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Why Namibia Must Act Now to Guarantee Fiscal Stability for Energy Investors and Avoid Delays (By NJ Ayuk)



Why Namibia Must Act Now to Guarantee Fiscal Stability for Energy Investors and Avoid Delays (By NJ Ayuk)

Why Namibia Must Act Now to Guarantee Fiscal Stability for Energy Investors and Avoid Delays (By NJ Ayuk)

One of the most practical ways for Namibia to do that is to update its petroleum contracts.

The world is watching Namibia. To be more specific, the energy world is watching. Ever since oil and gas majors Shell (United Kingdom) and TotalEnergies (France) announced massive hydrocarbon discoveries in Namibia’s offshore Orange Basin in 2022, interest in additional exploration in the Southern African country has been intense. And so has curiosity about how quickly Shell, TotalEnergies, and their partners will be able to finalize various field development agreements with Namibia and move on to production. Will their negotiations stall, as we’re seeing all too often in African nations, or will the process move forward smoothly?

Why Namibia Must Act Now to Guarantee Fiscal Stability for Energy Investors and Avoid Delays (By NJ Ayuk)

One of the reasons the 2022 Orange Basin finds were so exciting — in addition to sheer size, with as much as three billion barrels of oil combined — was the fact that Namibian exploration efforts up to then had been fairly disappointing. Only about 15 wells had been drilled before Shell’s discovery at the Graff-1 well and TotalEnergies’ Venus 1-X find, and none of those earlier efforts yielded commercial quantities of oil or gas. That means the Orange Basin discoveries represent Namibia’s first chance to show oil and gas companies what they can expect after announcing discoveries there.

Now is the time for Namibia’s leadership to show it respects the billions of dollars companies spend on oil and gas production. One of the most practical ways for Namibia to do that is to update its petroleum contracts: They need language that protects oil and gas companies’ investments. Namibia’s contracts should include what’s known as a fiscal stability clause, which would clearly state that if Namibia were to make legislative or regulatory changes — such as new tax requirements — the energy companies signing the contract would be protected from negative economic impacts.

Depending on the language of the clause— also known as an “economic rebalancing” or “equalization clause” — contracting companies might be exempt from new tax codes or compensated to make up for legislation that adds to their expenses such as new labor or environmental laws. What matters is, in the end, the companies’ return on investment would not be impacted by changes that occurred after their deal was finalized.

For Namibia, a newcomer to oil and gas deals, adding a fiscal stability clause to petroleum contracts will be key to retaining the energy industry’s intense interest.

This Clause Carries a Lot of Weight

Guaranteeing oil and gas companies’ investments is hardly a new or radical measure. Fiscal stability clauses are common practice and in place in such countries as Guyana, Mozambique, Mexico, and Angola. While I cannot produce a study that proves that these countries have attracted more investment as a result of their clauses, I do know this: When a developing country fails to offer the clauses, they’re giving oil and gas companies reason to limit investments there.

In a recent paper on financial stability clauses, international consulting company Deloitte commented on the clauses’ value.

“Stabilisation clauses enhance certainty and predictability which are key ingredients for the success of long term investment projects,” the report states. “Petroleum exploitation is capital intensive and recouping the investment takes much longer than most sectors. Any subsequent changes in the laws of the host state may significantly alter the economics of the economics of a project.”

For international oil companies (IOCs), investing in a country without a fiscal stability clause is quite a gamble in an already risky industry.

I realize that Namibia has already taken measures to ensure an enabling environment for upstream activity, including making updates to its tax laws, and I applaud those actions. Namibia’s legal framework and oil and gas code, in general, are considered investor-friendly. But guaranteeing companies’ investments is a critical next step.

Time is Precious

Not only does Namibia need to add a fiscal stability clause to its petroleum agreements, it needs to do it now. Otherwise, there is a possibility that the issue of financial risk will come up during contract negotiations with Shell, TotalEnergies, and their partners. And that, in turn, could lead to costly project delays, a topic the African Energy Chamber addresses extensively in its soon-to-be-released “The State of African Energy 2023 1Q Report.”

I encourage Namibian authorities to learn from the delays that have taken place in Mozambique’s offshore Rovuma Basin. Natural gas discoveries totaling as much as 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) were announced in the early to mid-2010s, but Mozambique’s negotiations with operators, including Italian energy major Eni and U.S. firm Anadarko, have dragged on for years. As a result, the only project to be completed so far is the Coral Sul floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project, fed by Coral Field. The FLNG saw a final investment decision (FID) in mid-2017, followed by construction getting underway in 2018 and the project shipping its first cargo in November 2022. This is a positive step, but imagine the economic and energy security benefits Mozambique’s natural gas could have yielded without such extensive delays.

