international bodies to influence decisions.” 

Nyambe drew direct links between the issues he identifies in the African energy industry and the stalled Kudu Gas Field in Namibia, estimated to contain up to 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves yet beset by the failure of the original business model, citing it as an example of how Namibia could reduce its reliance on electricity imports from neighbouring countries. Nyambe also warned of the costs of direct energy transition to developing countries, instead pressing for an energy progression approach where the major strides taken by companies such as NamPower are embraced as a bridge towards cleaner energy.  

In addition, the representation of Namibian professionals on international bodies is vital to inspire the next generation of lawyers in Namibia. For Nyambe, who began his legal career in 2006 as a prosecutor, the journey towards establishing his own law firm in 2019 included stints as the state advocate in the High Court of Namibia, chief legal officer in the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Service Directorate and legal counsel at the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor).  

As a young and dynamic entrepreneur, Nyambe was motivated to establish his own law firm by his desire to develop a fresh model of doing business within the legal sector in Namibia and elsewhere in Africa by focusing on the energy, natural resources, commercial and infrastructure sectors. Nyambe added: “I wanted to play a role in the development of these sectors in Africa from a legal and business advisory perspective. I believe as Africans we should be involved in the entire value chain of our mineral resources, whether as consultants, lawyers or as partners in business undertakings. I also wanted to start and grow a law firm which incorporates both the legal and business advisory aspects so as to offer full services to commercial clients.” 

Nyambe observed these sectors were forced to acquire legal services from outside Africa due to the shortage of required skills across the continent and travelled to the United Kingdom to specialize in energy and natural resources law to enable him to service these sectors in Africa. Nyambe has pledged to address the challenges facing the energy sector, pointing out that those in the legal profession possessed the skills required to help address these challenges through the means of legislative reforms, policy formulation and negotiating commercially viable agreements beneficial to both investors and host governments.

Staff Reporter
2020-05-28 09:36:54 | 1 months ago

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