Three Questions with Kola Karim

The MD and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, Kola Karim, tells Africa Oil & Power about his expectations for Africa’s energy business in 2016.

The next big thing: Where do you see the greatest opportunities for the oil and power sectors in Africa?

I think both the oil and power sectors are currently challenged by the difficult macroeconomic conditions. However, the medium to long term outlook is extremely robust. In the oil sector I think you will see the emergence of two strong actors: National oil companies and well-resourced pan-African, African-owned oil companies with integrated upstream and downstream capabilities. The power sector will see the emergence of dominant actors from Asia in partnership with African investors. They will be looking to capitalise on the business friendly regulatory environment that is stimulating the appetite for investment in the massive power deficit on the continent.

Making Africa more attractive for investment: What does it take and what do you want to see?

The African continent is the single most exciting investment destination on the planet. Over the last two decades we witnessed a paradigm shift in the legal, regulatory and social environment on the continent which led to an unprecedented boom in investment. This trend has only recently been punctuated by the adjustment in the commodities cycle. The fundamentals of the continent remain strong, and our demographic and resource dividends remain attractive to global investors. Twenty years ago we were clamouring for democratic rule; now the path of good governance and the rule of law are at the front of our minds. These elements are primary considerations for investors and I think we are seeing them being pursued in the majority of African nations. The outlook is positive.

Your year in oil and power: what do you expect in 2016?

2016 is the year of the unexpected. We are seeing macroeconomic policy enter uncharted waters and that is creating a significant degree of uncertainty in global markets. It is difficult to predict when the current challenges will be resolved. We expect a lot of change and have prepared our business to weather the storm.

Mr. Karim and our other panelists will discuss the dynamics of investing in Africa’s energy industry at Africa’s elite energy event on June 6-7 in Cape Town.