What do you see as the key challenges facing the industry in the region over the coming 5-10 years and how is your company positioned to overcome these challenges?
The gas industry needs to overcome the current glut in supply and open up new markets. It needs to build a coherent narrative on how natural gas can support economic development in emerging and development markets and provide a basis for industrialisation in these markets.
Where do you see the opportunities for growth within the industry in the next 5 years, how are you positioned to support this?
There is an opportunity for the gas industry to tap into the significant demand for energy and other by-products in the African continent. The African Development Bank has set out five ambitions to charter Africa’s development, the “High 5s”: Light Up and Power Africa, aiming to provide universal access to power by 2025; Feed Africa, aiming to make the continent a net food exporter; Industrialise Africa, to more than double Africa’s industrial GDP; Integrate Africa, to create a seamless continental market; and Improving the Quality of Life of Africans, to improve economic opportunities especially for youth. What I am looking forward to discuss at the Assembly is how the gas sector and the “High 5s” can mutually reinforce each other.
Tell us about the session you are speaking on and why you chose that topic at the Mozambique Assembly?
I hope to talk about the significant downstream industrial opportunities emerging from gas extraction. There is an opportunity for Mozambique to overcome the “enclave” model seen elsewhere in the extractive industries, and leverage its other natural resources to create prosperity – agriculture through gas-to-fertilizer; industry and transport with gas-to-liquid, and use gas-to-power to help reach universal access to electricity. But this requires a common vision among all players, balancing a rather complex set of policy choices. The African Development Bank hopes to help facilitate this discussion over the next months.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Make sure you get right what you fully control first. Which applies to other walks of life too, actually.
If you could have a luncheon with any three people (real of fictitious/ from any time period, dead or alive), which three people would you choose and why?
Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian writer, to discuss African governance and politics and what has changed since he first started writing about it in the sixties; Amartya Sen, the Nobel prize whose writings first got me interested in the nexus between economics and social development; and George Weah, because I am a massive Milan fan and he would have a few tips on career planning and career changes.