All is set for the inaugural edition of the CEMAC Energy Business Forum, an event organised by M&L Consulting and Pro Meet Up and Learn, PML.
“The event has been put together to enable energy sustainability in the sub region of CEMAC and also to promote the utilisation of resources to the betterment of our region,” said Nathalie Lum, Managing Director of M&L Consulting and Promoter of the forum.
The countries in Central Africa which include, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon Tchad, Central African Republic, Congo, have rich deposits of natural resources and are bettering their prospects in the global energy sector, and one of the aims of the forum this year is to create a platform where these countries can come together to fully harness their potential via collaborations, investments and building capacity.
“We have a deficiency right now in terms of energy around the region and there is a real need for the development of our energy. The potential is there, we have all the resources, we just need to talk to each other to see how we can better our region,” she continued.
Speaking further on what to expect going forward and something the forum is looking to build on, Nathalie said, “we’ve never had a platform like this to talk about how cooperation can be done. Not only talking to the Western world but talking to our brothers and sisters. We need to help ourselves and platform like this one with the initiative that we have and support from governments and support of leaders, like for example, His Excellency, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, who has been an advocate for this platform to be of existence. We need synergies. We have to go across border and state lines, look at the problems we have and find solutions.”
The event which starts on the 29th of November will be held in Brazzaville, Congo, and will see guests, speakers and attendants from Ministers, business leaders, government dignitaries, investors and leading global leaders.
- As Africa strives towards eradicating energy and improving the sector on the continent, forums like this is set to play an important role in realising all that.
- By having regional conversations concerning them, we can see growth faster and solve some of the micro problems as work continues to be done in solving the macros.
In light with global energy forums theme in recent years, clean energy, Nathalie, said, “we hear that a lot and we understand that the planet needs to be safe but as the Minister, His Excellency, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, said, we cannot rely on having the same policies the west have had. We rely on our resources primarily which is the gas and oil that we have. We produce even less. Let us enable ourselves to be sufficient enough.”
To achieve some of the aims and objectives of the forum, one thing that needs to come into play is each countries policy. Concerning that, Nathalie said, “We want to talk about policies which are made by government and these people need to talk to each other, collaborate, they need to talk about the major ideas they have as policy makers. It starts with policies and we’re going to be having Ministers here. From the Congo who are our host and to one of our biggest supporters, His Excellency Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, and we have other Ministers from other CEMAC countries. A project can be mutual to all the different countries, when we have projects like that we can have jobs for people, resources and bring about growth. We’re also going to invite people to ask questions concerning policies and have a conversation about it.”
Some notable private sector leaders and organisations expected are Tradex, a company with operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Tchad, Gabon. It’s a success story. LNG2Africa will also be in attendant, and from the financial sector, The Development Bank of the Central African States, BDEAC, who have financed a lot of different projects around the region.
With all these key actors coming together, the event promises to be insightful, foster collaborations, joint ventures between the private sector and governments, and bring about further growth in the region.
On the development and sustainability of the human capacity in the African Energy sector, Ms. Lum, talked about local content in building capacity.
“Local content comes in place to be able to ensure that the companies that are coming in now are doing something to build capacity. A brilliant idea i can tell you now is that this thing is being implemented in Equatorial Guinea in a very good way. There is a school that has been built in Mongomo, the school is there now for building capacity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM. That is the future. These things drive everything. To get that to happen, we need these companies putting money towards development and the training of young people. Part of what we will be driving at the CEMAC Energy Business Forum is to promote this, schools, scholarships that will enable building human capacity like what is in Mongomo, built to a high
standard and can receive different young people around the region. This is being driven by the initiative of His Excellency, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.”
On the vision of the forum, she said, “We are sisters of the African Energy Chamber, we embrace all their values and together we will go further,” Nathalie concluded.
Dreams Hub contributed to this article