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Invest in Africa: the pan-African non-profit platform supporting SMEs in Senegal (By Miguel Artacho)

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Invest in Africa: the pan-African non-profit platform supporting SMEs in Senegal (By Miguel Artacho)

IIA has been operating in Senegal since 2018, where it received strong support from two of the major international oil companies (IOCs) currently operating in the country.

DAKAR, Senegal, October 15, 2021 / APO Group / –

By Miguel Artacho, field editor

Invest In Africa (https://bit.ly/3lH2eFw) (IIA) was established in 2012 as a multi-sector, nonprofit pan-African organization whose main mission is to support entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ) succeed in the business sector in sub-Saharan Africa. It does so in particular by focusing on promoting local content in the extractive industries and offering a number of capacity building and training initiatives for IIA members. It also makes it easier for these companies to access financing on more favorable terms, while facilitating their overall ability to enter new markets.

The genesis of The IIA first began in the UK with support from Tullow Oil. Since then, The IIA has grown steadily and has expanded its operations to many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, and Zambia. It has achieved remarkable results in terms of both job creation and the promotion of new business development opportunities for a growing number of local SMEs.

IIA has been operating in Senegal since 2018, where it received strong support from two of the major international oil companies (IOCs) currently operating in the country; BP and Woodside Petroleum. The oil and gas industry is a new sector in Senegal; Although oil and gas exploration has been underway in the country for quite some time since the early 1960s, it was not until 2014, 2016 and 2017 that significant offshore oil and gas fields began to appear. been actually discovered.

Under the administration of HE President Macky Sall, the government of Senegal has created an enabling environment to support the development of local content. This vision is articulated at the very heart of the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE) and is also at the heart of various strategic organizations in the country’s oil and gas sector such as Cos-Petrogaz, NOC Petrosen, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the ‘Institute of Oil and Gas (INPG). They are all working together to implement President Macky Sall’s long-term economic development strategy, according to which the hydrocarbon sector aims to benefit the entire population through the creation of long-term jobs and the establishment of an equitable distribution of oil revenues. Above all, by actively promoting the training and development of young Senegalese oil and gas professionals for future oil and gas careers.

Create opportunities

It is precisely because of the dual alignment of the visions of the State of Senegal and that of The IIA on the importance of creating new opportunities for local actors, that the organization is now uniquely positioned to be a champion of local content in Senegal. emerging oil and gas sector. Both the CIOs in Senegal and The IIA know that the main challenge in fully developing a successful local content strategy is to ensure that workers are sufficiently skilled.

“In terms of the impact that we are currently having here in Senegal, we have been able to facilitate or host 57 calls for tenders on the Invest In Africa platform and 26 local SMEs have won contracts with several buyers on the platform. »Marketing and Business Development Director of Invest in Africa, Mr. Mamadou DIOP told Energy Capital & Power in an exclusive interview.

The importance of these findings cannot be overstated, and for one simple reason. Too often, across sub-Saharan Africa, local businesses in many oil and gas producing countries completely miss out on these kinds of new business opportunities; either because they do not know them in the first place, or because the tenderers do not meet the technical prerequisites or have all the necessary certifications. This is where the IIA’s African Partner Pool or (APP) proves to be incredibly valuable and allows local businesses to be effectively able to compete and, in some cases, subsequently win contracts in Senegal’s emerging and rapidly growing oil and gas sector.

The APP platform is very successful in supporting the inclusion of SMEs in their ability to bid for projects in Senegal. Diop noted that: “to date, the platform has registered 1,776 SMEs, local and international. And of these, 87% are local SMEs. By connecting potential buyers and suppliers, The IIA thus creates a level playing field for local players and positions them to potentially seize vital new business opportunities.

Another particularly important aspect of the current IIA activity in Senegal is its role in helping to ensure that SMEs have access to financing on competitive terms, which many SMEs might otherwise not have on their own. IIA has partnered with three of Senegal’s main banks; Orabank, Crédit du Senegal and Ecobank. The banks and The IIA are working together to carry out the necessary due diligence.

The magnitude of gas reserves recently released in Senegal’s offshore projects like SNE, SANGOMAR or Grande Tortue, means that by 2023, when large-scale commercial oil and gas production begins in earnest, the number of opportunities for SMEs to compete on several projects is certain to grow with the rapid development of the sector as a whole.

In response to the growing demand for renewable energy and the growing interest of international stakeholders to invest, develop and succeed in Africa, Energy Capital & Power will host the MSGBC Oil, Gas, & Power 2021 (https: // bit. ly / 3lIKFF9) conference and exhibition on 2 and 3 December 2021. Focused on strengthening regional partnerships, stimulating investment and development in the oil, gas and electricity sectors, the conference will bring together regional international actors with African opportunities, serving as a growth oriented platform for Africa’s energy sector.

Read more about the conference here: The Energy Minute: MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 (https://bit.ly/3BMS7ob)

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