South Africa’s Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Baleka Mbete called on African leaders to draw closer on issues of industry and energy on Wednesday. In her opening speech on the third day of the Africa Oil & Power conference in Cape Town, the Hon. Speaker urged fellow speakers to formulate joint strategies for trans-national issues.
Delegates at AOP 2017 heard from the ministers of petroleum and power from South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gambia during the event. Hon. Baleka Mbete welcomed the ministerial delegates in her keynote. Challenges and focus areas raised by the Hon. Speaker included regional electricity pools, developing gas resources and regional markets, cross-border industrial development cooperation, and the importance on local content.
“At least, the world has woken up to the fact that high income inequalities in the long term threaten the very existence and stability of our democracies. It is important that international oil companies should share the spoils with the host country, endowed with these resources, in a sustainable and mutually beneficial manner. A local content strategy has potential to encourage development of complementary industries in resource-rich African countries. The development of indigenous drilling and services company must be encouraged and fostered through the local content requirement. There should be sufficient skills development of the local population and local supplier development in order to foster inclusive growth. National and International Oil companies can play a critical role in supporting these skills development initiatives,” said the Hon. Speaker.
She called for African countries to focus on building infrastructure, including power infrastructure, pipelines and refineries.
Hon. Baleka Mbete represented the host government, South Africa, at the prestigious energy event in Cape Town. Africa Oil & Power’s flagship annual event took place on June 5-7, attracting 70 speakers from all corners of the continent and 400 delegates. On Monday, CEO of the South African Oil and Gas Association Niall Kramer led a panel discussion discussing, among other subjects, gas production, export and import projects in South Africa and Mozambique.