Sahara Group’s Tope Shonubi and Wale Ajibade to Spearhead Energy Security Dialogue at AEW 2023

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Sahara Group co-founder Tope Shonubi and Executive Director Wale Ajibade have joined the African Energy Week 2023 conference as speakers, and will drive discussions around fuel independence, security, and bringing energy to life responsibly.

As efforts to electrify and industrialize the African continent progress, the next wave of large-scale energy developments is set to be led by African-based energy companies. Understanding the needs and objectives of the continent itself, companies to the likes of Sahara Group – a Nigerian-founded international energy and infrastructure conglomerate – have already made significant progress to advance petroleum and power distribution in Africa, providing innovative and sustainable energy solutions continent-wide.

During the continent’s biggest event for the energy sector, African Energy Week (AEW) 2023 – taking place in Cape Town from October 16-20 – Sahara Group’s co-founder Tobe Shonubi and Executive Director Wale Ajibade will provide insight into the company’s ambitious agenda of bringing energy to life in Africa, responsibly. Both Shonubi and Ajibade will participate in a suite of panel discussions and O&G forums aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities for independent energy companies in Africa. They will also participate in the African Export-Import Bank deal room, facilitating partnerships and transactions in pursuit of energy security. Representing Sahara Group, both Shonubi and Ajibade’s expertise will help advance dialogue while unlocking new deals across the continent’s petroleum industry.

Established in 1996, Sahara Group is committed to creating and unlocking tailored solutions for all markets. At its core is sustainable development and collaboration with multilateral organizations, and the company operates under the primary objective of scaling-up energy security in Africa. Established with an initial focus on trading petroleum products, Sahara Group quickly expanded into various African and global markets, and has since secured a strong presence across the entire continental landscape.

Downstream, Sahara Group has made several sizeable investments in several markets across the continent. Underpinned by efforts to improve access to energy, Sahara Group has established storage terminals across Africa, recently expanding into East Africa with a focus on enhancing the availability of refined products in the region. The company’s downstream efforts are spearheaded through various entities, including So Energy Ghana; Sahara Tanzania; and Asharami Synergy, with Asharami subsidiaries in Zambia, Kenya, Senegal and more. The company aims to become the leading fuel solutions provider in Africa, and is developing the entire supply chain through investments in logistics, infrastructure, storage terminals and distribution.

Now, Sahara Group has over $10 billion in consolidated revenue and closed over $12 billion in transactions. The company also built and commissioned one of the first “non-international oil company” operated storage depots in West Africa, and has expanded into Africa’s upstream sector with a number of milestone acquisitions. Currently, Sahara Group holds over 506 million liters in storage capacity; has installed over 1,861 MW in power generation capacity; and produces an average 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil, further cementing the company’s commitment to bringing energy to Africa.

Recent achievements include the acquisition of two Liquefied Petroleum Gas vessels and progress to ‘green’ the company’s hydrocarbons activities worldwide. The company has also collaborated with a suite of educational institutions and policymakers to strengthen human capital development and sustainability in Africa. The group recently launched its STEAMers program, aimed at empowering students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics; launched a management trainee program in Ghana; collaborated with the University of Nairobi to promote sustainability, and more. These efforts are underpinned by the company’s mantra of up-skilling Africa’s workforce in line with its sustainability objectives.

As co-founder, Shonubi has played an instrumental part in taking Sahara Group global. Shonubi continues to advocate for energy security and sustainable industrialization, and is committed to unlocking new opportunities across Africa’s upstream, midstream, downstream and broader power markets. Shonubi’s commitment to driving investment and development in Africa is a testament to the vital role independent firms play in Africa’s energy future.

Meanwhile, as the Executive Director, Ajibade works towards delivering sustainable energy products to Africa’s population. Ajibade considers natural gas, infrastructure investment and the application of technology to be key drivers for Africa’s energy independence. In his role, Ajibade spearheads efforts in these areas, and will discuss how stakeholders can best expand these critical segments of the African energy sector.

“Sahara Group is the type of company that will transform Africa’s energy sector. With a focus on providing innovative and sustainable energy solutions across the continent, the firm has made sure on its promise to open up new opportunities for people in promising markets in Africa. With roots in Africa, the international energy and infrastructure company remains committed to making a difference across the global energy value chain. As Africa’s energy sector grows, companies like Sahara Group will be instrumental in making energy poverty history,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

During AEW 2023, both Shonubi and Ajibade will engage in a suite of discussions and networking events centered around strengthening collaboration in Africa’s energy sector. Sahara Group’s mission aligns closely with that of AEW’s: to make energy poverty history by 2030. With their participation this October, further insights will be provided into how independent energy companies, African governments and global investors can best work together to bolster the African energy value chain.

AEW is the AEC’s annual energy event uniting African governments and policymakers with global investors and project developers. Taking place in Cape Town under the theme, ‘The African Energy Renaissance: Prioritizing Energy Poverty, People, the Planet, Industrialization and Free Markets,’ AEW 2023 represents the biggest gathering of energy stakeholders on the continent. AEW 2023 is where deals are signed. For more information, visit

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