Image: Medafrica Times
Following President Macky Sall’s reelection, a new government was announced on Monday in Dakar, Senegal. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse, former Managing Director of national electricity company SENELEC, has been named Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
As Senegal is entering an era of hydrocarbon production – starting in 2022– Cisse replaces Mansour Elimane Kane, who oversaw major discoveries in the country’s offshore blocks, namely the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim gas field, on the border of Mauritania, as well as the large SNE oil field.
By modernising equipment and implementing a leaner business strategy, SENELEC’s turnover increased from $20,3 million in 2016 to almost $51 million in 2017. Moreover, Cisse kickstarted numerous solar power projects, placing Senegal as a regional leader in renewable energy generation. The overall electricity production capacity rose from 573 megawatts (MW) in 2012 to 1,130MW in 2017. As part of SENELEC’s Yeessal Plan 2020, the end goal is to reduce fossil fuel to eight percent of the country’s energy mix.
Although Cisse boasts expertise in the energy sector, oil and gas specifically will be a new challenge for him. He has extensive experience in the national administration, as he was Director General of Customs between 2010 to 2013 upon which he joined Macky Sall’s government as Minister of Budget.
To implement Senegal’s ambitious oil and gas plan – which includes key topics such as local content and revenue distribution – Cisse’s ministry will work closely with the Comité d’Orientation du Pétrole et du Gaz (Cos-Petrogaz). Created in 2016, Cos-Petrogaz aims to implement the President’s vision for the country petroleum resources and ensure an efficient, fair and transparent framework.