Africa can benefit the global economy with the help of the U.S. NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, gives a clear roadmap in his new book, “Billions At Play.”
Africa is more than a continent with breathtaking landscapes and tumultuous history. It is a land of opportunity with more than enough natural resources necessary to reduce poverty and bring prosperity through industrialization. NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, knows exactly what needs to be done to develop it, and the U.S. plays a significant role in his plan.
Africa can use its energy and natural resources to industrialize itself – and benefit general population using policies, plans, and actions that encourage an enabling environment for manufacturing, business, and trade. But it can also benefit from the companies working on the continent to build the infrastructure necessary for industrialization.
Bruce Falkenstein, Joint Operations Manager of License Management & Compliance for LUKOIL, agrees with that premise.
“It is simply not ethical for American, French, Italian, and other companies to come here and not help lift people out of poverty,” Falkenstein said. “True, they employ indigenous workers and provide training, but one of the biggest benefits would be in committing to help build sustainable infrastructure and physical assets that will remain a plus for the people long after the companies have pulled up stakes and left Africa, and I will add that sustainability of the workforce, also a key component of a venture’s ‘built assets’, is critical to the future industrial output of the nations and currently many of the workforce assets are left behind without local supporting employment agencies after the stakes are pulled up. Sustainability is only achieved through alignment of the projects with both the real needs of the impacted communities and the spectrum of government stakeholders,” says Falkenstein.
In his new book, “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals,”
NJ Ayuk points out how Africa’s manufacturing value added (MVA) as a share of GDP is the lowest in the World and still lagging due lack of infrastructure, which includes electricity, water, poor roads, rail, harbor, information, and communications technology (ICT).
Africa needs storage facilities, pipelines, distribution networks, engineering, and manufacturing opportunities to make the most of its natural gas discoveries. That’s where the U.S. needs to step in.
“What’s needed now is a $700B investment to build roads, railroads, pipelines, wind and solar power, manufacturing jobs, education. The U.S. has always been an investor in Africa, but with China’s growing involvement, now more than ever, American investment in African’s future ensures fair trade through cooperation and regulation. America has always been a terrific partner with Africa. We’re looking to grow that from aid to investment in infrastructure,” says Ayuk.
Despite the current situation, the author chooses to focus on the solution and the positive instead of the problem and what’s not working. Nj Ayuk turns his attention to the people and businesses that can and need to do more and partnering with countries like the U.S. to create cleaner, greener, cheaper energy sources, and jobs, which have the potential to put those dollars back into the global economy. By getting in early and helping Africa grow and prosper, American businesses ultimately grow the U.S. investment.
“In the future, African companies will be energy companies, not just oil and gas but clean energy. This allows America to invest and Africa a chance to compete and lift communities lit of poverty,” says the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
NJ Ayuk is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today. He is also founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group; Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017). “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy,” his new book, will be published in October 2019.