Africa Oil Week (AOW), the continent’s premier event for the international oil and gas industry, is poised to continue and expand upon the critical discussions initiated at the recent BRICS Summit concerning energy mix, fossil fuels, climate change, and the crucial need for responsible oil exploration.
Set to take place from 9–13 October, in Cape Town, the AOW Summit is poised to serve as a crucial platform for global leaders.
Anticipating participation from 1,800 delegates, along with more than 50 energy ministers, policymakers, investors, and industry experts, the summit will facilitate in-depth discussions on the future of energy, responsible resource development, and oil exploration within the African context.
The theme of this year’s Africa Oil Week, “Maximising Africa’s Natural Resources,” resonates with the sentiments expressed during the BRICS Summit regarding the importance of balancing energy needs, economic growth, and environmental sustainability, including the responsible exploration of oil. The summit aims to foster substantive dialogues among government representatives, energy policymakers, financiers, and dealmakers to chart a sustainable path forward for the continent’s abundant natural resources, including oil.
The CEO of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, Saki Zamxaka, highlighted during the BRICS Business Council event that while some financial institutions are fast-tracking the withdrawal of funding for hydrocarbon projects, they remain an integral part of the continent’s energy strategy.
He emphasized the need for current methods of extraction and processing to become cleaner with advancements in technology, which is especially pertinent to oil exploration.
Sim Tshabalala, CEO of Standard Bank, articulated the standpoint that African nations should not be compelled to abandon fossil fuels, including oil, in their pursuit of climate adaptation and mitigation.
Tshabalala urged for equitable considerations, recognizing Africa’s status as a carbon sink and emphasizing the need for compensation, including for responsible oil exploration. He underscored the importance of differentiated yet common commitments to facilitate a just transition in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals.
These crucial discussions at the BRICS Summit set the stage for the upcoming event.
The AOW summit will not only address the critical aspects of energy transition but also the practical challenges faced by developing nations in accessing sustainable funding for their energy needs, including oil exploration.
The aim is to establish a new system of green finance that promotes transparency, supports technological advancement, and ensures fair financing for transitions to cleaner energy sources, including responsible oil exploration.
Leslie Maasdorp, CFO of the new BRICS Development Bank, highlighted on the side-lines of BRICS the challenge of identifying bankable projects for Africa’s Just Energy Transition initiative, indicating the need for viable projects that have undergone rigorous due diligence processes.
This challenge mirrors the overarching concern of the energy sector: bridging the gap between concept and commercial viability to enable sustainable growth, including in the realm of oil exploration.
The 2023 AOW summit is a platform for pragmatic solutions. It will facilitate engagements that build bridges between policy, investment, and sustainable development, encompassing responsible oil exploration.
With the backdrop of the BRICS Summit discussions, the event is set to foster a collaborative environment that promotes responsible resource development, equitable transition, and global energy security.