Covid-19 should be a wake up call for Africa’s oil and gas industry

Photo: Zukiman Mohamad

Today, the economic winds are at our backs. There is so much we can do this year and beyond to make Africa more prosperous and hopeful—and this time, for everyone. Covid-19 should be a wake-up call that it can no longer be business as usual.

The African Energy Chamber is setting the stage for a strong fight in 2021 for a push for Africa’s fiscal and tax reform and, regulatory relief for the energy sector that will help usher in a post-covid-19 recovery and a new era of growth.

In order for us to recover,  strengthen and sustain that growth, immediate action to modernize Africa’s energy infrastructure, promote rule base free markets, monetize gas and corporate governance reforms to lift the disastrous job and investment killing BEAC regulations in the CEMAC region and other impediments currently dissuading businesses from investing, growing and creating jobs.

Radical environmental extremism poses a danger to Africa’s growth and the fight to address energy poverty. We must resist the idea that Africa needs to rely on foreign aid to accelerate its growth. If we don’t lead our own way in addressing energy poverty and seeing through a seamless energy transition, we are falling behind.

The bottom line is that Africa’s growth will be weakened, not strengthened or sustained if we pull back from developing our energy sector with the ideology that our oil and gas should be left in the ground. Western nations have used ours and their resources to develop their countries. What crimes have Africans committed to not do the same?

The energy industry and the business community need to take leadership in the effort to find solutions for ongoing economic challenges.

Our energy sector continues to be resilient. As Africans we are strong—but we must be determined to grow a stronger oil and gas industry in 2021.

We must be determined to help lead our continent through this period of rapid change so that it emerges stronger, more competitive, and more secure. And are determined to help turn growth today into prosperity that endures.