AAI Hosts Energy Focused African Diplomatic Orientation & Engagement Program

On June 14th and 15th, the Africa-America Institute (AAI) hosted the African Diplomatic Orientation & Engagement program in partnership with the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. 

First held in 2019, the African Diplomatic Orientation & Engagement program was designed by AAI to connect and engage new and experienced ambassadors in supporting their impact as international representatives to the United States.

This year’s program focused on the future of energy, the energy value chain, technology and services, U.S. international engagement, and regional partnerships. The program was joined by leaders from the energy sector and representatives from nearly twenty African nations.

On the first day of the program, AAI President, Kofi Appenteng, shared opening remarks and opened the floor to a fireside chat between Mohammad S. Barkindo, Secretary General of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Clay Neff, President of Chevron Middle East, Africa, South America Exploration Production Company. Moderated by Carlos Pascual, Senior Vice President for Global Energy, IHS Markit, the discussion focused on the impact of the pandemic on the energy industry and the significant adjustments that have been made within the industry.

The fireside chat was followed by a presentation from Ambassador Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of International Energy Agency (IEA) and remarks by Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana, Rwanda Ambassador to the U.S. and Vice Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps.

The second day of the program began with remarks from Shauna Johnson Clark, Global and US Chair at Norton Rose Fulbright, later followed by comments from Amb. Virginia E. Palmer, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. State Department. 

Amb. Palmer discussed U.S. energy policy and diplomacy under the Biden Administration; America re-entering the Paris climate agreement; and the importance of international cooperation to address the impacts of climate change. 

This year’s program also included:

  • A value chain overview panel with Chevron’s Hans Kuehner, General Manager, International Exploration; Gary Spengler, Vice President, Products, Supply & Trading; and Michael Rubio, General Manager, ESG and Sustainability, moderated by Frank Mount, General Manager, Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • An energy technology & services panel with Feyi Okungbowa, Vice President OFE SSA, Baker Hughes; Wole Ogunsanya, CEO, GeoPlex; and Tayo Akinkunmi, Country Manager, Nigeria, TechnipFMC, moderated by Ado Oseragbaje, VP — Sub-Sahara Africa, Baker Hughes.
  • A live virtual tour of a drill site led by Andres Aguel, Project Sales Manager, NOV.
  • Closing remarks from Ambassador Hilda Suka-Mafudze, African Union Permanent Representative to the U.S.

The program concluded with business networking sessions, where company representatives and Ambassadors were provided space to connect one-on-one. 

This year’s African Diplomatic Orientation & Engagement program was made possible by the generous sponsorships of Chevron, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Schlumberger. 

For more information about the African Diplomatic Orientation & Engagement Program, please contact Jourden Warren, AAI’s Chief Development Officer at jwarren@aaionline.org 

Thank you to our sponsors

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