Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Time Is Now Enhancing Energy Security In Africa

By Emmanuel Okogba

The African Energy Chamber has called on African governments and oil companies to do more to protect the security of energy infrastructure in Africa.

Oil and gas infrastructure is quickly becoming a principal target for terrorists, rogue organizations, hostile state and non-state actors, and criminal enterprises. The recent attacks in the Middle East – the drone attack on the Saudi Aramco pipelines and the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – validate a precedent (and unfortunately techniques, tactics, and procedures for those with malicious intent) of using non-complex attack methods to create complex problems for owners/operators of Energy and Natural Resource assets.

As is the case in the Middle East, Africa is seeing an increase in attacks on critical energy infrastructure and natural resource assets: assaults on a gas processing plant, pipeline vandalism, rebel attacks on oil fields and refineries, and ransomware attacks.

One of the major concerns generated by attacks on Energy and Natural Resource assets is the catastrophic impact on the supply of energy products and services across Africa. "The local, regional, and global demand for the energy and natural resource assets owned by African nations is constantly growing. Most nations in Africa depend on the availability of supply of their Natural Resource Assets to generate economic value for their respective societies.

The same is true for the power supply they generate from their Critical Energy Infrastructure Assets which create off-take opportunities – locally, regionally, and globally". Said C. Derek Campbell, CEO of Energy & Natural Resource Security, Inc., who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with distinction, earning the Bronze Star in Afghanistan.

He served as the U.S. Marine & Naval Attaché to Nigeria. "If this availability of supply is attacked and disrupted, secondary and tertiary negative effects will severely impact companies, industries, and nations relying on this supply of energy products and services from African energy and natural resource owners/operators". Added C. Derek Campbell.

Another major concern generated by attacks on Energy and Natural Resource assets is the impact that these events have on economies that rely on these assets to create revenue. "As with impacts on supply, security threats – physical and cyber – pose an immense danger to all major sectors of the Oil & Gas, Power & Utility, and Natural Resource economic value chain.

This is largely due to sector overlap and interdependency. A physical or cyber-attack on an upstream asset can cause operational challenges midstream that can cause financial catastrophes at the downstream end." The same is true in reverse – a downstream physical or cyber-attack can disrupt midstream operations and bring upstream activity to a halt for a producer. "The same scenario can be applied to power assets – generation, transmission, and distribution.

These types of disruptions can not only negatively impact jobs at the local market level but can also have disastrous impacts on the central banks of African nations who rely on the revenue generated from it's Critical Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resource assets". Added C. Derek Campbell.

"African countries and Oil and Gas companies have to mobilize immediately and take the necessary steps to address this problem. The Chamber will continue to support any efforts to ensure stability and security of oil and gas infrastructure – both onshore and offshore.

It is in the best interest of business and citizens to see this happen". Stated NJ Ayuk Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Law Group and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. Protecting and improving the resilience of energy systems mandates vigilance, contingency planning, and training – ultimately requiring African energy stakeholders to be actively and immediately engaged in the physical and cyber protection of their Critical Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resource Assets.

Helen Clark Appointed As New EITI Chair

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Members’ Meeting Monday confirmed the appointment of Rt Hon. Helen Clark as the Chair of the EITI. The EITI Board for 2019-2021 was also elected.

Helen Clark is a widely respected global leader on sustainable development and international cooperation. She served three successive terms as Prime Minister of New Zealand between 1999 and 2008.

While in government, she led policy debate on a wide range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues, including sustainability and climate change. She then became the UNDP Administrator for two terms from 2009 to 2017, the first woman to lead the organisation.

She was also the Chair of the United National Development Group, a committee consisting of the Heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

 Outgoing EITI Chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt commented: “I am delighted to be succeeded by Helen Clark as EITI Chair. The governance of extractive resources is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

Helen's previous leadership roles in global development make her excellently qualified to open up new avenues for dialogue on the role of extractive resources in sustainable development.

Over the last 12 years, the EITI has grown from an initiative to a global Standard for the good governance of the sector. I would like to pay tribute to the network of stakeholders and partners who have developed the Standard and leveraged it to pursue tangible reforms and better investment." 