Then there’s the example of the massive oil discoveries made by Tullow Oil in Uganda and Ghana, announced about three months apart from one another in 2006 and 2007. Tullow Oil began producing oil from its Jubilee Field discovery in Ghana in 2010. Contrast that with Tullow’s Lake Albert Rift Basin discovery in Uganda. After more than a decade of disputes with the government and no progress, Tullow sold all of its Ugandan assets to Total (now TotalEnergies) in 2020.

In 2021, TotalEnergies concluded final agreements to launch Lake Albert resources development, including the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania. TotalEnergies continues to move these projects forward in collaboration with China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Uganda National Oil Company. Unfortunately, climate concerns and net-zero emissions aspirations have made driving oil and gas projects forward considerably more challenging than it was in 2006. TotalEnergies is under heavy pressure from environmental activities to abandon its plans for oil production and the pipeline.  Its has been 15 years of value and revenue lost for Uganda. Critical issues like this will come up at the African Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa from October 16th to 20th and investors and governments have to find solutions working hand in hand with each other.

So Much to Gain

Not only will a fiscal stability clause in Namibian petroleum agreements help prevent delays with TotalEnergies (as well as with Shell, which announced another large Orange Basin discovery in 2023), acting decisively to protect companies’ investments will also position Namibia for more exploration.

The Orange Basin is one of several Namibian (and South African) locations of interest to IOCs.

Eco Atlantic’s deep water Walvis Basin blocks (among others) and in particular Osprey prospect drilling target in Block 2012A of the Walvis Basin, for example, was described as one of Africa’s most promising high-impact wells last December.

Meanwhile, Global Petroleum, Namcor, and Aloe Investments are expected to begin exploration in Block 2011A of the Walvis Basin this year. Tower Resources, Maurel and Prom, Exxon Mobil, Oranto Petroleum, Woodside Energy, Chevron, Galp, Recon Africa are currently carrying out a lot of Exploration work in various acreages in the country and moving towards possible drilling soon.

Namibia’s offshore Luderitz Basin and Namib Basin, along with the onshore Owambo and Karoo basins, offer great potential as well. But, again, interest could dry up quickly if companies begin to perceive Namibia as a risky country for investments.

BW Kudu, a wholly owned subsidiary of BW Energy and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), is bullish about Kudu Gas today more than before and is working tirelessly to get first gas in 2026. I love this project because domestic gas production could deal with Namibia’s energy poverty and energy security issues. Namibia currently imports about 60% of its domestic electricity needs.

Calls for Change

The African Energy Chamber is not the first to urge Namibia to take steps to guarantee oil and gas companies’ investments. This topic came up in 2020, before the large Orange Basin discoveries.

Uaapi Utjavari, then chairperson of the Namibia Petroleum Operators Association (NAMPOA), wrote to Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo to describe the role that fiscal guarantee clauses could play in supporting ongoing investment in Namibian’s fledgling oil and gas sector. NAMPOA recommended a legal/fiscal/commercial framework that balanced the needs of the country and investors.

“There is a fundamental need for a stable and sustainable business environment so the country and the investors are able to plan ahead and rely on terms agreed upon,” Utjavari wrote. “An economic rebalancing provision provides appropriate security around economic terms, which are critical for large-scale multi-billion dollars project investment/bankability, while not infringing the host country’s sovereignty and are a common feature in many petroleum contracts globally.”

The recommendations NAMPOA made in 2020 still make sense for Namibia today.

The African Energy Chamber would like to see Namibia reap all of the benefits its natural resources can offer, from increased energy security to industrialization and economic growth. Namibia can do that — if it shows a watching energy industry that the country is committed to helping companies realize a reasonable return on their investments. Adding a fiscal stability clause to its contracts is the right move. I encourage Namibia to act now.

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Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC) at the centre of regional transmission expansion: Tanzania Energy Cooperation Summit 2024



Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC) at the centre of regional transmission expansion

Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC) at the centre of regional transmission expansion: Tanzania Energy Cooperation Summit 2024

Confirmed as one of the most stable and important investment destinations on the continent, Tanzania prepares to host the fifth annual Tanzania Energy Cooperation Summit (TECS) from 31 January to 1 February 2024 in Arusha, home of the East African Community (EAC).

