The Gambia and Equatorial Guinea Forge Trade Ties Amidst Gas Boom

In a ceremony last month at the Presidential Palace in Malabo, the esteemed Presidents of both The Gambia and Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Adama Barrow and H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, inked four bilateral agreements to advance trade and diplomatic ties between the two nations.

This milestone in regional relations follows Equatorial Guinea’s hosting of two African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summits from 25 – 28 May, establishing unified narratives and aligned policies on matters regarding security, internal migration and humanitarian crises for the continent, as overseen by Senegalese President and current AU Chairperson, H.E. Macky Sall.

The four bilateral agreements signed include the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between The Gambia and Equatorial Guinea; the Agreement on Reciprocal Exemption of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports; an MoU on Diplomatic Consultations between the Foreign Ministries and; a Cooperation Framework Agreement between The Gambia and Equatorial Guinea.

Crucially, the latter established a Joint Commission for Economic, Commerce, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, cementing intent not only for freer trade exchanges but also for best practice sharing, joint technological advancement and two-way regional investment, as affirmed by the State House of The Gambia.

With the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference 2022 just around the corner, regional relations and technological innovations are very much in the spotlight with H.E. President Sall recently forging Senegalese ties with both Angola and the $4.6 billion Senegal-Mauritania transnational Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) development set to come online next year, targeting 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas.

The Gambia’s own exploration and production has been modest to date, but the recent licensing of six offshore blocks and a further anticipated licensing round flags the country’s industry as a promising one.

Furthermore, with Australia’s FAR announcing the discovery of a possible 1.5 billion barrels worth of oil reserves in its A2 and A5 blocks across The Gambia’s Panthera, Jatto and Malo prospects this year, advancement is anticipated from The Gambia’s early-stage hydrocarbons industry.

It is from this industry that Equatorial Guinea’s experience, technical expertise and strategic insights will serve as key to the two countries’ newly signed ties. Equatorial Guinea boasts 1.1 billion barrels worth of proven oil reserves with production spanning decades, as one of Africa’s earliest movers in deep water reserves similar to those exhibited across the MSGBC basin.

The country’s current oil production stands at 244,000 barrels per day, 77% of which is exported, but it too is marking a new era of expansion having offered up 27 offshore blocks in a 2019 licensing round. Crucially, with the theme of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference 2022 being, “The Future of Gas: Growth Using Strategic Investment and Policymaking,” Equatorial Guinea has 4.5 tcf of proven gas reserves with estimations showing the likely full volume to be twice that size and has been tapping them at scale since 2014 with Noble Energy’s $1.6 billion Alen field megadevelopment, targeting 930 billion cubic feet worth of the resource.

The MSGBC conference in Dakar this September will be opened by H.E. President Macky Sall himself, addressing themes of regional friendship, security and international ties, and attracting investors from across Africa, Europe, Asia, America, Australia and the Middle East. The MSGBC conference will not only see Africa looking to Europe with its immense green-labelled gas markets opened up by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and EU Economic Partnership Agreement but also east to Asia and Oceania for investors, trade partners and hydrocarbons powerhouses already planning investments in the tens of billions for the west African energy sector and economies. To join international keyholders, financiers and executives from across the African continent and beyond and to witness collaboration for a secure MSGBC basin energy future, head to to register.

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