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Houston’s Appeal: A Promising Hub for Cooperation and Investment Opportunities

Fresh off another edition of the African Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) and its leadership are continuing their efforts to eradicate energy poverty by 2030. Led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk, a delegation from the AEC recently traveled to Houston, Texas, USA, for productive engagement sessions with key stakeholders in the energy sector. The visit to Houston, following a similar mission to Guyana, is part of the AEC’s series of high-profile events scheduled to conclude a busy year. Ayuk emphasized the critical importance of the mission to Houston, considering the strong and growing ties between the AEC and energy sector stakeholders in the USA. The discussions with energy actors in Houston were successful, and the AEC plans to hold similar engagements in other cities across the USA. Ayuk highlighted the record participation of energy actors from the USA, including senior officials from the Biden Administration, at the recent African Energy Week, demonstrating the potential for investment in the African energy sector. Ayuk asserted that despite the challenges, the investment climate in Africa is not as bleak as some may suggest and that the AEC will continue to lead efforts in attracting vital investments to address energy poverty. Regarding the 2023 edition of the African Energy Week and his mission to Guyana, Ayuk expressed satisfaction with the outcomes. He highlighted the importance of a just transition and just energy transition for Africa, considering the region’s lack of access to electricity and clean cooking technologies. Ayuk emphasized the need to develop energy in a low-carbon and sustainable manner to provide jobs, opportunities, and revenue for governments. He also stressed the importance of creating an enabling environment to avoid favoritism in decision-making. The visit to Guyana allowed Ayuk to participate in the African Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2023, where discussions focused on united global south voices for trade and business, as well as the financial opportunities available for small and medium enterprises to participate in the energy sector. Ayuk commended Exxon Mobile’s efforts in Guyana to produce oil in a low-carbon and sustainable way while benefiting the local communities. He expressed optimism about future collaboration between African and Guyanese partners, particularly in forest management and environmental issues. The current AEC delegation working visit in Houston, Texas, aims to engage with partners and stakeholders in the energy capital of the world. The delegation plans to discuss investment opportunities in exploration, training, capacity building, and local content development to unleash Africa’s energy potential and create more opportunities for Africans. The visit also provides an opportunity to explore innovative solutions for operating in a low-carbon environment.

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