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President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has called on international investors to look beyond the oil and gas and start investing in other sectors of African economy such as agriculture, fisheries, telecommunication and other aspects of infrastructural development. The president made this call at the recently concluded Equatorial Guinea Economic Forum that took place in Houston on June 11, 2012.
In his presentation, the president encouraged the investment community to assist African countries in the development of the hinterlands by working closely with the governments and people. He reiterated that western investors are seeking for something important in Africa – that’s why they are interested in the region, and likewise Africans want to get something from the western investors. Taking from a phrase used by Al Green, United States Congressman who attended the event, H.E. Mbasogo stated that people need to know themselves in order to do business. He encouraged better relationship between United States investors and his country in particular and Africa in general.
Equatorial Guinea is the third largest exporter of oil in Sub-Saharan Africa following Nigeria and Angola. The Central Africa nation of 1million people has launched what is called “Horizon 2020” an initiative which is envisioned to ensure massive development of the country and the diversification of its economy beyond oil and gas.
Houston Forum presents Investment opportunities in Equatorial Guinea
The Chief Executive Officer of Energy & Corporate Africa, organisers of the 2012 edition of the fifth annual Sub-Saharan Africa Oil & Gas Conference which was held in Houston, Texas, Mr Sunny Oputa, has called on stakeholders responsible for the sector to position themselves towards partnering with agencies that will help to build and improve the oil sector in Africa.
According to him, “a conference like this is needed to promote the new and promising African market and it enables the sharing of knowledge among industry peers and also triggers meaningful networking.”
He added that the conference was also aimed at creating a forum for IOCs and independents to understand what producing countries expect from them and also provides an umbrella for cooperation amongst various stakeholders.
Mr. Sunny further reiterated that Africa deserves better for its implementation procedures which are geared towards the oil and gas sector stressing that leaders of oil producing countries in Africa must be responsible by considering their nations as the first priority.
The conference which was under the theme “Gas Monetization & Deep Exploration in Africa” was aimed at highlighting the various gas master plans, existing projects, new licensing rounds, investment opportunities as well as national quests to invest more in deep/ultra deep water activities.
This year's edition of the Sub-Saharan Conference gave the opportunity for producing nations in Africa to showcase their readiness to be fully involved in the industry; implement local content policies and promote extractive transparency.
It was also aimed at showcasing the region's enabling environment for investment in the oil and gas sector.
The event which was climaxed with an award ceremony saw one of Ghana's Deputy Energy Ministers in charge of Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, being adjudged as the winner for the creation of sustainable energy policy in the region which is geared towards the stimulation of economic growth whiles H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, the Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy from Equatorial Guinea also won the rising star award and was also decorated with the award for Dynamic Regional Leadership.
Both recipients also received State of Texas recognition awards from Senator Rodney Ellis, of Texas District 13.
Other award winners were Dr. Keith Milheim, director of Meps-First Oil, who won the award for his technological inventions in the development of riser as disruptive deep water drilling technologies whiles Tullow Oil which was represented by Tim O'Hanlon, the Vice President for African business had the award for discovering oil and gas in most of the region's new frontiers.
The trio of Dr. Nirajan Banik, scientific Advisor of Western Geco Schlumberger, Mark Miyaoka, CEO of Terradata Geoscience and Dr. Jim Spear won the awards for Research & development in the oil and gas industry.
Ecobank also had an award for its prime involvement in the region's oil and gas sector by financing and for her buoyant market expansion as a differentiated pan-African bank.
The conference had the participation of almost all the major international oil companies and big independents such as: Shell, Exxon Mobil, Noble Energy, Marathon Oil Corporation, China petroleum Technology & Development Corporation, Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Authority, Tullow Oil, ERHC Energy, Afren, Kosmos Energy, MEPS – First Oil, Enventure Global Technology.
The conference was graced with a retinue of seasoned speakers from the industry and governments from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and South Sudan.
Stakeholders of this year's event expressed the optimism of looking forward to another fruitful mix in the 6th annual edition of the sub-Saharan Africa Oil & Gas Conference which is slated to be held in Houston from Thursday April 25 – Friday April 26, 2013 with the theme as “Maximizing Exploration & Production through Technology, Financing, Project Management, and Risk Aversion & Local Content Policy.”
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