Investors from across industry, finance and government are convening to showcase Tanzania’s potential. Potential that is epitomised by a country now ranked third in sub-Saharan Africa for future investment, that is expected to see 6% GDP growth by 2025, and that has seen hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of investment, targeted towards infrastructure, hydropower, LNG and solar projects in recent years.

Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC) at the centre of regional transmission expansion

Ranked by KPMG behind only South Africa and Nigeria, Tanzania has confirmed its status when it comes to trade and investment.

The nation was cited for its strategic location to the east of the continent, its abundance of natural resources, and its recent investment spike, especially in the power sector. A first on-grid 50MW solar power plant, a $300 million investment into hydropower, a $42 billion LNG project formed by Shell, Equinor and Exxon Mobil, and almost $7 billion injected into infrastructure, confirms its attractiveness both in Africa, and globally.

Organised by EnergyNet, TECS24 will not only highlight these success stories but look at future trade and generation projects poised to transform the country and region further. Challenges around financing and guarantees will also be brought to the fore, to ensure that momentum isn’t lost and that the country’s power sector continues to go from strength to strength.

Alongside major investors, stakeholders attending include national ministers from Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia, as well as heads of national utilities, including Tanzania’s Managing Director of TANESCO, Gissima Nyamo-Hanga. Speakers from Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) and Zambia’s ZESCO will also be present. They, alongside representatives from the public and private sectors, DFIs – including AfDB, BII, World Bank Group and ATIDI – and multilaterals, will descend on Arusha for an intimate, high-level business retreat like no other.

With an emphasis on Tanzania’s’ position as a regional energy enabler, topics being brought to the table include Tanzania’s economic outlook and energy development potential, as well as plotting the best way to build a regional power market. Public-private partnerships in transmission projects will also be on the agenda, in addition to DFIs, governance and regulations, and the vital role of renewables. Attendees will be invited to offer ideas around building better regional interconnection, more robust frameworks for trade and investment, and ultimately to form a roadmap for regional energy access moving forward.

“Tanzania’s positioning on the continent has made it pivotal to trade. With connections between south and east and also to the rest of the world, the country has always had the potential to be a trailblazer for industrial growth – and now we’re seeing how this potential will be realised. It’s therefore hugely exciting to showcase Tanzania’s growth and to make sure the opportunity and momentum continues.” said Simon Gosling, Managing Director, EnergyNet.

He continued, “We’re also delighted to be hosting the summit in Arusha, giving everyone the time and space to deep-dive into the sector’s most pressing topics.”

“With Tanzania being one of our founding member countries, we are keen to do more in support of the country’s energy sector goals. Building on the progress made at last year’s event in Dar es Salaam, we hope that TECS24 will provide greater clarity on the proposed role of the private sector in the energy sector and how DFIs – particularly multilateral insurers and guarantors like ATIDI – can be supportive of such efforts and the wider energy transition,” commented Obbie Banda, Underwriter & Acting RLSF Coordinator at the African Trade & Investment Development Insurance (ATIDI).

Aleem Tharani, Co-Head for Infrastructure Sector Group (Africa), Bowmans and Head of Projects, Energy & Infrastructure (Africa), concluded: “The 5th Tanzania Energy Cooperation Summit marks a pivotal moment for Africa’s energy sector. By uniting investors, government entities and industry specialists, we’re fostering dialogues crucial for advancing Tanzania’s energy roadmap, prioritising gas and renewables, and enhancing regional transmission. Bowmans is proud to sponsor this summit, recognising its significance in shaping Africa’s energy future and strengthening public-private partnerships.”


FACILITATING ENERGY INVESTMENT IN FAST-GROWING ECONOMIES – EnergyNet has produced investment forums and executive dialogues for Africa and Latin America’s power sectors for the last 25 years – in Europe, the USA, Asia and across Africa and Latin America.

We work with governments and national utilities to facilitate investment summits where credible international investors can build relationships with public sector stakeholders to advance access to power.

