The President of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) and Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has reiterated ARDA’s commitment to work with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) to deliver a sustainable intra-African oil and gas industry.

He said the industry would be focused on delivering cleaner fuels and value-added petroleum products via a lower-carbon footprint.

Dr. Abdul-Hamid was speaking as a co-Chairman at the third High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue held on 19th February, 2024, in Cairo, Egypt.

The Meeting was co-chaired by HE Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary General of the OPEC, HE Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the AUC, and HE Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of APPO.Building on the successful meetings held in 2021 and 2023, participants conducted open and transparent discussions on a wide array of key topics related to energy and oil, including energy security, risk of underinvestment, climate change, and energy transitions.

Dr. Abdul-Hamid also shared ARDA’s objective of developing a consolidated register of investable energy infrastructure projects that would be shared at the first-ever ARDA Investment Forum to be held during the 2024 ARDA Week in Cape Town from 22-26 April 2024.

He also looks forward to working with APPO to support the successful take-off of the Africa Energy Bank (AEB) this year and providing bankable downstream projects for the laudable AEB initiative in the drive to meet Africa’s growing petroleum products demand sustainably.

The NPA Boss congratulated OPEC for its continued leadership in promoting the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue.

In his remarks, HE Al Ghais indicated that dialogue with Africa is a key pillar in OPEC’s global energy dialogue programme which includes many other key regions, countries, and international organizations. “We at OPEC firmly believe that cooperation and dialogue among all energy stakeholders are absolutely essential factors in effectively addressing our common energy challenges”, he said.

HE Al Ghais noted that in terms of climate change and energy transitions, developing countries around the world, including those in Africa, continued to balance priorities between the dire need to support the development of their national economies, while also adapting to ever-shifting dynamics related to climate change.

For his part, HE Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid stressed the need to consider Africa’s context as analysis shows that the African Energy demand could increase by 30% -compared to 10% in global energy demand by 2040. HE Dr. Farouk updated the Meeting on the progress towards establishing the Africa Energy Bank (AEB), noting that the APPO Ministerial Council had approved the take-off of the Bank in the First half of 2024.

The AEB aims to fill the gap arising from restrictions on funding oil and gas projects, particularly in Africa.

Their Excellences concluded the event by underscoring the key role that Africa is set to play in the energy industry, in general, and the oil industry, in particular, in the years and decades ahead.

They also highlighted the importance and benefits of fostering the ongoing cooperation between OPEC and the African energy organizations, especially through the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue framework, and decided to hold the 4th High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue in 2025.