[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Heightened oil and gas activities inspire more investments
As the East African nations continue to make oil and gas discoveries, investors and multinationals are pitching tent in the region on an exploration binge with governments betting on the newfound resources to grow national and regional economies.
The latest multinationals to set up shop in the region include French multinational integrated oil and gas company TotalEnergies that has partnered with Lake Albert Development Project to launch a $10 billion project in Uganda and Tanzania.
The Lake Albert development encompasses the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania. The Tilenga project, operated by TotalEnergies, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to start producing in 2025 and to reach a cumulative plateau production of 230,000 barrels per day.
This comes as GCC Services, the integrated remote site services provider, recently got selected by engineering and construction company McDermott, to provide camp services for the Tilenga project upstream facilities in the Lake Albert Basin of Uganda.
GCC’s work, to take place over 6 years, begins in February and is to include camp management, catering and camp support services for an international and local workforce that is expected to peak at 3,500 workers.
While this was happening, Congo launched a plan to put its estimated 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves to good use. The new Gas Master Plan (GMP) is designed to promote gas utilization and attract foreign direct investment, while reducing its dependency on oil revenues and expanding the country’s power grid.
In the financials, Kenya’s Equity Bank announced it has revamped its USSD service (*247#) offering customers a seamless banking experience. The newly updated USSD offers a unified service offering across mobile networks and an enhanced customer experience with simpler customer journeys. Customers can now easily access the USSD service on Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom and Equitel.
In the telcos, Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies, announced that it has partnered with Vodacom Group (Vodacom), an African connectivity, digital and financial services company, to create an African Center of Excellence (COE).
The COE will enable Vodacom to deliver next-generation experiences to its customers in Tanzania, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by introducing a standardized, flexible configuration, monitoring and monetization of differentiated services while providing a unified IT architecture across the three countries.
Kenya-based digital trucking logistics startup Amitruck announced it has secured $4 million in a seed funding round that had the participation of investors from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
And Liquid Intelligent Technologies has welcomed the landmark decision made by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) concerning the porting of non-geographic numbers.
ICASA has proclaimed the 2018 number Portability Regulations, – which will come into force on the 7th of March 2022, that will allow businesses, call centres and State-Owned Enterprises (SoE) to port their number to a new service provider without changing their number. Liquid’s OneVoice for Operator Connect, already available in Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, offers the latest step in digital transformation and voice infrastructure by combining traditional telephone calling within Microsoft Teams’ ecosystem.