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Mauritania: MSGBC ministerial panel to unlock Africa's energy potential



Le panel ministériel du MSGBC va libérer le potentiel énergétique de l’Afrique

The MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference and exhibition, scheduled to begin in Nouakchott on November 21, will kick off with a ministerial panel discussion entitled "Forging links, driving growth."

This panel will bring together the energy ministers of the MSGBC region to give direction to the region's energy sector. Topics on the agenda include regional cooperation, energy infrastructure, regulatory frameworks and technological advances.

The discussion will be moderated by NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, and will include H.E. Nani Chrougha, Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; H.E. Dr. Hotna Cufuk Na Doha, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau; H.E. Felix Antoine Diome, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of the Republic of Senegal; Hon. Abdoulie Jobe, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of the Republic of The Gambia; and H.E. Aly Seydouba Soumah, Minister of Energy, Hydraulics and Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Guinea-Conakry, attending MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power for the first time.

The discussion will focus on the imperative of strengthening regional integration in the energy sector. The panel will look at strategies to facilitate cross-border trade, streamline market access and align energy policies. Collaborative initiatives such as the West African Power Pool and joint agreements on resource management and cross-border capital flows have the potential to unlock shared resources, reduce costs and extend the reach of the energy market.

The second key area of discussion will identify opportunities to reduce operational expenditure through collaborative regional infrastructure projects. Ministers will discuss the development of shared infrastructure, including projects such as the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline and integrated transport networks such as the regional rail system in West Africa, which can facilitate the movement of resources. This approach has the potential to reduce costs, streamline operations and build a more robust energy ecosystem in the MSGBC region.


Discussions will also focus on simplifying the regulatory framework for oil and gas activities. The aim is to create a coherent set of regulations that simplify the exploration, production and transportation processes. A harmonised regulatory framework can foster investor confidence, speed up project approvals and ensure industry compliance, promoting responsible and efficient resource development. The Grand Tortue Ahmeyim gas project, located offshore between Senegal and Mauritania, serves as an example of the harmonisation of regional regulations from the exploration to the production phase, with first gas expected in mid-2024.

The panel will also highlight technologies for strengthening regional cooperation, looking at mechanisms for sharing technological advances across borders. Countries such as Guinea-Conakry, which recently invested in a geological research centre, and Gambia, which signed a memorandum of understanding for crude oil exploration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, can benefit from the expertise of Senegal and Mauritania. Collaborative innovation can lead to improved exploration techniques, enhanced safety practices and more efficient resource extraction methods, ensuring that the region remains at the forefront of technological advances in the energy industry.

The prerequisites, rationale and importance of inter-African energy trade will also be discussed, including an examination of the regulatory and infrastructure requirements for expanding trade between African countries.

 Under the patronage of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, and in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines, the Mauritanian Hydrocarbons and Mines Company, Petrosen, COS-Petrogaz and the African Chamber of Energy, the third edition of the conference will take place from 21 to 22 November in Nouakchott. Visit to register for the event.