The african gas seminar and conversations

 Background 1. Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are net importers of energy while they possess substantial undeveloped natural gas reserves. The lack of an appropriate economic and institutional environment has so far made it difficult or impossible to develop these gas reserves to meet industrial, commercial and household needs. 2. The exploitation of available gas reserves will reduce environmental damage, in particular air pollution and deforestation, wherever gas can be used to substitute for solid or liquid fuels. It will also procure higher living standards to communities hitherto deprived of clean and efficient energy sources

. 3. The World Bank has initiated a multi-faceted study to facilitate the development of natural gas in Sub-Saharan countries. An on-going study is reviewing gas development opportunities during Phase 1 in five countries (Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, and Gabon) and potential projects in additional countries will be studied during follow-up stages. Another important component of this initiative is a Training - Program which will enhance the knowledge of the government authorities responsible for the gas projects of basic industry facts. 4. At a Gas Seminar which the help organize last year in Addis Ababa, it was agreed to undertake such a Training Program as part of a cooperative effort to be launched with the governments of Sub-Saharan Africa and the regional institutions, in particular the United Nations - Economic Commission for Africa. Objectives of the Study 5. The Objective of the Training Seminars is to acquaint senior officials in the various governments on the basics of the natural gas business. The seminar would review the problems and issues to be addressed by Governments and project sponsors during all phases in the life of a gas project.

 Without a clear understanding by the authorities of the features and specific characteristics of the gas industry, it will be difficult to foresee rapid progress in the preparation and development of gas projects. Organization of the Seminars 6. There are 10 to 15 African countries with gas projects at various stages of preparation. To accelerate their projects, these countries are strongly interested in this Program. To obtain a critical mass and the desired transfer of know-how on the gas industry, each one of these countries will need to be represented at the Training events by at least 3 to 5 selected participants, if not more. The proposal is to subdivide these countries in two groups: Group A: East Africa Mainly Ethiopia Tanzania Mozambique South Africa Namibia Angola Ghana Group B: Cote d'Ivoire Cameroon Congo Gabon Benin Togo Equatorial Guinea Chad 7. The Training Program will have two seminars with approximately 25 to 30 participants in each. From the list above, we can identify as potential host countries; Ethiopia for Group A and Cote dlIvoire for Group B. Contacts with these countries would have to be started as soon as possible to determine the exact place and date. 8. English will be the language for the Seminar - Group A, whereas French plus simultaneous interpretation will be necessary for the Group B. The curricula and content of the sessions to be included in the Agenda of the Seminars would need to be carefully reviewed. Seminar Content 9. Each Seminar would. last a week and cover different aspects of the gas industry: the basic features of the gas industry; its global and local importance for a sustainable development the main components of the gas industry: field operations, transport, distribution; the technical, commercial, economic, environmental and financial issues determining the viability of projects; the financial difficulties and the importance of the private sector participation; the institutions involved, the role of the state and the legal and regulatory frameworks. 10. It will be an essential to ensure that teachers use African examples as much as possible and they the specific needs of the audience. 1 1. The process of selection of participants will have to be also closely supervised to avoid receiving candidates with no basic background and which are not directly involved in their countries' gas projects. One of the objectives in separating regionally the two events is to allow an exchange of views and experiences to develop among the participants and to try to achieve regional synergy's and interconnections. Work Organization 12. The Seminar leaders will be a combination of academic and industry experience including professionals with hands-on knowledge on the development of gas projects. There is a big advantage in having bilingual instructors (English and French) and experience in Africa developmental issues is also important. 13. The team of consultantslteachers will be invited to a brainstorming session at the Bank to provide them with the literature cumulated on the African projects and to discuss the curricula they intend to follow. The teachers will have to make available for translation and distribution their presentations at least a month before the Seminars themselves. 14. The two events could be arranged in cooperation with national agencies involved in the development of gas projects, which will act as local counterparts, providing support, such as: conference room, local secretariat, local transport to the participants, preferential hotel accommodations and most of the meals. 15. The Bank has administrative and logistic capabilities that can be used for the preparation of the events. In the case of Abidjan, the Resident Mission has a convenient Conference Room that can be used if there is no available local sponsor. In addition, for the Seminar in Ethiopia, the UN-ECA Secretariat would be able to provide an important contribution including conference rooms and. local secretariat. Timetable 16. We estimate that the preparation of the Seminars will require at least 2 months after the financing is in place and the instructors selected. Budget 17. The preliminary budget, shown on Attachment 1, for 30 participants per seminar amounts to $250,000

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