Best known for the Africa Energy Forum, the longest-serving business development meeting place for senior-level decision makers in Africa’s power sector, other leading investment summits we provide strategic perspectives on the investment landscape and project preparation include the Tanzania Energy Cooperation Summit, H2 Africa, Offshore Technology Africa, Powering Africa Summit, Latin American Energy Forum and Latin American & Caribbean Gas Conference and Exhibition. YES! Youth Energy Summit and YES! Youth Energy Day are part of the portfolio, with a focus on creating a platform and network to boost the skills, connections and business readiness of a new generation of African energy leaders

Having this focus on public and private sector partnerships provides us with a valuable lens through which we can offer independent perspectives and support the business development activities of companies from around the world operating in these fast-growing markets. Our team talks daily with stakeholders across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to support these insights, so relationships and investor insights are our business and our passion.

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MSGBC Conference to Feature Roadshow on Mauritanian Exploration Opportunities



MSGBC Conference to Feature Roadshow on Mauritanian Exploration Opportunities

MSGBC Conference to Feature Roadshow on Mauritanian Exploration Opportunities.

A special session on Mauritania’s exploration prospects during the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference will delve into a range of topics, from geology to investment incentives and ongoing developments.

Mauritania is making great strides to attract foreign investment across its untapped upstream market, introducing a 15-block offshore licensing round; strengthening geological surveying and data acquisition; while promoting collaboration between Mauritanian and global partners. The country’s upstream prospects will be further explored during the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference and exhibition (, scheduled for November 21-22 this year.

MSGBC Conference to Feature Roadshow on Mauritanian Exploration Opportunities

In an exclusive panel session titled, ‘Focus on Mauritania: Road Show on Exploration & Opportunities’, a suite of Mauritanian policymakers, global E&P investors and regional stakeholders will engage in pivotal discussions and strategic planning on Mauritania’s upstream sector. For potential players looking at tapping into one of the world’s final frontiers for offshore exploration, the Mauritanian exploration roadshow is a not-to-be-missed event.

The Mauritanian Coastal Basin, an area with an extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage – covering more than 100,000 km, respectively – has become a focal point for exploration in recent years. The discovery of the Chinguetti oilfield in 2001 marked the opening of the tertiary petroleum system in the basin, while the 2015 GTA gas discovery in Block C8 unveiled deeper Cretaceous petroleum systems. These breakthroughs, coupled with growing global demand for oil and gas, emphasize the country’s evolving energy potential and growing prominence, and the Mauritanian roadshow will provide insight into the country’s unique offshore geological features.

The exploration session will serve as a bridge connecting government decision-makers, data experts, and industry players, providing a unique platform to exchange insights, share vital information, and outline the future trajectory of energy exploration and development in Mauritania. The panel of experts will delve into a series of essential topics that collectively form a holistic view of Mauritania’s exploration perspectives.

Serving to connect investors with Mauritanian opportunities, the session will provide an overview of Mauritania’s business environment and investor safeguards, showcasing the country’s commitment to creating a secure investment climate. The legal investment framework and the benefits and exemptions in promotional zones will be highlighted, emphasizing how these incentives can foster business growth. Correspondingly, details of the country’s latest bid licensing round, which features 15 offshore blocks, will be provided, connecting new players to the country’s promising yet untapped acreage.

Under efforts to promote exploration and production, the Mauritanian Government revised the legal and regulatory framework, implementing tax rules and exemptions to entice foreign and regional players. Through the Petroleum Code – introduced in 1998 and revised in 2011 – the Government sought to incentivize foreign investment in upstream activities, enhancing transparency, clarity and productivity across the hydrocarbons market. Regulatory revisions continue to be made, and in addition to geological insight, the Mauritanian session this November will provide a comprehensive overview of the country’s investment environment, equipping potential investors with the information they need to make informed decisions.

Efforts to enhance investment attractiveness have already translated into several key milestones, with a number of foreign players exploring the offshore market. International heavyweights to the likes of bp, Kosmos Energy, TotalEnergies, Shell, and many more now operate in this region, signaling the growing significance of Mauritania in the global energy landscape. These and many other players are looking at fostering new partnerships, and the session will offer insights into promising prospects and collaborations, illustrating the exciting potential of Mauritania’s energy sector.

MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 is a crucial milestone for the energy sector, bringing together key stakeholders, policymakers, and industry experts to discuss the most recent exploration opportunities in the region. The Mauritanian exploration roadshow, for its part, acts as a catalyst for information exchange and partnerships, and will greatly contribute to the MSGBC region’s long-term energy success.

Organized by Energy Capital & Power, the conference takes place under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani and in partnership with Mauritania’s Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines; the Mauritanian Oil and Mining Company; Petrosen; COS-Petrogaz; and the African Energy Chamber. Register now to secure your place!