Mark Robinson, Executive Director of the EITI, welcomed Helen Clark's appointment, saying that: "We are delighted at Helen's appointment and confident that her political and diplomatic skills will help shape the EITI, as it continues to play an important role as the benchmark for extractives governance and transparency. Helen will be the fourth Chair of the EITI and the second woman to take up the role."

Incoming Chair, Rt Hon. Helen Clark, expressed her appreciation of the work of previous leaders of the EITI and commented: "At EITI, I will be working with more than 50 countries globally to improve transparency, accountability, and governance, and to raise the bar for extractives governance.

I am grateful for the role Fredrik and the outgoing Board have played in forging consensus on the revised 2019 EITI Standard, and I look forward to taking this important work forward."

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Meera Investments, Speke Group of Hotels Open New Classy Apartments

The new week kicked off on a good mood for Meera Investments and Speke Group of Hotels (both subsidiaries of Ruparelia Group) as they got their hands off construction works of a new flashy and classy apartments property in Kitante.

The new apartments christened Speke Apartments Kitante was Monday evening at a feast full cocktail unveiled to the public and are not ready for letting. There are 83 one-bedroom and two bed-room apartments which are fully serviced.

Rajiv Ruparelia said they are looking for a mixture of having longtime guests as well as short terms stays. He said they did a good market survey and they expect a good return on investment.

“We are targeting Ugandans in the diaspora who come to visit their families here or return for holiday. They can visit their families during day time and have a comfortable place to stay in the evening,” Rajiv told journalists in an interview.

“We will also be targeting the multinationals, the foreign companies, the expatriates and even upper class Ugandans or they might have a guest from abroad who they might want to stay with us,” he added.

Rajiv said they are starting with a promotional price of $110 per night for the one bedroom apartments but intends to charge $150.

Dubbaka Suresh, General Manager Speke Apartments, while taking guests around, said they will charging $2000 for a month’s stay for one bedroom apartments and $2800 for the double bed bedrooms, all taxes inclusive.



Victoria University To Host Secondary School Students At Open Day

Secondary school students from various schools will converge at Victoria University to get career tips from professionals and experts in numerous fields and walks of life. This will be on Saturday 22nd June 2019 at the Victoria University backyard.

The University said the theme for this year is ‘unlock your future’. Each year Victoria University hosts students from select secondary schools to visit and tour the university campus and facilities.

The University also invites seasoned experts and academicians to share with the youngsters career guidance opinions that are intended to inform the learners about life after high school.

The open day gives an opportunity most especially to students looking for post-secondary education to get great tips from the experts in terms of career guidance. Tips range from choosing the right course, life skills, entrepreneurship among others.

The open day returns at a time when the University’s August - September intake is ongoing. Entrepreneurs, media personalities, comedians, academicians among other professionals will make presentations at the open day.

At the open day, students and parents are given tips ranging from choosing the right courses, life skills, and entrepreneurship among others.

Last year, Doreen Kanyesigye, an inspiration speaker encouraged the youngsters to develop special abilities to deal with people effectively regardless of how times change, have great inter-personal skills, emotional intelligence and ability to solve problems the world is facing.

“You should have the ability to solve problems, not the ability to show us your triple As and excellent grades - that would open up doors for you. That is what will make you indispensable,” she said.

“When you have this skill of critical thinking, you are able to step back and understand that this challenge you are facing is not here to kill you. With critical thinking, you will understand that the challenge is here to empower you. You then find a solution to jump over it.” she added.

James Walusimbi, a Human Resource Consultant at NFT Consults, advised students to always think differently and think beyond what has been provided to them if they are going to succeed in life.

In her speech, Mariah Peggy Nabunya, the Guild President of Victoria University advised students to always do their best in every aspect of life. She said they should always have an extra plan in case plan A fails. “Have plan B, C and D. have many plans just in case plan A fails. That is how the world works nowadays.”

The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Krishnna N. Sharma, said students must look beyond class work performance and look at providing solutions to the world.

‘If I don't solve your problem, even if I scored 99 percent, it will be useless but if I solve a problem, even if I scored 50 percent that is fine. This is what you are going to learn here at Victoria University, solving problems.

We will be building your profile. We will be working on your attitude because at the end, the outcome of higher education to improve your knowledge, skills and attitude. It is this attitude that is going to contribute up to 80 percent of your success.” Dr. Sharma said.

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