By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org).
I am just a little country boy and I don’t believe we have to be diplomatic about this stuff. I love the Oil and Gas industry and will always stand up for it even when it is unpopular to do so. I don’t care taking the heat for this industry and for the so many Africans that this industry is doing a lot of good for.
Like every other sector we also know how to mess it is up. Africa Oil Week is messing it up and I will not be going to Dubai for that event. Heck, they probably don’t expect us to be there in the first place. Sometimes you have to stand on principle. I can’t go along with an initiative that will show disrespect to the African Continent and the people whom you will come back tomorrow wanting their resources.
Their reasons are so bizarre. They make up stuff as they go. Covid is their excuse. Dubai has Covid just like Cape Town does and Dubai has more variants than Cape Town. Most of the people that go to conference will have to be vaccinated or be subjected to same day onsite testing. So Africa Oil Week’s excuses makes about as much sense as tits on a bull. Sometimes they just have to quit going around their ass to get to their elbow.
Africa Oil Week leaving Africa for Dubai is just the first step. I don’t believe in boycotts because they hurt the working-class person its bad for free markets. But corporations do need to be held accountable on where they put their dollars especially when the same people would come to me talking about ESG and being nice to local communities. It’s not about your words anymore. It’s about your deeds.
I am a firm believer in free market capitalism, and this is one of those difficult situations for me. You can’t build an African narrative going into COP26 from Dubai. It is unfortunate for those who will be impacted by this, but how many more million will be impacted if we don’t do the right things now. And so in weighing it out, for me and the African Energy Chamber, tongue in cheek, that this is a necessary evil, but it has to happen in order for the good to happen.
We will stay in #Africa and support all event organizers who want to lead this discussion in Cape Town. It can be done. Let’s do it in Africa for Africa and for Oil and Gas.