African governments should accelerate local content development to support economies

Africa energy chamber Local contentThe African Energy Chamber has held its first meeting with its Local Content Committee, placing local content development at the core of its activities

With several established markets like Nigeria or Angola and frontier energy markets such as Senegal or Uganda, the oil sector supports several of Africa’s economies. As a result, the African local content has become a major priority for government, regulators and industry stakeholders.

During the meeting, major points put forward included the need for African governments and companies to develop better implementation of local content policies and come up with new approaches putting entrepreneurship and capacity building as priorities. From financing African starts ups, SMEs and companies to promoting an enabling business environment, it was agreed that African governments and regulators need to rise up to the task and provide for better conditions and environments for African entrepreneurs to thrive.

Established African energy markets such as Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea or Gabon are still missing a pool of strong local companies across the value-chain, and especially in upstream. Despite producing oil and gas for decades, their environment has remained until now unfavourable to the nurturing of entrepreneurs in oil and gas, especially because of a lack of domestic financing.

Regionalisation of African content identified as a crucial trend

With the roll out of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) and upcoming first oil and gas in many African markets, the potential to have local content move away from a pure international-local perspective is real.

This is creating an opportunity for local companies within established markets, be it Nigerian companies regionalising the oil and gas content or South African and Kenyan companies regionalising content within the renewable energy space.

Finally, inclusion in the workforce is set to become a major focus for the chamber and its committee, especially when it comes to promoting youth and women inclusion in the extractive industries. Upcoming producers such as Senegal, Mozambique or Uganda have a unique opportunity to truly innovate as they develop their own approach to capacity building and local content development.

As the COVID-19 pandemic further increases the need for localising value chains in Africa, local content development is set to become even more important for all industry stakeholders.

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