The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) yesterday said its recent achievements in the African region would have remained elusive without the roles of African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA).

In a letter dated 23rd June and addressed to the Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha, the Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, who is expected to end his tenure by July 31 (next month) noted that Kragha and ARDA helped paved the way for the expansion of OPEC’s footprint in Africa.

ARDA, an association made up of key players in the downstream segment of the continent’s petroleum industry is leading in Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels by promoting harmonization of cleaner fuel specifications across Africa in line with the AFRI Fuels Roadmap. The move will avoid urban pollution and the associated health challenges. The group is also focused on addressing supply and distribution infrastructure gap for petroleum products in the face of growing population, executing carbon abatement projects at its Member refineries to reduce their carbon footprints, and promoting LPG as a cleaner cooking alternative to biomass across Africa.

Describing the recent years in the sector as challenging, Barkindo said the relationship with Kragha and the ARDA team created leeway for successes recorded in the sector, particularly on the continent.

“One of the cardinal achievements was the launch of the inaugural OPEC­-Africa Dialogue in June of 2021, which could not have been realized without the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) and your excellent leadership as Executive Secretary.
Your esteemed organization, in partnership with the African Energy Commission (AFREC) and the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) helped pave the way for the establishment of an historical partnership that will have a lasting legacy for OPEC and its Member Countries.
“This is the newest of OPEC’s portfolio of international energy dialogues, and comes as the Organization has witnessed an expanding African membership. In fact, we have proudly welcomed three new Members from Sub-Saharan Africa during my short tenure alone. Congo joined OPEC in 2018, Equatorial Guinea joined in 2017 and Gabon rejoined in 2016, after having been a Member for two decades, from 1975 until 1995.
“These newer Members are building upon an already strong continental foundation, which includes: Libya, which joined OPEC in 1962, Algeria in 1969,Nigeria in 1971 and Angola in 2006. All-together, since 2018, Africa is the continent with the highest number of Member Countries in OPEC,” Barkindo said.

According to him, throughout OPEC’s 62-year history, African Member Countries have played a key role in meetings and decisions in support of the Organization’s efforts on the global stage to promote stability in the global oil market in the interest of producers, consumers and global economy.

Looking ahead, Barkindo noted that there was need for continued fruitful collaboration with ARDA, in addition to AFREC, APPO and other leading African partners.
Such collaboration to him, would strengthen and empower Africa to reach its full potential as a leading global provider of sustainable energy to help meet the world’s growing energy requirements.

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