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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

African Energy Downstream Committee to drive African competitiveness, jobs, local content

...Downstream Specialist Philippe Cohen to Join Advisory Board


Further, Swiss-based downstream expert Philippe Cohen has joined the African Energy Chamber’s Advisory Board. Philippe will be mentoring and supporting the work of the African Energy Chamber by spearheading the newly established Downstream Committee. 

“Our continent has been engaged in commodity trading for decades, and we need to ensure that we trade African commodities like crude oil and LNG in Africa for our own industrialization and growth. Trading houses and governments must start seeing Africa as a market, and not just as a farm to supply other continents” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

The African Energy Chamber believes that the Downstream and Midstream Activities of our African energy sector are key drivers for change in the overall industry. Philippe is an accomplished and result-driven gentleman who understands the most pressing issues the downstream sector is facing today, from origination to financing and from organic growth to expansion via mergers and acquisitions.

Local content and African participation have to be an integral part of the downstream sector, especially with energy downstream trading companies. We need to change the face of trading firms when it comes to financing and trading commodities in Africa, as well as the operators’ jobs and in the executive suite. It is not correct that many of the commodity trading companies making billions of dollars in Africa with African resources have no Africans in senior management. This needs to change.

Our downstream committee has a responsibility to advocate for regulations and policies that promote growth and investment in Africa’s downstream sector. This will help drive a lot of African economies, create the needed jobs, work with governments on energy and maritime security and push Africa to remain competitive in the global economy.

Moving Africa towards our obligations for carbon neutrality is essential when it comes to energy marketing and trading. The African Energy Chamber aims to be proactive in driving Africa’s downstream sector to make the necessary changes, especially given the available technology, rather than waiting for directions from bureaucrats or Western groups.

“With the AfCFTA Agreement, we need to urgently implement provisions that open and enable market access for African downstream players, who need to be respected and encouraged to grow in Africa by government cutting the red tape for them operate. We are honored to have Mr Cohen joining our board.” Added Mr Ayuk.

Our committee members, working with various African governments and national energy companies to communicate regularly about the policies which are working, and those which could be made to work better will only benefit African families and businesses.

Africa has been home to some of the most entrepreneurial commodity trading houses like Vitol, Puma, Vivo, Glencore, Trafigura, Litasco, Sahara Energy, Oando, Oryx Energies and Mocoh, just to name a few. We must encourage them and also open doors for new actors, including African home-grown companies.

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