July 19, 2024
African Statesman Olusegun Obasanjo to Chair Energy Growth and Just Transition Presidential Roundtable at African Energy Week 2023
– By Godswill Odiong

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African statesman and former President of the Republic of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo represents one of the continent’s most influential and impactful leaders who has demonstrated a commitment to facilitating inclusive growth in Africa. His work and success in the political, economic and energy sectors have not only consolidated Nigeria’s position as a major economic hub but Africa’s position as both a competitive and highly attractive investment destination. From policy to finance to cooperation and inclusion, Obasanjo has played an instrumental part in shaping Africa’s economy and will continue to represent a strong advocate and facilitator of Africa’s growth.

Under efforts to advance dialogue surrounding the continent’s energy future, Obasanjo will host the Energy Growth and Just Transition Presidential Roundtable at the 2023 edition of the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition – taking place from October 16-20. Obasanjo’s expertise regarding African economics and energy will be critical for strengthening discussions on Africa’s approach to the energy transition and his insights will help support deals and decision-making during the event. Obasanjo will also award the AEW 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award to Namibian President Hage Geingob and Senegalese President Macky Sall, while engaging with a strong slate of African and international stakeholders on the future of the continent’s energy sector.

Faced with a number of development challenges, Africa’s progress to date has largely been driven by individuals such as Obasanjo, who has spearheaded a wave of cooperation and dialogue among African countries and between the continent and global players. With a focus on a just and inclusive energy transition, Obasanjo has strongly advocated for a collaborative approach to investment, policy and growth, and continues to put Africa first. Obasanjo’s expertise lies in his experience as Head of State of Nigeria and his work as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2004 to 2006. Obasanjo served as Military Ruler from 1976 to 1979 and President of the Republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, where he was instrumental in bringing democracy to the country. Following this position, Obasanjo took on several impactful roles centered around pan-continental collaboration and peace. In addition to his role at the AU, he served as Special Envoy for Africa for the United Nations. Now, Obasanjo coordinates cross-border cooperation and facilitates Africa-global dialogue towards a goal of advancing Africa’s economic prosperity.

Collaboration and cross-border partnership success in Africa is largely attributed to Obasanjo’s ongoing efforts. In Nigeria, he made great strides towards strengthening the energy market. The country now represents one of the biggest oil and gas producers on the continent and boasts a promising renewable energy industry that is poised to lead West Africa’s energy transition. Obasanjo spearheaded sustainable development on the back of democracy, transparency and investor clarity. Under his leadership, exploration and production took off, with up to 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 200 trillion cubic feet of gas identified from his Presidential tenure to date. His administration established the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in 1977. Many projects also took off from across the entire energy value chain. Under efforts to privatize downstream assets and relieve state burden, Obasanjo facilitated the sale of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries – now under the NNPC’s control. In the power industry, Obasanjo put in place ambitious targets of achieving 10 GW of electricity by 2007. As President, Obasanjo had a central objective to alleviate poverty and establish a democratic system, and his efforts in this regard have proven critical for Nigeria.

Now, Obasanjo works towards driving pan-African growth and development. On the cooperation side, Obasanjo has contributed to much of Africa’s progress. He established the African Leadership Forum in 1988, uniting leaders from across the continent and global community to discuss issues and foster solutions to development. Obasanjo also co-established the New Partnership for Africa’s Development in 2001 and the African Peer Review Mechanism, initiatives which have helped spearhead good governance in Africa. These efforts have been nothing short of crucial for Africa’s economic and multi-sector growth and will remain of central importance as Africa’s energy sector grows.

“President Obasanjo has shown, time and time again, a dedication to inclusive, sustainable and widespread development in Africa. His efforts to alleviate energy poverty and drive long-term growth have translated into a series of impactful developments across the continent. As an African statesman, a distinguished leader and an advocate for Africa’s prosperity, Obasanjo will continue to play a central role in facilitating growth and development in Africa,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

This experience makes him the host of choice for AEW 2023’s Energy Growth and Just Transition Presidential Roundtable. Dubbed the largest gathering of energy stakeholders on the continent, AEW 2023 takes place under the theme, The African Renaissance: Prioritizing Energy Poverty, People, the Planet, Industrialization and Free Markets, and proudly hosts a strong slate of African governments.

During the AEW 2023 conference, Obasanjo will engage with a suite of governments, ministers and international authorities under a common goal of making energy poverty history in Africa by 2030. His passion for the continent and his commitment to fostering democratic growth will prove valuable at the event, and delegates can look forward to hearing his insights. There is still time to secure you place at the biggest energy event in Africa. Join AEW 2023 and network with the movers and shakers from Africa’s energy market.

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