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ABR: Agenda for Dossou-Aworet


ABR Elects Dossou-Aworet President of the African Business Roundtable


By Nsikan Ikpe


News of the emergence of Dossou-Aworet as the new helmsman of the Africa Business Roundtable should inspire resurgent hope in the organisation.


This is because its former leader, Bamanga Tukur had stayed in office for literally all the time in the world even as the relatively paternalistic structure of the organisation has clearly also not been most conducive to visionary dynamism and reform.


It is against this backdrop then that by a unanimous vote on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, the executive Board of Directors, elected Samuel Dossou-Aworet, founder and chairman of Petrolin, the Pan African Exploration and Production Oil and Gas Conglomerate, as president of the 27-year-old African Business Roundtable, ABR.


Underscoring the seeming unanimity in the process, the electors included long time members of the such as Bamanga Tukur, Goodie Ibru, Aziz Dieye, Justin Chinyanta, Amina Gerba, Eniola Fadayomi, Sylvia Aguereburu and Khady Fall Tall.


Established in 1990 by the African Development Bank under the visionary leadership of the late Babacar Ndiaye, who was president of the Bank, the ABR was established to promote private sector growth and development in Africa by providing a platform for corporations, businessmen and women and institutions to associate under an umbrella organization. The ABR is dedicated to a Pan African vision providing solutions to issues of common interest.


During the past decade, the ABR has been under the able leadership of Tukur who will now assume the prestigious role of ‘Grand Patron’ as Dossou-Aworet takes up the mantle to carry the Pan African vision of the ABR into the future as its new President and Chairman of the Board.


Dossou-Aworet is a petroleum engineer by training and is a highly respected businessman who, for more than 40 years has played an active role in negotiating numerous international oil deals in Africa. Throughout his dynamic career, Dossou-Aworet has been entrusted with high-level positions such as Chairman of the OPEC Board of Governors, which he served for two terms. He successfully served as General Manager of Hydrocarbons for Gabon.


In 1992, Dossou-Aworet established his company, Petrolin and serves as its Chairman and CEO. Petrolin was established with the objective to create partnership with local entities and international companies for the development of Africa.


Whether as a partner or a consultant, Dossou-Aworet has provided strategic input to many heads of state in the development of prominent oil companies and government entities, notably in Cameroon, Congo, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Yemen.


Through the diversification of his activities in Africa, Dossou-Aworet has expanded to industries related to his core business namely in infrastructure, aviation, telecommunication and media. His vision is to promote indigenous African businesses; in that regard, he has been instrumental as a major shareholder African Business Roundtable Table Ronde des Hommes d’Affaires d’Afrique NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. in several successful indigenous companies such as ND Western and Seplat as well as being a strategic partner to multinational corporations such as Engen, Hess, Shell, Total and Tullow Oil.


A new backbone for Africa, is an innovative integrated infrastructure project for the West African corridor is the brainchild of Dossou-Aworet which includes the development of a Petroleum, Mineral and Commercial Port, the dry port of Parakou in Benin – which has just been completed, an international airport and the Cotonou-Parakou-Dosso-Niamey railway corridor to transport cargo and mineral ores to and from Benin and landlocked countries including Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Northern Nigeria enhancing the lives of more than 350 million people in the sub-region.


Dossou-Aworet is chairman of the African Institute of Petroleum, an institution he co-founded in 1996. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Corporate Council on Africa, CCA, which was created from the nexus of the ABR to be the American link connecting Africa and America and the new president is looking forward to connecting with CCA in the United States, the BBC in South Africa, the leaders of BRICS and many other organizations that have a desire to see the full and equitable development of Africa become a reality.


Speaking on the new election and board, Tukur, said: “Mr Dossou brings in new ideas and energy to drive the organisation forward. He is been a part of ABR for some time now. With the global diverse perspectives, ABR will play a major role from the needs of the private sector especially in today’s modern policies. I wish them successes.


On Thursday, September 21, 2017, Tukur presented Dossou-Aworet to Akinwunmi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank, where the ABR was born and has its roots. A renewed and deeper bond was forged between the two institutions and a commitment made to continue to work closely together to ensure the expansion and growth of the African private sector which is designed to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Africa.


Accordingly then, Dossou-Aworet’s task is clear: Africa is in a hurry to grow and can scarcely wait for the year 2064 that the African Union has presently set as the season when Africa’s dreams would have come true! The ABR must therefore come into its own more forcefully even now and give all that it has towards ensuring that the mass of our people get something for today. And tomorrow also.



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