H.E. Olusegum Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, spoke during a strategic session on the first day of AEW 2023, leading discussions on diplomacy, regional stability, and sustainable development.
The 2023 edition of African Energy Week (AEW) –organized by the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber – featured a strategic session hosted by the Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, who led discussions on a wide range of topics, including diplomacy, governance, regional stability, and sustainable development.
As a seasoned statesman with a wealth of experience in both national and international affairs, the Former President laid the groundwork for high-level dialogues during the strategic session, fostering an exchange of ideas and insights among leaders, policymakers, and experts from various fields.
H.E. Obasanjo started by discussing his commitment towards Nigeria’s energy sector, highlighting his role in attracting finance and debt relief for the West African country. The Former President discussed Africa’s role in the global energy transition, highlighting the continent’s responsibility to utilize its immense endowment of natural resources to meet its energy needs.
“Justice demands that we too should develop. We should industrialize,” H.E. Obasanjo stated, adding, “When I was in charge of the office of Nigeria, I fought for justice in two areas. One was in the energy sector, the other was in the international finance sector.”
The strategic session featured the distinguished participation of high-level delegates including the Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia, Hon. Tom Alweendo, who spoke on the importance of partnerships and collaboration in developing Africa energy resources. The Minister highlighted a cohesive and mutually beneficial partnership with international investors as the key to industrializing the continent.
“We have to have partnerships that are interested in win-win outcomes,” Hon. Minister Alweendo stated, adding, “We want to welcome investors who share in our vision for a prosperous Africa, especially when it comes to energy.”
Meanwhile, Lionel Zinzou, the Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Benin, stressed the need for solidarity amongst African countries. Zinzou highlighted the need for African countries endowed with natural resources to assist in the industrialization and socioeconomic development of their neighbors for the benefit of the continent as a whole.
Rounding off the esteemed panel of speakers, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd., discussed the need for African leaders to determine their own narratives when it comes to the global energy transition.
“My approach to the energy transition is that African leaders have got to start changing their narratives,” Dr. Kachikwu stated, adding, “Africa on its own has got to preach its own position. Africa needs to take certain actions to enable us to find our own solutions.”
With a special focus on sustainability, this year’s event unites African energy leaders, global investors, and executives from across the public and private sectors through a series of panel discussions, investor forums, industry summits, and one-on-one meetings to drive discussions that will reshape the trajectory of the continent’s energy development.
#AEW2023 takes place this week in Cape Town under a mandate to make energy poverty history by 2030. Keep following www.aecweek.com for more exciting information and updates about Africa’s premier energy event.