In his newest novel, Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, author NJ Ayuk does not hold back. He tells Africa, and the rest of the world, exactly what needs to be done to bring success to the energy sector in Africa. Right now, Africa is rich with resources that has potential to not only bring power to African households and businesses but supply the world with energy. It’s an intriguing and thought-provoking concept, how can Africa utilize their resources to better the countries and societies? Is this what Africa needs to propel forward? Here is what Ayuk has to say.
“Africa is rich in resources. By partnering with the U.S., we create cleaner, greener, cheaper energy sources, and create jobs which has the potential to put those dollars back into the global economy, namely our partners in the U.S. This book is for anyone looking to invest and create clean energy that is cost effective and environmentally safe. We can promote equality and lift people out of poverty and into jobs investing in Africa’s future.”
What do you want the world to know about your book?
“This is the best time to compete and create clean energy in Africa and globally. Young people want this. We are creating opportunities for clean energy and solid employment which brings dollars globally. In the future, African companies will be energy companies, not just oil and gas but clean energy. This gives America an opportunity to invest and Africa a chance to compete and lift communities lit of poverty.”
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
“This is our chance to show the world what Africa can be, and how American investors can benefit while doing business with clean practices and offer fair wages. Martin Luther King said it doesn’t bend by itself. We have to put in the work and partnership with America is a win for everyone.”
How do investors know they can trust governments and business leaders in Africa?
“American investment comes with requirements to keep everyone accountable. Governments know now they need to cooperate to have success. There is opportunity for American business to get in early and help Africa grow and prosper, which ultimately grows U.S. investment. It’s a new time and new era to create jobs, clean energy, cooperation, and peace. The ways of the past can’t be repeated. Transparency is no longer a catch phrase. It’s the future of doing business. Trust in people and community gets more done. If we get past this crisis of poverty, poaching, lack of education and transportation, there is great prosperity at the other end.”
How is this going to impact the environment?
“Gabon is a great example of what’s working. And to keep companies and politicians accountable, put all environmental stipulations in the contract. Do audits, have full transparency and cooperation.”
What is your take on women in the energy sector?
“Empower and educate women, and they can turn the oil, gas, and energy industries in Africa into successful leaders. Look at how they transformed fighting off poachers. Women have been very effective and trustworthy leaders. It is our chance to rewrite history and reshape the entire economy with women. We educate women and hire on merit. Women want the work and are community leaders in Africa. We want to promote equality and the best way is through education and investment in women. We need zero tolerance with harassment and provide safe space for breastfeeding. This is our moment.”
What kind of investment would be required for the infrastructure?
“What’s needed now is a $700B investment to build roads, railroads, pipelines, wind and solar power, manufacturing jobs, education. Any investment that comes in is positive. We grow business, create hotels, restaurants, shops and a community for friendly business and tourism.”
Who would be the prospective partner in this investment?
“The U.S. has always been an investor in Africa, but with China’s growing involvement, now more than ever American investment in African’s future ensures fair trade through cooperation and regulation. We need to look at Washington as a partner in investment and not just aid.
What would be the role of USA in achieving the goals?
“If we create the jobs, the need for aid will be replaced with self-sufficient people. We cannot leave Africa’s future into the hands of politics. Political leaders change. We’re looking toward the future to make Africa a player in the global market. We have the resources and need money for education and investment in building. America has always been a terrific partner with Africa. We’re looking to grow that from aid to investment in infrastructure.”
What would be the future aspect of these initiatives?
“We’re looking for the next Bill Gates of Africa. Smart, educated, forward thinking, prosperous and a great humanitarian. We have an obligation and personality responsibility to put our heads together and get things done. For me, I want to leave this a better place for my daughter and grandkids and make an impact they’re proud of. We in Africa need to put skin in the game and create a trusting environment for investors to do that, too. Being dependent is not good. We need to partner to prosper.”