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30 Jun 2020

OPEC Secretary General participates in high-level roundtable on Africa’s energy sector

Vienna, Austria, 30 June 2020--OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, today participated in an African Ministerial Roundtable to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa’s energy sector, as well as emerging challenges and opportunities. The roundtable was co-hosted by Senegal’s Ministry of Petroleum and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Secretary General participated in a session titled “Impacts on Africa’s oil and gas sector – challenges and opportunities”, in which he spoke about recent volatility in the energy markets and the importance of restoring investment, as well as the dependence on oil and gas revenues by some African economies.

HE Barkindo began by thanking the co-hosts of the roundtable, HE Mohamadou Makhtar Cissé, Senegal’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, and Dr Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director, for organizing this important event at a crucial time for Africa.

The Secretary General said: “In addition to the grave health crisis, the after-effects of the pandemic have been vast and far-reaching, resulting in one of the worst global recessions in decades. Africa has been severely impacted, particularly in its financial, energy and public health sectors.”

HE Barkindo also highlighted the fact that progress on addressing energy poverty is being blunted by the pandemic.

“Energy poverty is another issue that remains at the top of the global agenda, however the impacts of COVID-19 could put further progress at risk,” he stated.

The Secretary General lauded the historic decisions reached at the recent OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meetings held in April and June, which, he said, are providing much needed support to the market balancing process and to the global economy.

“There is light on the horizon as some of the world’s largest economies have begun phasing out their national lockdowns, which has ushered in a much welcomed surge in oil demand,” he added.

HE Barkindo also emphasized the importance of broad stakeholder cooperation to achieve a sustainable oil market stability and prosperity. In this context, he invited all African oil producers to join the ongoing efforts of the Declaration of Cooperation and the longer-term Charter of Cooperation to establish a lasting stability in the global oil market.

The ministerial roundtable was attended by a number of ministers and dignitaries, including HE Amina Mohammed, the UN’s Deputy Secretary General; HE Samson Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy; HE Goddy Jedy Agba, Nigeria’s State Minister for Power; HE John-Peter Amewu, Ghana’s Minister of Energy; and Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni.