By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) – Petroleum ministers from across Africa and leaders of the oil and energy sector are meeting in Cape Town to discuss the future of the continent’s energy sector at the annual Africa Oil and Power (AOP) conference.
According to a statement, the three-day conference, which began Wednesday under the theme #MakeEnergyWork, is expected to discuss the substantial role the energy sector plays and how it empowers other sectors in building thriving and competitive economies.
“The energy industry is the economic engine of the African continent. We must and we can do more to attract more investment,” Guillaume Doane, the CEO of Africa Oil & Power, said in his keynote address at the opening of the conference.
During his speech, he also challenged industry decision-makers with important questions that are necessary in Africa achieving prosperity.
He asked if investors were ready to make Africa their bigger priority in spending programs and if African governments were prepared to do what it takes to create a better environment for investors to come in.
‘‘The time is now for Africa to be the leading destination for global energy investment,” he said.
Equatorial Guinea’s Minister for Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said the future of resources in Africa is going to be gas.
“The energy sector is critical in Africa’s growth. Oil and gas is good for Africa,” he said in his address.
According to reports, Africa continues to be among the top regions for making large oil and gas discoveries. Three years ago, five of the 10 largest oil discoveries were made on the continent.
The conference ends on Oct. 11 with the expected launch of the Africa Energy Series investment reports on Angola, Senegal and South Africa.