Puntland vows to reject any deal signed by FGS at UAE hosted Africa Oil Week
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia is among delegates from Africa who attended a conference hosted by United Arab Emirates [UAE] dubbed Africa Oil Week, which seeks to explore potential from across the continent in a bid to expand business reach and trade.
According to authorities in the United Arab Emirates, at least 1500 delegates recorded attendance in the inaugural symposium, which opens Africa to the Middle East. Many African countries participated in the event.
The conference kicked off on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 in Madinat Jumeirah, and will conclude on Thursday in the Gulf country. This is the first time the event is being held in the Gulf nation.
Held for the first time in the UAE, the event witnessed the attendance of more than 30 heads of government departments from the African continent and the Middle East and high-level delegations including executives from some of the biggest global oil and gas companies.
During Day One of the events, a Ministerial and VIP meeting brought together stakeholders from across the energy value chain to host a progressive discussion around sustainable energy development for the continent and featured representatives from organizations including the African Union, AMEA Power, ENGIE Energy Access, The EITI, Wood Mackenzie, Africa Finance Corporation and Absa Group among others.
Nicolas Terraz, the President of Exploration & Production, TotalEnergies, was among the first speakers of the event. Others who addressed the meeting included Wood Mackenzie on the future of the African upstream and saw Hon. Minister Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Energy and Petroleum launch a mini-licensing round for block A1 for the Republic of the Gambia.
So far, the United Arab Emirates [UAE] has pumped close to $5.64 billion to Africa in terms of investment, further coming out as a major trading partner of Africa. In a keynote address, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, emphasized the UAE’s long-standing ties with African nations and highlighted the country’s position as an emerging global financial hub.
Al Mazrouei said, "Africa is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Additionally, the huge economic transformation in the energy sector in the continent, makes it ideal for investments from around the globe, especially the UAE and the Middle East. As a global benchmark in industrial development through the efficient use of energy resources, the UAE is a regional leader. We have a huge interest in the African market, and we see that the interest has been mutual, with Uganda recently signing new business deals across sectors, including renewable energy, at Expo 2020 Dubai.
''We are certain that Africa Oil Week will act as a platform to facilitate more such investments and forge greater partnerships between international investors and the African public and private sector. As a close partner of Africa, we hope to facilitate capital flow that will result in socio-economic development for Africa and the Middle East."
Al Mazrouei added, "The Oil and Gas sector has seen unprecedented volatility since 2020 due to the pandemic. However, as the economy rebounds, we are witnessing recovery. Global economic growth for this year has remained strong, especially in the second quarter of 2021. In the UAE, moving forward to 2022, the Central Bank of the UAE estimates that the country will experience significant growth in terms of GDP. It is evident to the world that oil and gas are significant sources of primary energy supply and strongly impact economic growth and the development of the industrial sector."
In the coming days, AOW will include a power-packed agenda with discussions on key topics like energy transition and energy access, policies and regulations in the market, green economy, ESG practices in the sector, onshore exploration, the role of digitalization and technology in Africa’s future energy mix, opportunities, and challenges in the sector in the post-pandemic world, achieving a clean and competitive energy future for the continent, among others.
Somalia on the other hand has been trying to improve its oil infrastructural program including leasing oil deposits to ExxonMobil and Shell in recent months. Authorities in Mogadishu say once the oil potential is opened up, the country will be able to sustain its economy.
But its sharing of revenue between the federal government and federal member states has been troublesome in recent months. The federal member states have often accused the federal government in Mogadishu of signing various agreements without its input.
In a statement on Tuesday, Puntland maintained that it will not accept any oil exploration agreement signed by the outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. The northern state further maintained that it will not recognize the ongoing conference in Dubai.