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Shell opens up on unlocking African countries’ economic potentials

The Vice President, Exploration Middle East & Africa, Shell, Colette Hirstius has explained that the African oil and gas industry faces unique challenges and opportunities.

She noted that “These are often driven by geology, the maturity of the industries and in the case of customer facing businesses, the size and structure of the market,” she explains. “Some of these challenges include the lack of infrastructure, security issues, unstable fiscal and regulatory environments and limited access to energy.”

The answer to this is a long-term vision for each country, and long-term partnerships between the industry and government built on trust and commitment. “These will be critical elements for success,” she adds. “Shell believes strongly in partnerships and that everyone has their role to play, the role of government is all about creating an enabling environment that encourages the industry to invest.

This includes developing and communicating a clear energy strategy. As well as creating strong, effective, and predictable, regulatory and fiscal regimes along with respecting the sanctity of governance and contracts and providing a secure operating environment.

And lastly, embedding transparent and clean business practices. For industry to deliver its part by conducting activities in a sustainable manner, which means being safe and environmentally and socially responsible.

“Companies should build local capabilities and capacity, develop local value chains to maximise competitive opportunities for local economies and, of course, promote innovation and technology. Shell strongly believes that building local capacity and capability is key for helping Africa to achieve its full potential. And it’s one of our clear focus areas.”