UK firm eyes Namibia, South Africa bulk oil supply sector

 UK firm eyes Namibia, South Africa bulk oil supply sector

UK firm eyes Namibia, South Africa bulk oil supply sector.

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DIVERSIFIED United Kingdom based Metrix Petroleum with interest in oil, renewable energy as well as logistics is eyeing the Namibian and South African bulk petroleum supply market amid the recent popularization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Chief Executive Officer of the Group Malvin Chiwanga opined that his company currently with visibility in seven countries in in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islanders said Namibia will give them space toe spread their tentacles in the region because of its central location. He also reiterated that he AfCFTA has also created opportunity for African business to take advantage of available space in the continent for expansion and profitability.

 “Intra Africa trade is worrisomely low at current moment especially on oil and gas but the creation of the African Free Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a good start to improving this. Estimations are that this will bring the African market of over a billion people together and also smoothen free movement of goods and services. Namibia is our first port of call I the next two years,” he said.

 Chiwanga also reiterated that, “Perhaps what has dragged intra Africa trade back is the fact that we are all resource centred and we produce more or less the same commodities hence we need to look at value addition. In terms of oil and gas, we need to look at potential to refine the crude oil so it can be consumed by those that do not produce. For example in SADC you have a scenario where most SADC countries could just buy oil from Angola but the failure to value add has left this market acquiring further afield in other regions from mostly the gulf region.”

He argued that while Africa is one of the major oil producers, countries in the continent who produce the much sought after liquid gold have not been able to take advantage of the market in the continent but rather sell their unrefined product overseas, only to buy it at a slightly higher prize.

Chiwanga, a Zimbabwean born businessmen said the AfCFTA is a perfect yardstick for Africa oil producing countries to venture into value addition of their petroleum products and create a readymade product for the continent to consume.

“Efforts should be invested in the continent accruing full benefits of trading within as well promoting full movement of goods and services. It is also imperative that for this great initiative to succeed the continent should seriously look at issues of double taxation and very customs charges among member states.” he said.

Currently in Africa Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea are major oil producers but they have no managed to capture the African market owing to rampant competition from other multinational conglomerates and non-availability of direct trade links with other African countries.

“Oil has a big opportunity to improve economies of oil producing countries in the continent particularly Equatorial Guinea, Angola and even Libya. However it is imperative to note that improvement of these economies from oil also comes down to governance issues. For a resource to improve a local economy it needs to be exploited to the benefit of all its citizens and also find an equitable distribution of the resource.

Libya was a perfect example of how during the Gadhafi era oil was used to better the standards of living for inhabitants. In that era World Bank showed that the standard of living for that country was better than some European countries. But now with the turmoil the same oil that could develop the country has now turned into a curse that has ravaged that country. Angola the same it experienced rapid economic growth until 2014 but now that economy is no longer doing as well,” he said..

Chiwanga also argued that African leaders need to invest much more than just political will in driving the AfCFTA in the near future if the grandiose plan is to yield tangible financial gains for the local economy in the near future.

“At least the bulk of the African countries have ratified the agreement which is a major step forward in implementing the agreement. However political will alone might not be the only important aspect needed from African leaders but there might also be need for countries to look at the possibility of collecting high import duties for the better good of the continent and also better implementation of the plan.

Tiri Masawi

is a Business Journalist and Editor for 14 years. He is currently working in Namibia and has written for several Namibian, Zimbabwean, and South African newspapers. He also works as a fixer for BBC in Namibia. He has a firm interest in reading as well as mentoring young journalists in the craft.

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