Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, will become President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2023, reestablishing Africa as a major player in the global oil market.
Equatorial Guinea, one of the biggest oil producers in Africa, has experienced exponential GDP growth as a result of its oil industry, with exports playing a key role in advancing the nation’s economy and socioeconomic development. As a result, Minister Obiang Lima’s election as OPEC President is anticipated to facilitate a platform that will advance the interests of African oil and gas explorers and producers as well as those of all OPEC members in the wake of a new era of cooperation and partnership-building on the continent.
OPEC has considerable sway over the world oil market due to its status as an intergovernmental organisation. Nearly 40% of the world’s oil supply comes from the organisation and its member states; as a result, they play a crucial role in market stabilisation.
Equatorial Guinea will hold a stronger position in the world’s energy market as a result of assuming the presidency, and it will also be able to speak for Africa within the organisation. The nation has taken the initiative to deepen ties with both OPEC and non-OPEC members, reiterating its status as a significant regional and global energy partner. Equatorial Guinea will now be able to actively influence decision-making in the region’s and the wider continent’s favour as it promotes the difficulties encountered and opportunities present within Africa’s energy industry. Equatorial Guinea currently holds the OPEC Presidency.
“We at the African Energy Chamber (AEC) are very pleased to see the appointment of Gabriel Obiang Lima as the President of OPEC,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC, adding, “With a global climate that is pushing Africa and OPEC countries to abandon oil and gas, demand for oil and gas is increasing especially in emerging economies that need to industrialize, eradicate energy poverty and promote clean cooking.” Added Ayuk
“What Africa and the world needs more than anything right now is market stability. We are confident that Minister Obiang Lima will work with all OPEC member countries to ensure the needs of producers and consumers are met.” Concluded Ayuk
The position was previously held by Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua of the Republic of the Congo, who’s tenure and skillful leadership at OPEC helped usher in a new era of market stability for Africa. With the appointment of Minister Obiang Lima, the continent is poised to show its unwavering commitment to working with a variety of stakeholders under the common goal of making energy poverty in Africa history by 2030.
Minister Obiang Lima, for his part, has worked and is still working to ensure the continent of Africa as a whole has energy security. Since 1997, he has worked in the oil and gas industry, holding various positions such as minister delegate, vice minister, secretary of state for mines and hydrocarbons, and president of Equatorial Guinea’s advisor on hydrocarbons.