By Hilary Mare
AS the second International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition to be held on the 17th -19th September 2014 in Windhoek draws closer, Confidente caught up with Managing Director of Rich Africa consultancy and founder of the Oil and Gas conference, Ndapwilapo Selma Shimutwikeni to provide insight on Namibia’s prime energy sector event that has in recent played a pivotal role in progressing the nation’s oil and gas sector with an ultimate goal of establishing solid foundations for the management and sustainable development of Namibia’s petroleum and energy sectors.
Q: How did the idea to promote Namibia’s oil and gas industry come into life?
Selma Shimutwikeni: The conference was organised in light of Rich Africa’s mission. For as natural resource experts the company’s objective is to provide a thought leadership forum for Namibia’s oil, gas and energy stakeholders to exchange ideas, discuss key issues and challenges shaping Namibia’soil and gas industry, as well as attract investment in the sector.
This was further strengthened by the growing interest in Namibia’s hydrocarbon potential, evidenced by the entrance of leading international oil companies over the past few years. With the endorsement of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the conference was successfully inaugurated in 2012.
Q: After succeeding in the previous edition of the conference, what are the main highlights of this year’s conference and the differences from yesteryear?
Selma Shimutwikeni: The theme of Namibia’s 2nd International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition is ‘Unlocking and Optimising Our Resource Potential’ with a focus on exploration, energy and investment. The 2014 conference aims to explore how to unlock the potential of the country’s oil, gas and energy resources and therefore ensure sustainability as envisioned by Vision 2030.
Themed ‘The Road to Discovery and Beyond’, the 2012 inaugural conference aimed to explore the implications, opportunities and challenges associated with the developing Namibia oil and gas industry.
A key difference is the inclusion of the energy and downstream sectors in the conference deliberations.
More than 250 international and local delegates attended the first conference and we look forward to welcoming a higher number of delegates for this year.
Q: What does the future hold for this conference?
Selma Shimutwikeni: It is Rich Africa’s expectation that this learning and networking platform would be a leading contributor to attracting investment in the fast growing oil and gas industry and positively contribute to the country’s foundation for developing a framework for the sustainable management, development and investment of Namibia’s natural resources.
Q: Have the goals of the previous event been met?
Selma Shimutwikeni: I believe that the conference objectives were met as evidenced by the positive feedback from the attendees (which included all stakeholders) and the increased interest within the industry.
Most importantly, the conference deliberations allowed for the production of a report highlighting Namibia’s oil and gas exploration journey as well as provide a synopsis of the speakers’ views, comments and solutions to some of the challenges in the industry. It is Rich Africa’s expectation that this report will become a convenient and useful reference to Namibia’s growing oil, gas and energy sectors.
Q: What message would you have for potential investors and sponsors?
Selma Shimutwikeni: This conference is an ideal platform for all stakeholders in the industry. I therefore would like to call on the business community, industry players which include international oil companies, existing and potential investors, financial institutions, law firms and other service providers to register and attend this leading thought leadership event. They can register online at www.namibiaoilgasconference.com
I look forward to their invaluable contribution, support and to further to help me showcase the unlocking and optimisation of Namibia’s resource potential.
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