Energy top on the agenda as US-Africa summit kicks off in Washington

This week over 50 African heads of state will discuss ways of improving trade between their countries and the United states as well as how to tap into the United States economy.

The summit to be hosted by US President Barrack Obama is also expected to open opportunities for business people from both continents to share ideas and network.

A topic that will be high on the agenda is energy with meetings with energy executives also known to have already been arranged.

Already the Corporate Council on Africa whose main sponsor is Camac Energy with exploration projects in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Gambia has arranged a business forum where President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ghana’s President John Mahama will be chief guests.

President Kenyatta is also set to have meetings with energy companies in Houston during his stay in the US that is expected to lure more US oil companies into the country with only Marathon Oil, Anadarko and Camac currently exploring after the departure of Apache.

Houston is home to many energy companies including: ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Apache, Marathon Oil, Spectra Energy, Camac Energy, Cameron International, EOG Resources, Anadarko, MRC Global to mention but a few. As of 2013, 24 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Houston.

“My visit will focus on strengthening ties between the US and Kenya in trade, capital investment, infrastructure, energy and security,” said Kenyatta in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

While in the US Kenyatta will also hold talks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and meet with a select group of business people who have Kenya specific investment proposals at a forum convened by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

President Yoweri Museveni also hinted that among the top priorities of East African governments will be the financing of the LAPSSET project which has seven project components and which require an estimated budget of $24.5 Billion.

Among the seven project components include two of which are energy related ie. Oil pipelines (Southern Sudan and Ethiopia) and an Oil refinery at Bargoni in Kenya’s coast province.

“Our discussion was especially informed by the upcoming Africa-USA Summit on 4-7 August 2014 that will allow the leaders a chance to engage with American investors on this project. This being a continuation of similar engagements that are being held with investors from across the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Rim,” said Museveni in a statement after holding a meeting in state house Nairobi last week with his Kenyan, South Sudan and Ethiopian counterparts.

Author: Samuel Kamau Mbote