Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, will take over as President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2023, reestablishing Africa as a leading powerhouse in the global oil industry.
Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s largest oil producers, has seen exponential GDP growth as a result of its oil industry, with exports playing a critical role in driving the country’s economy and socioeconomic development. As a result, Minister Obiang Lima’s appointment as OPEC President is expected to facilitate a platform that will advance the interests of African oil and gas explorers and producers, as well as all OPEC members, in the wake of a new era of cooperation and partnership-building on the continent.
OPEC wields considerable power in the global oil market as an intergovernmental organization. The organization and its member countries account for nearly 40% of global oil supply and thus play an important role in market stabilization.
Equatorial Guinea will not only hold a more prominent position in the global energy arena, but will also be able to voice an African perspective within the organization. The country has taken the initiative to strengthen ties with both OPEC and non-OPEC members, reaffirming its position as an important regional and international energy partner. Equatorial Guinea will now be able to actively influence decision-making in both the region’s and the wider continent’s favor, while promoting the challenges and opportunities present in Africa’s energy industry.
“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
Previously held by the Republic of the Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, whose tenure and skilled leadership at OPEC led to a new era of market stability for Africa, the appointment of Minister Obiang Lima is poised to demonstrate the continent’s steadfast commitment to working with a variety of stakeholders to make energy poverty in Africa history by 2030.
Minister Obiang Lima, for his part, has worked and continues to work to bring energy security to the African continent as a whole. Since 1997, he has worked in the oil and gas industry, holding positions such as Minister Delegate, Vice Minister, Secretary of State for Mines and Hydrocarbons, and Presidential Advisor of Hydrocarbons for Equatorial Guinea.