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CrossBoundary Access open sources project financing tools used to finance over $80m of mini grids in Africa



CrossBoundary Access open sources project financing tools used to finance over $80m of mini grids in Africa

CrossBoundary Access open sources project financing tools used to finance over $80m of mini grids in Africa

CrossBoundary Access, in partnership with Shell Foundation, the UK-registered charity, is open sourcing the project financing tools they have used to structure and finance over $80m of mini-grid projects.

Mini grids are the least cost method to provide electricity to 260 million people in Africa and have a critical role in achieving universal energy access on the continent; However, mini grids are complex infrastructure assets. It typically takes 12-24 months to structure and finance a mini grid project; CrossBoundary Access ( is open sourcing the project financing tools they have used to finance over $80m of mini-grid projects to accelerate universal energy access in Africa.

CrossBoundary Access open sources project financing tools used to finance over $80m of mini grids in Africa

CrossBoundary Access, in partnership with Shell Foundation, the UK-registered charity, is open sourcing the project financing tools they have used to structure and finance over $80m of mini-grid projects. CrossBoundary Access has shared a project finance model on its website today ( and will share template project financing term sheets later this year. CrossBoundary Access believes open sourcing financial tools and approaches across the sector will accelerate the flow of capital needed to achieve universal energy access in Africa.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa without power – 600 million – will be largely unchanged by 2030. Mini-grids – self-sufficient electricity grids that can serve households and businesses – have a critical role to play in bridging the gap. They are the least-cost method to bring electricity to over 260 million people.

However, mini grids are complex infrastructure assets that typically take 12-24 months to finance. Mini grids are small (typically less than $500,000 in capex), have unfixed long-term cash flows such as revenue, diesel expenditure, battery replacements, etc., and are typically mixed with other non-infrastructure assets and activities. The process of ring-fencing mini-grid assets into standalone investment vehicles, and fixing and allocating revenues, costs, and risks over a typical 10–20-year infrastructure investment horizon is a highly intensive process. Detailed, interlocking financial models and project contracts are required to create bankable mini-grid projects.

CrossBoundary Access is open sourcing the two interlocking financing tools it has developed over the last 6 years – a financial model and project term sheets – to accelerate the flow of capital into the mini-grid sector. The open-source movement was first pioneered by the software industry in the 1990s. CrossBoundary Access believes the energy access sector should adopt its own open source model to accelerate industry collaboration. Continuous sharing and improvement of the sector’s financing tools is needed to attract and deploy capital into mini grids.

Read more on why CrossBoundary Access and Shell Foundation believe open source can accelerate universal energy access in Africa in this article (

Terry Otinga, Senior Investment Associate and Open-Source lead at CrossBoundary Access, says, “We are excited to share these tools and are especially eager to exchange lessons learnt with developers and investors. This will bring us a step closer to closing the energy access gap in Africa. That’s what open source is about.”

Kwaku Owusu-AchawBusiness Development Director at the Shell Foundation, says, “We are thrilled to partner with CrossBoundary Access to share this innovative financing approach. We hope that this is useful for the sector and gives developers the tools to raise capital and improve energy access in Africa.”

Humphrey Wireko, Managing Director at CrossBoundary Access, says, “We appreciate Shell Foundation’s support in this initiative. In order to reach the 300 million people in Africa best served by mini-grids, we need a lot more mini-grids being built and more investors providing capital to this sector. Hopefully this helps make that happen.”

About CrossBoundary Access:
CrossBoundary Access ( is Africa’s first blended finance platform for mini grids. CrossBoundary Access uses an innovative blended finance approach to invest in mini-grids and provide 24/7 grid-quality power to households and businesses in rural Africa. CrossBoundary Access reached first close in June 2022 with $25 million from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited, Bank of America, and Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund. In September 2023, the platform secured an additional $10 million from AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA). CrossBoundary Access continues to raise and deploy a total of $150 million of blended project finance over the next three years to bring clean energy to one million people in Africa. CrossBoundary Access is a member of the CrossBoundary Group.

About Shell Foundation:
Shell Foundation ( is an endowed, UK-registered charity that catalyses clean energy innovation and unlocks inclusive investments in Africa and India, empowering millions of underserved customers – of which half are women – to earn a living income. Shell Foundation, with co-funding from the UK government through the FCDO, funded the open source project to encourage more investments in mini-grids, which can power whole communities, helping small business owners, rural agricultural households, and urban transporters, the key focus customer groups for the Foundation.

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