Participants at the summit in a group photo after the opening ceremony
A DEPUTY Minister of Energy in charge of power, William Owuraku Aidoo, has encouraged Ghanaian businesses and entrepreneurs to form what he referred to as formidable partnerships to take up more opportunities in the country’s oil and gas industry.
In his view, making significant gains from the local content arrangement would require indigenous Ghanaian companies forming strong bonds rather than working as individuals.
The Deputy Minister was delivering a keynote address on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Accra at the second edition of the Ghana Energy Summit.
The summit held under the theme: “Harnessing Opportunities in Ghana’s Energy Sector, Making Local Participation a Practical Reality”, brought together around 350 experts and industry captains within the energy sector.
Organised by the Business and Financial Times Newspaper, the summit aimed at exploring ways to increase opportunities for local participation in the energy sector.
Touching on the importance of partnership in the sector, he said “if you are one man business it’s difficult to get capital from a financial institution, but if we come together as a group, you are able to access bigger capital.”
“In spite of increased local participation in the sector, local companies are faced with numerous challenges ranging from lack of finance, human capital development and technology, among others,” Mr Aidoo pointed out.
“I consider this summit very important because it offers a perfect platform to discuss the common challenges that confront local participation in the energy sector,” he added.
One of the major challenges Mr Aidoo touched on in his speech was the inability of local companies to meet international standards in the energy industry.
Continuing, he said “these barriers to local participation have resulted in the over-concentration of local companies in the low-hanging fruits and less participation in the high-value capital and technological intensive services.”
In February, Ghana’s Energy Minister, Peter Amewu, announced plans to establish a petroleum hub in Western Ghana.
He said at the time that the hub was to “house major infrastructure for refining and processing, discharge, storage, distribution, transportation, and trading of petroleum products.”
The first panel of the summit dealt directly with this project, bringing a number of energy executives to the stage to discuss the future of the project. Participants traded comments surrounding the importance of Ghana’s continued supply of gas and oil.
Other topics ranged from responsible use of domestic gas to the potential pitfalls of electricity tariffs.
Chief Executive Officer of Business & Financial Times, Dr. Edith Dankwa, observed how challenging it has been for African nations to manage revenues generated from their natural resources.
BY Melvin Tarlue & Donny Morrison