Last year was an exciting one in the AAPG Africa Region. Our young professionals population increased and we held a number of interesting YP-focused activities across the region with excellent feedback.
In Nigeria we have continued to leverage very strongly on our partnership with the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists. AAPG-AR and NAPE (not to be confused with the North American Property Expo Summit happening this month in Houston) work hand-in-hand to jointly organize and run YP programs. A couple of technical workshops for students and YPs were held in different parts of the country – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Uyo. Several mini-courses on geomodelling, reservoir geophysics, operations geology and seismic interpretation were offered to YPs and students.
The icing on the cake was a two-day data analytics “boot camp” held in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, which was completely sold-out weeks before it was held and was a resounding success. The event offered hands-on training in Python Programming and an introduction to Big Data and its applications in geoscience.
In South Africa, a one-day technical meeting was held at the University of Western Cape, sponsored by PetroSA. The program was well attended by YPs and students, with a networking event held at the end of the technical session.
At the fifth edition of the Young professionals Leadership Forum – a leadership and networking event organized by NAPE and AAPG-AR and held during the annual NAPE conference in Lagos, Nigeria – we had about 400 YPs and students in attendance. AAPG Executive Director David Curtiss was the lead speaker at the event and he delivered a fantastic talk on how digitalization and technological innovation drive the oil and gas industry, and the role of YPs. Kudos to NAPE-YP lead Phillip Ajaebili and his team for putting together a very successful program.
The Year to Come
We are very upbeat about 2020. We intend to build on the successes of the previous year by providing relevant technical education and networking opportunities for our YPs across the region.
Our mentorship program will be reworked and re-deployed in the second quarter of 2020. This will provide YPs with the unique opportunity to connect with experienced practicing industry professionals.
Our ambition in 2020 is an AAPG-YP membership growth of 30 percent. While Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa remain our strongholds accounting for 90 percent of our YP population, we intend to explore new territories like Uganda, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Mozambique. These are countries with a relatively young petroleum industry and we see an opportunity in capacity development and vital mentorship for young geoscientists in these countries working or aspiring to work in the oil industry. Strengthening existing chapters in Angola, Ghana, Tunisia and Morocco is also a key part of our plans.
Africa has the largest concentration of young people in the world: 60 percent of Africa’s population is under 25, representing 20 percent of the world’s youth population, according to the United Nations Commission on Population and Development.
As we enter into a new decade, we must see Africa through the eyes of its youth, and that is to see a continent brimming with potential and opportunity. With a growing number of African countries now entering the petroleum industry, AAPG must position itself as a partner in the technical, capacity and leadership development of young African geoscientists.