The Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Rt. Hon. Anastase Murekezi officiated the 7th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (EAPCE’15) that opened its doors on 4th March 2015 at Serena Kigali Hotel in Rwanda.
Addressing the over 500 delegates attending the Conference, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister said the East African Community was committed to the provision of sufficient, reliable and affordable electricity to the citizenry and that the Partner States were in the process of linking each other with high voltage transmission lines and developing the necessary framework for power exchange and trade amongst themselves.
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister disclosed that last year alone, the region commissioned over five hundred megawatts of new generation capacity and noted that by 2018, the EAC is projected to have installed capacity growth from the current 4,000 megawatts to more than 12,000 megawatts.
‘’I therefore invite the Private Sector, Development Partners and all stakeholders in the energy and gas sectors to partner with EAC Governments in these efforts’’ affirmed the Rwandan official and assured the international oil companies and related service companies attending the Conference of the region’s commitment to support the oil and gas exploration, development, as well as production,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, the Deputy Minister of East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Dr. Abdullah Saadalla noted that the confirmation of commercial petroleum reserves of approximately 6.5 billion barrels in Uganda, an estimated over 600 million barrels in Kenya, and approximately 53Tcf gas in Tanzania, together with discoveries in Mozambique indeed confirm that the East African region is emerging as a new and exciting frontier for oil and gas exploration and investment.
He reiterated that the EAC Council of Ministers recognizes the role played by sector in the region’s growth and development, and that the EAC Treaty not only underscores the need for Partner States to cooperate in joint exploration and development of energy resources found within the Community but also promote sustainable utilization of natural resources and encourage regional energy sufficiency within the sector.
Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta noted that the Conference provides an opportunity to show case to the world the petroleum potential of the Region through sharing information on the status of hydrocarbon activities in the region.
On his part, the Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera noted that the theme of the Conference Proven Destination for Investment in Petroleum Resources for Regional Energy Sufficiency and Lasting Socio-Economic Development was geared towards attracting Capital Investment required to explore and develop petroleum resources of the Partner States in a sustainable manner.
Amb Sezibera disclosed that a number of investors had billed East Africa as the world’s most promising frontier for oil and gas exploitation for the past 10years and there is good reason for thier optimism. He said that 2.3bn barrel of recoverable oil had been discovered in Uganda and Kenya and more than 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Tanzania, and that there were exciting signs of oil and gas in Burundi and Rwanda.
The annual East African Petroleum Conferences have provided increasing awareness of the potential for petroleum development in the region and other important developments in the petroleum sector including technological advancements in exploration, development and production.
The 7th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (EAPCE) 2015 has brought together participants from international oil companies, oil industry service companies, government institutions, academic institutions, international geoscientific journals, non-oil and gas institutions as well as the media