The 2019 Sub Saharan Africa Upstream Oil and Gas Summit will be focusing on exploiting the opportunities present in the East African oil and gas industry with a special focus on Tanzania.
In a statement by the conference organizer, Zenith Professional Training, made available to business a.m., the annually held conference will provide opportunities for an exchange of ideas on best practices between investors and regulators across the region.
Oladapo Ayoola, Chief Executive Officer of the company said, that “From April 9-11, 2019, we will discuss the unique investment opportunities in East Africa with a focus on Tanzania. We are asking PURA (Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority) of Tanzania to come and tell us what we need to do for a successful investment. We have asked the CEO of Petroleum Commission of Ghana to come and talk to us. This is because if investors know what the fiscal policies are and what the procedures are, it will be easier for them.”
The theme for 2019 is ‘Gearing up for Growth: Sub Sahara Africa Oil, Gas and Power Value Chain, with practitioners and investors expected to “showcase what we already have, exchange ideas on what we are doing rightly and what we can learn from each other-West Africa learning from east Africa, east Africa copying best practices from West Africa and South Africa,” he said.
With a special emphasis on how much can learned from Nigerian oil independents, Ayoola described Nigeria as a success story with so many indigenous entrepreneurs who have gone not just into downstream but exploration and production.
“We have many success stories to take to the rest of Africa. From Eroton, Aiteo, Amni, Seplat among others.”
According to him, a major challenge to the continent’s growth in the sector is the lack of sustainable funding mechanism.
He said, “Like any other sector, the challenges are there but the way we are approaching the challenges is focusing on opportunities and talking to regulators. If regulators are upfront with investors by telling them what they need to do and then we get a checklist, that’s all an investor wants to know.
Speaking on the gains of past events, he said that despite it being an up and coming platform, we are beginning to see the impact.
“Specifically, during the first edition in 2015, Nigeria Petroleum Exchange (NIPEX) was there and they had a stand. We had a gentleman there from Uganda. Today, NIPEX is consulting for Uganda regulators, supporting them on how to start a Petroleum Exchange which will be the first in East Africa. This is a nation to nation benefit.”
He also spoke on the vast experience in the region which can be shared instead of importing from abroad. “There is no reason why Tanzania should be going in search of consultants in Europe when Nigeria has 60 years experience. You can imagine the number of people who have retired with the wealth of experience. We should be sharing best practices instead of importing from somewhere where they don’t understand our peculiar community challenges. This is the platform for the future,” he assured.