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High level meetings in advance of the 28th Energy Charter Conference

On 27 November 2017, Energy Charter Secretary General Dr. Urban Rusnák held a first ever meeting with the highest energy official from the Republic of The Gambia, the country’s Minister of Petroleum & Energy, Hon. Fafa Sanyang. The Gambia is a strategically important country in West Africa, which is seeking to expand its memberships to international organisations. It signed the International Energy Charter in August 2017, joining a host of other countries from the African continent which have already taken this important step in their international energy cooperation strategies. 

Earlier in the day, Secretary General likewise held a meeting with Dr. Eli Jidere Bala, the Director General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, a leading African energy producer which signed the International Energy Charter in March 2017. This meeting reflected the increasing levels of awareness about the Energy Charter in relative newcomer countries to the Charter process in the African continent. The topic of Nigeria’s possible accession to the Energy Charter Treaty was touched upon during the meeting. 

The participation of West African countries such as The Gambia and Nigeria in the Energy Charter Ministerial conference reflects an ‘African awaking’ for the Energy Charter Process, where Turkmenistan has lent active support to these developments under its 2017 Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference. Other high level officials whom the Secretary General also met on this day in Ashgabat included Nikola Vujovic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro, and Rodrigo Fernandez, Vice Minister of Energy and Mines of Guatemala

Further, on the morning of 28 November, Dr. Rusnák held a first ever meeting with Engineer Abdullah Mohsen Al-akwa, Minister of Electricity and Energy of the Republic of Yemen. It was confirmed during this meeting that the government of Yemen has approved all relevant internal ratification procedures enabling Yemen to accede to the Energy Charter Treaty. A presidential decree is now anticipated, which will make it the newest country to accede to the Energy Charter Treaty.