The Africa Oil Governance Summit was instituted last year to be an annual gathering of Africans and stakeholder in Africa’s oil industry to continuously engage around the governance of the oil and gas resources to transition oil producing countries onto an accelerated development trajectory that takes advantage of the continents position as the last oil frontier of the world. The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) recognizes this recurrent dialogue platform to discuss governance issues across the value chain of the industry.
This was in recognition of the fact that a lot of conferences held on the sector are driven by the “big money”- investment attraction, business opportunities and relative incentives to attract private capital to the sector. While it is appropriate to engage the investor community to mobilise the needed capital to aid exploitation of the oil and gas resource, the bigger questions about managing processes to maximize government take and diversification of resource rent to propel other sectors of the economy in a transparent and accountable manner should not be lost on Africans.
The maiden Africa Oil Governance Summit broadened the discussions on governance around Africa’s oil, touching on contract transparency, local content, institutional development, and revenue accountability. The focus for 2016 will be on the survival strategies in the midst of low oil prices. The impact of oil price shock has been devastating for many African countries particularly the major producers. In Angola the national currency has devalued about 37% against the US dollar, putting so much pressure on an economy that is 90% dependent on oil for exports.
Nigeria and Algeria are other big players who are facing similar economic difficulties in the face law oil prices- forcing stringent economic measures such as reduction of subsidies and currency control in attempt to rescues shrinking foreign reserves. Oil price crush has been cyclical in the history of the industry. There is enough literature on the need for oil producing countries to foresee the impact of less that expected revenues and institutionalize smoothening mechanisms to protect countries from the economic difficulties being witnessed today.
However, the governance challenges in the continent often relegates long term planning and rather focus on dependence on the resource revenue. This year’s summit will bring together Civil society, Governments and the business community to discuss the lessons learnt from the price crush and the future governance of the sector and its relations with broad base development.
Time: 9:00 - 5:00pm each day
Venue: Labadi Beach Hotel
Date: Sept. 26, 2016 - Sept. 27, 2016