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‘Market access, cooperation will unlock opportunities in energy’

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In unlocking the next phase of transformation in Nigeria and other African countries’ energy sectors, market access and intra-Africa cooperation will be critical, particularly in oil and gas pipeline and infrastructure projects.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) made this known in its first annual “African Energy Outlook for 2020, launched last week. The report provides key insight on what sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas industry can expect to see next year.

It also doubles as an overview of the role the energy sector stands to play in developing competing economies. The report, which was accessed by The Nation, said though the continent’s oil and gas sector was significantly impacted by the oil price crash, 2019 has proven to be a year of recovery for many African economies.

The report observed with many continuing works on projects that were previously halted or cancelled, some developing new large-scale projects and others working to increase their exploration and production activities, the continent is undoubtedly poised to see accelerated growth in the years to come.

To this, in the African Energy Outlook 2020, the AEC showcased key economies and projects that are set to transform the energy landscape, placing the sector at the centre of economic growth.

In outlining major projects and economies to look out for in 2020, the Outlook featured highlights on announced oil projects in Angola, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria as well as announced gas projects in Mauritania, Congo Republic, Ethiopia, South Africa and Cameroon.

The Outlook stated that “Market access is increasingly on the agenda of existing and upcoming African producers of oil and gas, with several cross-country oil and natural gas pipelines in the works to unlock billions of dollars.

It noted that lessons have to be learned on how to negotiate transnational infrastructure deals and 2020 will show if African nations have learned how to cooperate better for the benefit of all.

Commenting, AEC Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk said: “Next year, we need to see continued progress. We all understand what we have on our hands, now we must build environments that will not only attract investors, but keep them for the long-term.”

According to Ayuk, this will be the Chamber’s main challenge, ensuring policy certainty, political stability, favourable environments and matching returns.

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