JUBA, South Sudan
| During his keynote speech at the opening of the South Sudan Oil & Power Conference & Exhibition in Juba this week, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group Nj Ayuk called for greater inflow of capital and technology into the country to boost recovery and stability.|
Attended by hundreds of industry executives and dignitaries from South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia, Norway, the United States, and South Africa, the conference was opened by First Vice President H.E. Taban Deng Gai and Minister of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang, along with several cabinet ministers.
AEC Chairman used this platform to advocate for better stakeholder cooperation and urged all political factions to make concessions and respect the peace agreement. “The presence of oil should incentivize dialogue between all parties to the current conflict and push for resolution of minor differences to be resolved,” he declared.
In line with the conference’s focus on finance, the Chamber called on the government to continue working towards creating an enabling environment for businesses in order to attract more investments into the country. “South Sudan’s oil industry will do even better when there is good governance, free-market capitalism, limited-government, and individual freedoms because it helps the people at every level of society to prosper. The government and the oil industry must embrace it and respect the sanctity of contracts,” said Nj Ayuk.
In order to increase production, he also urged the oil industry to speed up exploration programs and keep working on putting back damaged oil fields into production. “We applaud CNPC for its recent 300 million barrel discovery in South Sudan and hope to see the government speeding up approvals for field development plans,” he added.
As South Sudan launched a new licensing round, Nj Ayuk reminded the country’s authorities of the challenge of having transparent bidding round and of attracting highly capable companies to explore oil and gas. “The chamber will support South Sudan without reservation in this effort because oil and gas are the backbone of the economy,” he declared.
The Chamber is supporting several domestic capacity building initiatives in South Sudan, and Nj Ayuk reminded the audience that “it is important to encourage young men and women who find opportunities, have ideas for innovative services in oil and gas, those who have the courage to deploy capital, accept risk, and make it happen. They deserve to be supported.”
The Chamber strongly believes that local content and women empowerment is key today more than ever, and it’s Executive Chairman urged the government and the oil industry to enact special programs to promote women. “You can’t be a true oil man if you don’t support women to grow in the industry. When we support women in oil and gas we support the African family because women invest more in the family unit today in Africa,” Nj Ayuk concluded.