Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, November 26, 2020: The African Legal Support Facility (“ALSF” or “Facility” and the African Natural Resources Center “ECNR” of the African Development Bank proceeded with the virtual launch of the African Petroleum Legislation Atlas pilot platform via Zoom. The objective of the APLA Project is to support African countries to maximize petroleum resource benefits.
In his introductory remarks, the Director of African Legal Support Facility (the “ALSF” or the “Facility”) Mr. Stephen Karangizi expressed his faith that the APLA Platform will have a positive impact on the energy sector in Africa. He also recalled the prerogatives and relevance of the ALSF which comprised legal advisory to African States, especially Highly Indebted Poor Countries (“HIPC”) to tackle the challenge of creditor litigation (especially vulture funds) and the negotiation of complex commercial contracts.
The virtual launch sought to present the pilot version of the platform which covers four (4) countries, namely: Congo (Brazzaville), Chad, Ghana and Nigeria, and to educate stakeholders on the full APLA platform which will cover all African countries. It will host legal and regulatory instruments governing the oil sector as well as related laws and regulations.
The objective of the APLA Project is to support African countries to maximize petroleum resource benefits by: (i) promoting transparency, accessibility and comparison of Africa’s petroleum laws; (ii) facilitating the preparation, revision and implementation of petroleum laws; (iii) providing a living database that will catalyze research and policy debates on legal and regulatory issues; and (iv) promoting the development of local legal expertise on African petroleum laws.
The APLA Pilot Platform will serve as a precursor to the development of the full APLA Platform. The information found on the APLA Pilot Platform was populated by final year law students of the Strathmore University in Kenya, who formed the Legal Research Team (LRT). In order to populate the APLA Pilot Platform, the LRT undertook training on how to process and analyze legal and regulatory instruments and how to upload the laws and regulations on the platform. Please click on the following link to access the platform ( https://www.a-pla.org/site/index ).
During the launching ceremony, a keynote statement was delivered by Mr. Egbert Faibille Jnr. – CEO, Ghana Petroleum Commission on: “Governance and Transparency in the Extractives Sector”. This was followed by a panel discussion on: “The Importance of Transparency and Accessibility of Africa’s Petroleum Laws to its Stakeholders”. The panel discussion was moderated by Prof. Peter Cameron, Director of the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) of the University of Dundee; and included the following distinguished panelist: Ms. Saifuah-Mai Gray – CEO, Liberia National Oil Company (NOCAL), Prof. Engobo Emeseh - Head of the School of Law at the University of Bradford, Ms. Kate Mavuti - Director at Strathmore University, and Mr. Ousmane Deme - Senior Governance Specialist at the World Bank Group.
To end, a live demonstration of the platform took place to give attendees a clear view on the efficiency of the APLA Platform which, we are convinced, will revolutionize the oil and gas sector as was the case with the pioneer African Mining Legislation Atlas (“AMLA”) Project for the mining sector.
Established by the African Development Bank in 2010, the ALSF assists governments in the negotiation of complex commercial transactions, by providing legal advisory and technical assistance within the framework of public-private partnership projects in the oil and gas, as well as the mining and energy sectors, notwithstanding issues of sovereign debts and creditor litigations.
Eve EHOURA, Head of Communication: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Abdoul Karim Kabèlè Camara, APLA Project Coordinator: email@example.com
Mr. Mohamed Baïlor Stevens, Project Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org