Fostering Connections and Driving Investment: AEC Hosts High Commissioners and Ambassadors Reception in Pretoria

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As global demand continues to grow and African countries seek to unlock new investment in untapped energy resources, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) – serving as the voice of the African energy sector – is committed to facilitating engagement between governments, industry players, and capital and technology providers. On Thursday, the AEC hosted a High Commissioners and Ambassadors Reception in Pretoria, aimed at fostering new connections between countries.

The reception served as a prelude to the continent’s largest energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) 2023 – taking place from October 16-20 at the Cape Town Convention Center. More than 50 High Commissioners and Ambassadors took part in the reception, with remarks delivered by André Nzapayeke, Ambassador of Central African Republic & Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in South Africa; Tebogo Seokolo, Acting Deputy Director General: Africa; and NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC. Verner Ayukegba, the Senior Vice President at the AEC, served as the Master of Ceremonies at the Reception.

“Energy security represents one of the greatest threats in the 21st century. It is one of the vexing challenges facing the African continent. We have to put all hands-on deck to address these challenges. It is about time that we see the positive results, see the investments,” Ambassador Seokolo stated. “This event is a precursor to AEW. It brings together global leaders and executives from both the public and private sector to discuss the future of African energy. On our part as Ambassadors of international relations, we commit to providing the support for visa facilitation.”

“We are dealing with a subject that is very important: energy. Without energy, we will not go far. Our continent has huge potential in energy. We will encourage out countries to attend AEW, because it is an opportunity for the actors in the sector to know each other and explore real business opportunities,” stated Ambassador Nzapayeke. “I would like to give the promise that we, the international diplomatic group, are willing to work hand in hand with you to promote the energy sector on the continent. The pan-African parliament can play an important role. Together we can make a difference.”

With energy security representing a significant challenge in Africa, the AEC Reception served as a strong foundation for country representatives to engage, share ideas and understand different approaches to resource maximization.

“Six million Africans don’t have access to electricity, 900 million don’t have access to clean cooking solutions. We have to deal with that fundamental issue,” stated Ayuk, adding that, “We need diplomacy to make energy poverty history. We need an environment that we can do projects in Africa and where we can do business. This is where governance will play a big part.”

AEW builds on a series of successful editions and has become the premier platform for investment to flow into African energy projects. This year’s AEW takes place under the theme, ‘The African Energy Renaissance: Prioritizing Energy Poverty, People, the Planet, Industrialization and Free Markets,’ and convenes African governments and policymakers, regional energy companies and thought leaders, and global investors and technology providers for four days of dialogue and deals.

“AEW, the largest oil and gas conference on the continent, is a platform that we use to push our agenda: increase investment in the oil and gas space. We want to see your companies from your countries help build for a future African. Come to AEW and create the right type of partnerships,” stated Ayukegba.

With the event merely weeks away, time is running out to secure your participation at the biggest gathering of energy stakeholders on the continent. Visit and secure your place among Africa’s energy leaders.