Chairwoman Nathalie Lum‘s fight to end energy poverty in Central Africa.

I am delighted to welcome you to the Central Africa Business Energy Forum (CABEF) 2023, taking place from November 8 to 10 in N’Djamena, under the prestigious patronage of His Excellency Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, Transitional President, President of the Republic of Chad, Head of State.

This forum embodies our bold vision for the future of our sub-region, freed from energy poverty.

Our primary goal is to propel the Central African Pipeline System (CAPS) project, an initiative that promises to reduce our dependence on the fluctuations of the global energy market by creating a sub-regional market in Central Africa. CAPS involves creating a regional network for the transportation and distribution of natural gas and refined petroleum products, paving the way for strengthened economic and energy integration through the electrification of towns and countryside and the industrialization of urban areas, driving job creation.

To realize this vision, we rely on the financial and political support of our partners. To this end, we have held strategic meetings with financial institutions such as Afrexim Bank, Access Bank, and the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC), as well as EPC-F companies based in Ghana, Turkey, France, and the United States. Their enthusiasm is undeniable for the future realization of the CAPS project. The recent enthusiastic support from the Transitional President, President of the Republic, Head of State, H.E. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno for the CAPS project marks a decisive turning point in the energy landscape of Central Africa.

As Central Africa faces the complexities of the modern energy landscape, it is encouraging to see leaders such as President H.E. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno embrace initiatives capable of bringing about transformative changes.

With a renewed commitment to solving energy issues and the CAPS project underway, Central Africa is on the brink of entering a new era of energy prosperity.

However, the key to success lies in the commitment of our leaders. I make a vibrant call to the heads of state of the CEMAC sub-region for a presidential summit on energy independence to be held, with a view to signing a common declaration of the CEMAC Heads of State. This declaration should guarantee the financing of feasibility studies for the CAPS project for the year 2024. Controversies are behind us, and the time has come to take concrete action regarding the CAPS project, involving all stakeholders in the sub-region, especially our leaders.

This is how we will end energy poverty in Central Africa by 2030.

I warmly thank you for your valuable attention and wish each of you an exceptional forum that will shape a more stable and prosperous future for our region.