Published On: Mon, Jan 18th, 2016

The 4th India Africa Hydrocarbon Conference scheduled for January 21 & 22, 2016 at New Delhi

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12509285_685807488225726_6381267235647043013_nNew Delhi: The 4th India Africa Hydrocarbon Conference (IAHC) scheduled for January 21 & 22, 2016 at New Delhi, is a continuation of the discussion revolving around synergies between India and Africa and strengthening of the ties between the two. The conference is aimed towards greater cooperation between India and the African continent towards a ‘development transmitting partnership’ in the field of hydrocarbons. This partnership would enable India to enhance its energy security, while nurturing Africa’s hydrocarbons’ sector growth on several fronts like capability building, environmental sustainability, human resource development and employment generation.

India and African nations have always enjoyed strong historical, political and cultural ties. In the present day scenario, India and Africa share complimentary needs, with India having to import close to 75% of its crude oil requirements, and many African nations being rich in hydrocarbon resources. This serves as the catalyst to encourage broader cooperation beyond the hydrocarbon energy sector where investment capital from India can be secured in allied projects for development needs of African nations.

In the third India Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in October 2015, the government has outlined the key areas in which India and Africa can work together. These include human resource development, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, health, education and skill development, along with working in partnerships on climate change issues. Energy security presently stands as the third major focus area of India-Africa bilateral ties. Africa, with its huge hydrocarbon resources, and India, with its rapidly rising demand, huge human resources, experience, technology and ability to invest capital, are natural partners poised for further growth.

There is also immense potential for structural complementarities and business tie-ups in the hydrocarbon sector. Africa is not only well endowed in the hydrocarbon sector, it also represents a number of dynamic countries whose own demand for fuel, petroleum products, technologies, jobs, skills and investments is on the rise. This opens avenues to explore for more opportunities for equity investment in the African markets and two way tie-ups. India has proven its expertise in exploration, refining, consultancy, training, infrastructural developments etc. in hydrocarbon sector.

The two regions expect to touch trade figures of around $100 billion in the coming two to three years’ time. The Indian government aims to work towards enhancing its ‘Development Partnership Administration’ programme with Africa.

African imports play a significant role to meet the demands of an oil import dependent nation such as India to an extent that Nigeria stood as the second largest supplier of oil to India after Saudi Arabia in June 2015. Owing to rich natural resources in Africa, there are opportunities at multiple level to be partners in growth with India, which is also visible in Indian government policies, with a push to the Indian National Oil Companies (NOCs) to enhance their partnerships with African nations.

The Indian government’s strategy aims to put together African energy needs with Indian strengths in this regard. Knowledge exchange and transfer are expected to remain the key elements. India has witnessed a similar situation as Africa faces today in terms of regulatory challenges and governance in the past, which allows the former to relate and understand the functioning of latter better. Opportunities for partnership and collective growth emerge as India and Africa share stages of development and reforms.

The India-Africa hydrocarbon sector complementarities have come a long way and set a long term mutually beneficial path that can be further used for capacity building, human resource and infrastructure development. Africa and India could further collaborate with each other on sustainable economic growth and regional stability and become true partners in progress.

The 4th India Africa Hydrocarbon Conference (IAHC) aims to explore opportunities, bridge boundaries and boost bilateral trade between India and Africa. The conference will provide a global forum for energy Ministers of Twenty Five African Countries to share their vision and chart out the road map for extended energy cooperation in the coming days. The Conference will bring together leaders in the worlds of energy to network with other influential peers, gaining new perspectives by hearing distinguished CEOs from India and abroad, exchange expert insights, and develop strategies for the next big steps towards enhanced energy cooperation.

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