Oil and Gas Conference kicks off today

Niël Terblanché

Namibia is fast emerging as one of the world’s final frontiers for oil exploration with sizeable oil discoveries already announced offshore.

Over 700 delegates are expected to attend the Namibia Oil and Gas Conference 2023, and the occasion is set to become one of the biggest civil society-focused events of the year.

Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is set to officially open the conference later today.

The primary objective of the conference is to create a platform for a large-scale public consultation, bringing together key stakeholders including industry experts, policymakers and civil society to discuss and explore opportunities, challenges, and advancements in Namibia’s oil and gas sector.

The conference will also focus on fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing and investment in the energy sector.

Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) Marketing, Branding and Communications manager, Catherine Shipushu, said what sets the event apart, is how the barriers for civil society and local business participation have significantly been lowered and in some cases entirely removed.

Shipushu said the conference is hosted by the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN), NIPDB and the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Namibia (HSF), with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) as a strategic partner.

In July, Jason Kasuto, Chairperson of EAN said that focus will be placed on proposals and strategies that will ensure that investments in the sector do not create an enclave around oil and gas production sites, but lead to the development of an integrated industrial base with backward and forward linkages to the rest of the economy.

“This will create sustainable jobs and contribute to the social welfare of Namibia’s people,” he said.

Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, earlier said the Namibia Oil and Gas Conference 2023 holds great promise for fostering dialogue and collaboration among key stakeholders in Namibia and the international oil and gas value chain.

He said oil discoveries are sufficient to turn the country into a major hub of upstream oil and gas exploration activities and a significant player on the global oil and gas stage.

The conference programme will explore the issues around investment opportunities, financing, value chains and infrastructure to identify the required skills, employment creation as well as economic participation of local communities.

The speaker lineup will feature experts and industry leaders from the African continent, such as Nigeria, Angola, Uganda and Kenya as well as other countries like Norway, Guayana, Trinidad and Tobago.

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