OPEC Secretary General's Acceptance Speech for the "Africa Oil Man of the Year" Award

Delivered by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, at the Africa Oil and Power Energy Coalitions Gala Dinner, 5 September 2018, Cape Town, South Africa.


Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

We are deeply honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious Award. We would like to thank Africa Oil and Power, the Advisory Board and everyone involved for bestowing such a prestigious accolade.

We consider ourselves fortunate just to attend this inaugural Africa Oil and Power Energy Coalitions Dinner and be amongst such an elite audience of state leaders, energy ministers, and oil and gas industry peers.

We interpret this Award as recognition of the teamwork, dedication and selflessness of a remarkable group of countries: namely, the “Declaration of Cooperation” strategic partners. Working with the statesmen, leaders and representatives of the OPEC Member Countries and the non-OPEC producing countries has been the honour of lifetime. Thankfully, our tireless efforts have borne fruit and our industry is in a much healthier place than it was two years ago.

Perceptions of OPEC have undergone a profound transformation in the last two years. The “Declaration of Cooperation” has caused a great rejuvenation of our Organization and Industry.

It is no coincidence that this has occurred at the same time as an intensification of OPEC’s engagement with Africa. African membership of both OPEC and the “Declaration of Cooperation” strategic partnership has increased, and other African partners engage with us across a broad range of fronts, including through their attendance at the OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Meetings.

I think one of the most important reasons why the “Declaration of Cooperation” has been successful is because at its heart; it has a fair, timely and transparent goal which can be articulated in four simple words: sustainable oil market stability. Our means for attaining that goal can be summarized in a similarly straight-forward manner: voluntary cooperation among nations.

This approach resonates with the theme of our conference today “energy coalitions” and I encourage all producing countries from across this continent to consider joining us in our efforts to work in the interests of producers and consumers, as well as the global economy.

When we began the “Declaration of Cooperation” journey in 2016, many doubted that we could achieve our goals. The health of the industry was such that some thought oil market stability would remain elusive forever.

However, throughout our endeavors, we were inspired by the eloquent words of one of this magnificent nation’s greatest leaders and our personal hero, Nelson Mandela: Madiba constantly reminded us during these dark days of the downturn.

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great…  May it be our generation!

Participating countries persevered and hope was restored.

We accept this Award on behalf of all of those participating countries, both OPEC and non-OPEC, who have done so much to transform the fortunes of our industry. And I dedicate it to all the hard working people representing those countries, in particular my colleagues at the OPEC Secretariat, for the outstanding work they have performed in the last two years. It would not have been possible without their hard work, commitment to duty and strive for excellence at all times.

Looking to the future, OPEC will never cease to advocate for cooperation, collaboration and fraternity among nations as the best solutions to overcoming challenges, for as the old African proverb teaches us:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Thank you again and good night.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, received the Africa Oil Man of the Year Award in Cape Town, South Africa

HE Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, received the "Africa Oil Man of the Year" Award in Cape Town, South Africa

HE Barkindo delivered his speech at the Africa Oil and Power Energy Coalitions Gala Dinner in Cape Town

HE Barkindo delivered his speech at the Africa Oil and Power Energy Coalitions Gala Dinner in Cape Town