South Sudan is seeking to attract capital into strategic energy and infrastructure sectors, with a view to nation- and capacity-building; SSOP 2021 will take place at the Crown Hotel in Juba on June 29-30, in accordance with all COVID-19 regulations; The event is open to in-person delegates and the online livestream is available for free registration at: www.SSOP2021.com.
The fourth edition of the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2021 Conference kicks off today and will be officially launched by H.E. President Gen. Salva Kiir, as the nation leads an active investment campaign to drive capital into key energy and infrastructure sectors.
South Sudan is seeking to establish energy development as a catalyst for economic growth and sustainable development, stimulating diversification, skills development and job creation across both energy and non-energy industries.
On Monday, H.E. President Kiir met with H.E. Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Chuol about recent, substantive progress made in the oil and gas sector last week. Representing a historic milestone, Sudd Petroleum Operating Company resumed production at Block 5A, as the last joint operating company to resume production after the civil war. The nation has also launched its first-ever oil licensing round featuring five blocks that invites experienced partners and operators to unlock South Sudan's oil and gas acreage that remains 90% unexplored.
Organized by Energy Capital & Power with the endorsement of the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Energy and Dams, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Investment, and Ministry of Labor, the two-day event is one of the first large-scale events to be held in-person on the African continent since the onset of COVID-19.
This year, for the first time, SSOP 2021 will be structured in a hybrid format, with international speakers and delegates participating online alongside the local in-person event. The program reflects an industry-wide shift that saw a transition to webinars and other digital platforms last year in the absence of live events. Hybrid platforms offer an expanded and diversified attendee demographic, with SSOP 2021 streaming online for free to global participants.
In conjunction with a relatively low rate of infection, unprecedented levels of collaboration among South Sudanese health authorities and ministerial bodies have enabled a safe return to live events, with a view to ensuring future investment and development within the country.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, South Sudan's Ministry of Petroleum has been resolute its commitment to driving foreign direct investment into energy and infrastructure sectors, including oil and gas, power generation, road-building and technology. Under the theme, "Build the Nation: Capital raising and innovative financing to build critical energy and infrastructure projects," SSOP 2021 serves to unite foreign investors and showcase local investment opportunities as a means of COVID-19 recovery.
Strict health and safety protocols adopted by the Government of South Sudan and executed by private sector partners have also expedited the country's return to live events. For example, all in-person attendees of SSOP 2021 must present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry to the venue, with all locally-based guests receiving free-of-charge PCR tests from healthcare partner MEDBLUE Labs.
South Sudan – along with other African nations piloting in-person events in 2021 – are redefining the events industry by implementing new and innovative hybrid formats, fostering cross-sector cooperation and engaging with private operators to enforce health and safety guidelines. Also critical is the support and leadership of local governments in positioning business and networking events as part of the solution to rebuilding national economies.