Africa Oil Week (AOW), which was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been moved from Cape Town to Dubai this year, the organiser of the annual event said in a statement on Thursday.
This year’s event, which is scheduled for November 8-11, will take place under the theme of 'succeeding in a changed market'.
It will host energy ministers from various African countries, including Mauritania, Ghana, Senegal, Namibia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, London-based exhibitions organiser Hyve Group said.
Top executives from leading oil companies such as TotalEnergies, Chevron, ENI, Equinor, Africa Oil Corp, Seplat and Famfa will also attend the event.
“This year’s event is more important than ever for our industry to reconnect … as we embrace the energy transition for the sustainable future,” said Paul Sinclair, vice president of energy and government relations for AOW.
“Our attendees' safety was our number one priority in temporarily moving the event to Dubai for this year’s edition,” Mr Sinclair added.
South Africa has recently entered a fourth national lockdown that includes the temporary banning of events nationwide. AOW’s regular venue, the Cape Town International Convention Centre, is currently being used as a mass vaccination site.
However, Mr Sinclair said the event will return to Cape Town in 2022.
“To show our long-term commitment to Cape Town, our natural home, we have signed a three-year deal until 2024 with the [convention centre],” he stated.
Last year’s AOW, which is traditionally held in November, was moved to February this year, but it was cancelled as countries worldwide saw a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The Hyve Group also refuted last week’s media reports that said this year’s AOW have been replaced by Africa Energy Week.
“AOW does not have any partnership or connection to Africa Energy Week, nor the organisers, Africa Energy Chamber. The false media articles state that the event would be run in Cape Town, despite events being prohibited due to strict Covid-19 protocols,” it said.
Now entering its 27th year, AOW aims to stimulate upstream deals and transactions, drive investments in African projects, and enable new partnerships and networking opportunities. It brings together governments, national and international oil companies, investors, independent stakeholders and service providers.
In 2019, it hosted 26 global ministers and over 400 senior delegates.