Local content roundtable discussion at CAPEVIII 2022 in Luanda, Angola

1. Introduction

With the adoption of local content policy frameworks (LCFs) as the strategy for ensuring local industry participation and employment generation in the oil and gas sector in African producing countries, the policy is one of the key focus areas during the forthcoming African Petroleum Conference and Exhibitions (CAPEVIII) taking place in the prestigious Episana hotel in Luanda, Angola from 16-19 May 2022.  Although significant progress has been made in the implementation of the policy by some of African producing countries, the roundtable will deliberate on the experience gained and the challenges of using local content as a strategy for transforming natural resource extraction as a comparative advantage for promoting national industrialization, long-term development, and inclusive economic growth.  The key objective of the Roundtable is to brainstorm on the implementation of local content policies and their sustainability in African countries, drawing from international experiences, particularly in the current context of global drive for energy transition.

The roundtable will also discuss the progress and implementation of local content policies: perspectives and updates from African oil and gas producers. It will deliberate on regional local content frameworks that can harness and leverage on the availability of oil and gas products, services, competences, and experiences among countries in Africa to develop trade and commerce between them.  This is to enable emerging and prospective producers benefit from the experiences of countries like Angola and Nigeria that have a developed effective local content infrastructures and institutions. Moreover, the experts at the roundtable will explore the emerging opportunities for local content development that are being thrown up by the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to promote intra-regional trade and commercial flows in Africa.

During the roundtable, the following question will be specifically be raised, and answers provided: What are the distortions caused by local content requirements from both the government and supplier perspectives. What can be done to mitigate these risks? What can be done to ensure local content policies and programs are providing workers with the skills they need to succeed? Issues on the implementation of local content policies from the perspective of international, regional, and domestic suppliers will be examined during the roundtable. What does and does not work to elicit good behavior? What aspects of local content deliver the most value and how do we measure this? What data and market intelligence are needed? How do we evaluate and monitor performance of local content institutions vis-à-vis the stated objectives and goals? And what are the areas of improvement in the implementation of local content policy in the African producing countries.

2. The CAPEVIII Conference

CAPEVIII is being put together by AME Trade, a London based Africa-focused event management and consulting company in collaboration with African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of Angola.  The conference is designed primarily to promote and support investment in the oil and gas sector in Africa, as well as reflection on the orientations given by senior political leaders in charge of this sector.  The purpose of this triennial APPO initiative is to offer a platform of opportunities to develop relations and ties between decision-makers and professionals from the sector; a platform of exchange to share expertise and discuss strategies, opportunities for developing oil and gas activities, investments, and partnerships.

After 18 years of its organisation, CAPE is now reputed as the largest and the most influential oil and gas event in Africa that seeks to provide investors the opportunity to have deeper information and knowledge of the oil and gas industry in Africa. It is a must-attend conference and the only full stream policy, business, and networking platform for member countries of APPO. CAPEVIII will assemble public and private sector decision makers, professionals, and industry operators at the national, regional, and international levels to discuss contemporary developments in Africa’s energy, oil and gas industry.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include the Minister of Angola, the host country, the Secretary-General of APPO and other high-level dignitaries and delegates from member countries of APPO as well as resource persons from reputable regional and international institutions within and outside the energy, oil and gas industry. The in-country media will be invited as well as the Embassies, national companies, and private sector stakeholders.

 3. CAPE VIII Theme

The conference is focusing on the current global drive for energy transition and its implications for the oil and gas sector in Africa. Therefore, the theme of CAPEVIII  is Energy Transition: Challenges and Opportunities in the African Energy, Oil and Gas Industry is very apposite at this crucial period in the development of the industry in Africa and globally.

Specifically, some of the sub-themes to be discussed during the conference are: the impact of COP-21 and energy transition on the future of the oil and gas industry in Africa; African local content development; upstream & downstream sector updates and value addition through local content, successful partnerships in Africa’s oil and gas sector; NOCs perspectives in cross border infrastructure; Development of the African Petroleum Market; opportunities in refining and petrochemical processing; funding for Oil and Gas sector; positioning of African Energy Investment Corporation, the financial institution arm of APPO.

4. Resource Persons

To discuss the opportunities and challenges of local content development in the oil and gas sector in African producing countries, the roundtable will gather experienced professionals and experts from both the national, regional, and international institutions operating in the energy, oil and gas sector.  Already top-level government representatives, policymakers, international and national experts have indicated their availability to be part of the roundtable, and this will provide a rich and diversified contribution of experience and perspectives to the discussions.

Resource persons from national, regional, and international energy, oil and gas organisations have been assembled to discuss the various sub-themes developed for the conference.  Top level Executives from the international organisations and countries outside Africa that have successfully implemented local content policies will bring international perspectives and experiences to the roundtable as they discuss the importance of the implementation of local content policies for the benefit of African stakeholders that will attend the conference.

5. Conclusion

After many decades of exploiting oil and gas resources in Africa, local value addition remains very weak due to the virtual absence national industry participation in the enclave sector.  It is to correct this anomaly that governments in producing countries started implementing local content policies to drive local enterprise participation that is aimed at increasing in-country value added and employment generation.

It is for this reason that a session is being devoted to discussing local content policy frameworks and the progress and challenges in the African producing countries during the CAPEVIII conference.  The industry experts and professionals that have been carefully selected and invited will be able to review the policy, bring out the progress achieved and the challenges as well as future prospects for the sustainability of the frameworks, particularly in view of the current global demand for the reduction of fossil fuels in the energy mix as a result of climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions.

The report of the roundtable will form part of the global report of the conference which will be made available to the relevant institutions for information on the conclusions and recommendations on the issues discussed.  The conclusions and recommendations of the past editions were sent to the producing countries for their information and action. The feedback is that it has contributed to improving the impact of local content policies on the national economies.