Oil and Gas a Force for Good, says Big Barrels

A new book Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity, launched today at Africa Oil & Power, provides positive case studies from the continent’s energy industry. 

NJ Ayuk, the founder and CEO of Centurion Law Group, released his first book, Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity, at Africa Oil & Power on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

“This book is dedicated to the force of oil and gas for good; and to good leaders and to people who make good decisions,” Guillaume Doane, CEO of Africa Branding Corp., said as he introduced the launch of Big Barrels at the conference.

Big Barrels takes aim at the perception that in Africa oil and gas can do no good, arguing against the perception of a “resource curse.” Using specific case studies from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, Ayuk and co-writer João Marques showcase what African nations have done right with regard to exploiting their oil and gas resources. The book highlights specific areas of success including good governance in Ghana, environmental stewardship in Gabon and employment and enterprise in Nigeria.

“If you don’t tell your story, someone else is going to tell it, and they aren’t going to tell it they way you tell it. I believe we have to tell our story, and trust me, I’m going to scream as loud as I can to make sure our story is told,” said Ayuk. “I think our continent has to start telling our story.”

Though the book does not ignore the issues associated with the oil and gas sector in Africa — including corruption, militancy and a lack of infrastructure — the aim was to change the discourse about the industry, said Marques. “The goal of the book was to look across the spectrum and see what has been done right, what policies have worked, what has failed and what has been corrected and then put it all together in one piece of literature so we can start building successful policies that build up the people of Africa,” said Marques.

At the launch of the book, Ayuk and Marques were on hand to personally sign the books. The book is available to buy on Amazon.