In his keynote address at African Energy Week 2022 (AEW), Viktor Zubkov, Russia’s Special Presidential Representative for Cooperation with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of a state-owned energy company, Gazprom, discussed the significance of African states in international politics and the global economy.

Zubkov’s presence at AEW 2022, Africa’s largest gathering for energy policymakers, companies, and investors, was critical for shaping discussions about the key role of the continent’s hydrocarbon resources in driving industrial development and facilitating economic and GDP growth, as he represented one of the world’s largest and most established oil and gas markets. It was this very point that Zubkov made during his speech: “Africa has a wealth of natural and human resources that could provide the foundation for the development of African states for many years ahead.”

Specifically, Zubkov’s address highlighted the role natural gas plays across the continent while drawing attention to how Gazprom has placed gas at the forefront of the organization’s developmental agenda, and how the company is well-positioned to help Africa realize its gas objectives.

“Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel in terms of carbon footprint. In the global energy mix, natural gas as an energy carrier is vital for reaching the sustainable development goals of all countries across the world.

Gazprom is consistently working to improve the efficiency and eco-friendliness of gas use technologies. Among other things, we pursue projects in the area of gas-fired power generation and continue our comprehensive efforts to expand the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel for all kinds of transport,” adding that, “Gas is the obvious choice to play the key role in industrial development and energy sector growth across the African continent, as well as to facilitate the improvement of living standards and enhance economic potential.”

Expanding on the partnership and knowledge-sharing role Gazprom plays for African gas-rich countries, Zubkov stated, “On its part, Gazprom is willing to share its vast practical experience in the exploration, production, transportation, and processing of hydrocarbons, which we have accumulated during decades of work in many countries across the globe. In our point of view, the such a productive partnership will help define new approaches to further cooperation between Russia and Africa.”

With this address, a new era of enhanced collaboration between Russia and Africa is in sight, led by industry giants such as Gazprom. With Africa seeking to maximize the production and exploitation of its estimated 620 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves to make energy poverty history by 2030 while driving socioeconomic growth and energy security, cooperation with global parties such as Gazprom on knowledge sharing, project financing, and infrastructure development has and will continue to be critical.

“Zubkov’s address further emphasized the role bilateral partnerships have and will continue to play in Africa’s energy future. By capitalizing on the opportunities partnering with Gazprom presents, African states have the chance to accelerate investment and development across the gas sector, thereby positioning the continent as a global gas powerhouse while unlocking long-term and sustainable economic growth. We are proud to have had an industry giant such as Zubkov deliver a keynote address at AEW 2022 and look forward to the many fruitful discussions that are set to take place between Russia and Africa in the future,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.


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