Parliament on Tuesday ratified Ghana’s membership in the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO).
The APPO (formerly called the African Petroleum Producers’ Association) was established on January 27, 1987, to serve as a platform for cooperation and harmonization of efforts, collaboration, and sharing of knowledge and expertise among African oil-producing countries.
As of December 31, 2021, APO membership had grown from eight in 1987 to 15; namely Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Niger, Nigeria and South Africa.
The ratification of Ghana’s membership to the APPO by Parliament would afford the country access to the Africa Energy Investment Corporation (AEICorp) to mobilise private-sector funds towards the development of Ghana’s Petroleum Hub through eligible African and International Financial Institutions.
It would also afford Ghana the opportunity to participate fully in all activities of the organisation.
By the provisions of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, any treaty, agreement, or convention executed by or under the Authority of the President in the name of Ghana is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament.
Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, who moved the motion for the House to adopt the Committee’s report on the request for Parliamentary ratification for Ghana’s membership to the APPO, said Ghana applied for membership of the APPO on 16th February, 2011, which was unanimously endorsed by a committee of experts at its 41st meeting held on 23rd June 2011.
He said the subscription fees by way of Ghana’s membership and its oil-producing efforts were in the sun of one hundred thousand dollars annually.
“Having critically examined the status of the APPO, the Committee takes the view that Ghana stands to benefit tremendously from becoming a member of the Organisation,” he said.
He said among others Ghana’s membership would avail the country of the right to participate in the critical decision-making of the Organisation, access investment through AEICorp; an opportunity to leverage the Organisation to fund the development of Ghana’s emerging petroleum industry for optimal benefits.
Mr Atta Akyea said the Committee noted that Ghana had applied and achieved the requirement for two-thirds majority approval of the member countries, which left the ratification and signing of the status of the Organisation as the last step for Ghana to become a bona fide member of the APPO.
Mr Edward Abambire Bawa, a Member of the Parliamentary Committee for Mines and Energy, who seconded the motion, said he was so excited that Ghana had decided to join the APPO, stating that AEICorp, which was one of the organs of the Organisation would provide capital funding for the development of hydrocarbons in member countries.
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, a Deputy Minister of Energy/Member of Parliament (MP) for Karaga, said given the fact that Africans needed to work together as a continent to develop their hydrocarbon resources and maximize benefits for their people, the APPO, as constituted currently, would help Ghana in so many ways.
He said at the moment funding was declining for oil and gas projects because of the energy transition; adding that APPO had been working towards the establishment of an African Energy Bank that would mobilise the resources to support the development of the continent’s hydron carbon resources.
Mr Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah, a former Energy Minister and a Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, said the ratification would enable Ghana to enjoy all the benefits of a fully-fledged membership of APPO
.He said Ghana was challenged with how to attract investment in the upstream sector of the petroleum industry and how to leverage financing for the sector; saying “Mr Speaker, we can only do that if we can leverage on our membership with APPO, basically to attract investment and get low-interest financing.”