Open Webinar in Equatorial Guinea on Impact of COVID-19 on oil prices
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Equatorial Guinea holds an open Webinar, NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chair of the African Energy Chamber and Leoncio Amada Nze, President of CEMAC, joined the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea with Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima and H.E. CESAR A. Mba Abogo, Minister of Economy, Economics and Planning, addresses COVID-19 impacts on pandemics and oil prices, panels conclude that economic diversification will be the best possible way to ensure stability in Equatorial Guinea, the ministry of mining and hydrocarbons must update petroleum regulations with opportunities for more foreign investment.

The African Power Chamber joined H.E. on Thursday. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) of Equatorial Guinea and H.E. Cesar A. Mba Abogo, Equatorial Guinea Minister for Trade, Economy and Planning Available for the webinar. 

Topical topics included “Review of the Oil and Gas System of Equatorial Guinea and COVID-19 Results” the panel addressed the future of the oil and gas industry in EQ, growth of the nation’s mid and downstream sectors, policy on local content and job creation, economic diversification, fiscal legislation, tax incentives and the 

MMH’s goals to increase exploration and develop the manufacturing and refining field of EG were all articulated by Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima in order to market the value chain, develop local involvement and foster entrepreneurship. 

In keeping with this, Minister Mba Abogo pointed out that, since EG relies heavily on oil, the price war and COVID-19 have put it in a precarious position. He clarified that the country needed to diversify its economy and look at industries such as tourism, agriculture and mining to achieve stability and avoid lasting impacts on economic growth – a view echoed by Leoncio Amada Nez, President of CEMAC in the African House of Energy, who said “Oil offers economic advantages and prospects for unlocking.

Open Webinar on impact of COVID-19 on oil prices
Don Cesar A. Mba Abogo, Minister of Economy

Advancing Equatorial Guinea’s economy in the next 20 years

Equatorial Guinea initiated the Year of Investment (YoI) 2020 initiative in order to position itself as a centre for global and foreign investment. The YoI project aims to raise $1 billion in FDI to diversify the energy sector in the country, boost industry, generate investment income and create jobs. 

In encouraging EG, given the current economic climate, to continue on this aspiring road to growth and development, NJ Ayuk, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, stressed the importance of local involvement for achieving longer-term greater growth. 

“We must return to the fundamentals, we must invest in education. By improving these capabilities, we are more likely not only to bring buyers into our markets but also to hold companies,” said Ayuk. Minister Mba Abogo agreed. “Opportunities posed by our ambitions make no sense unless our people profit from them.”

Price War impacts on Africa

With many of the African petroleum-producing countries budgeting for and oil prices of no less $50, oil economies in the continents will be hit hard. When asked about the effects of the low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Obiang Lima said that the MMH was working to ensure that its projects and initiatives continued, adding that “there would be a more difficult effect on new producers (the low oil price, COVID-19), in particular as many of them have pipeline projects.”

Continuing business

Minister Mba Abogo said business ease is important to attract more business to the Equatoguinean market. In adjusting to the current state of the global economy and pushing business to continue, he said that EG had to be innovative with its financial approaches and draw lessons from other African countries.

“Oil has been our blessing in Equatorial Guinea’s diversity and we should use it to build a thriving future,” he said.

Providing incentives

Minister Obiang Lima said EG would change its petroleum regulations to include tax and regulatory opportunities for new and ongoing companies, publish a ministerial decree to improve the industry’s effectiveness and a new operating regulation for mining in a matter of weeks. 

In addition to the regulations, Minister Mba Abogo pointed out that EG has a issue with a negative narrative which has prevented it from attracting new business. To resolve this question, the minister announced that the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning will establish and easily report the growth and development of the country. 

The African Energy Chamber welcomes the proposals of the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons and the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning to be a positive way forward in ensuring that the country does not experience a setback, in particular as it is prepared for sustainable development.

Data Source: African Energy Chamber

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