Dr Sun Xiansheng, IEF Secretary General, participated as a guest of honour and delivered a keynote address during the 2nd GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum) International Gas Seminar held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Seminar, part of the 5th GECF Summit of Heads of State and Government, convened under the theme, "Gas: Challenging the Status Quo, Creating a Sustainable Future."
H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Hydrocarbons and H.E. Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the GECF welcomed participants and opened proceedings. Sessions were introduced by the keynote speech by H.E. Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, the Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea.
In the session entitled "Natural Gas, Energy and Meeting Sustainable Development Goals," Dr Sun Xiansheng discussed the opportunities and challenges as they pertain to Africa's natural gas sector. He outlined five key advantages for natural gas in Africa including, the role of sustainability, cost competitiveness, abundance of resources, potential for regional integration, and spillover economic opportunities that can occur as a result of increased natural gas use. Dr Sun also pointed out three key challenges for Africa which include improving energy access, facilitating the energy transition, and increasing cooperation and dialogue amongst African countries.
Member-states reiterated their commitment to strengthen global energy security as reliable suppliers of natural gas to meet the world's growing energy demand along with enhancing cooperation and dialogue. From an emissions perspective, member states also resolved to enhance the contribution of natural gas for climate mitigation, adaptation, and protection of the environment.
The 5th Heads of State Summit and the 2nd International Gas Seminar represents the first time that the event was held on the African continent, reflecting the increasing interest of African gas-producing countries to engage with the organisation. The biannual event seeks to promote and facilitate constructive dialogue on the future of natural gas between Ministers, CEOs of national and international oil and gas companies, heads of international organisations, academia, and gas industry analysts.