Offshore oil and gas activities in West Africa have grown significantly and extremely rapidly in recent years. Senegal and Mauritania are the main countries concerned. In Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, some reserves have already been discovered in recent years. While these remain modest for the time being, they suggest a possible development of extractive activity in the near future.
Offshore activities can be an important development opportunity. They can meet national energy needs and contribute to economic and social development. Nevertheless, the development of extractive activities, if not properly managed and controlled, can have serious financial ("oil curse"), social and environmental consequences. Thus, in the face of these activities, it is becoming necessary to ensure that the requirements for the protection of the marine environment, financial transparency and the development of local populations are taken into account.
Through the example of Senegal, the conference will seek to provide answers to these major challenges. How to reconcile the development of offshore activities with the preservation of the marine environment? How do national and regional actors cooperate? How to monitor the impacts of activities and ensure the development of good practices?
After having established an overview of the challenges and opportunities raised by the development of this sector in West Africa, the conference will focus on the visions and expectations of each actor with regard to the development of offshore oil and gas activities.
This conference aims to raise public awareness of the issues related to the development of offshore oil and gas in West Africa and mainly in Senegal. The conference will thus seek to inform as many stakeholders as possible about the opportunities, perspectives and challenges involved in the development of such a sector. This conference will also be an opportunity to initiate the involvement of the stakeholders concerned (elected officials, research centre, students, NGOs, administrations,) and to raise awareness of the projects that are emerging in the region.