Dear AAPG Africa Region Members,
July 1, I began my two-year term as Africa Region president. Bill Bosworth will continue to be part of the leadership team as immediate past president.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the fellow members of the 2016-18 leadership team who have completed their terms and /or decided not to seek re-election - David Blanchard (Immediate Past President) and Ajibola Oyebamiji (treasurer). It was a delight working with you and we will continue to reach out to tap into your wealth of experience.
Bill led the Africa Region to unprecedented heights with the successful hosting of the inaugural Africa Energy and Technology Conference in partnership with the Society of Petroleum Engineers held in December 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. Dave Blanchard chaired the Executive Committee for the conference. The meeting featured three days of technical sessions with about 50 oral presentations and plenary sessions comprised of high-level industry, governmental and NGO representatives, several industry short-courses and a field trip to the Kenya rift valley.
For the last two years the Region held Geoscience Technical Workshops (GTWs) in Egypt (February 2016), South Africa (June 2017), Morocco (November 2017) and Nigeria (June 2018) in collaboration with our sister organizations. We had a record number of engagements with students with the Visiting Geoscientists Program (VGP) with about three thousand (3,000) students reached between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. We also grew the Young Professional (YP) programs significantly with events in Angola, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa. At the YP event held in Lagos during the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists Conference in November 2017, there were over 300 YP’s and students in attendance. The Imperial Barrel Award Competition continues to draw participants from countries across the continents with the regional representatives making a good show at the finals during the Annual Conference and Exhibition. The Africa Region is indeed greatly appreciative of Bill and his leadership, particularly during a challenging period for the industry.
The Region continues to solidify existing relationships with sister organizations across the continents and develop new ones. In line with purposes of AAPG which is, to foster scientific research, to advance the science of geology, to promote technology, and to inspire high professional conduct, the region continues to make the dissemination of scientific information and organization of technical meetings a priority.
The Africa Regions was selected as the host for the AAPG 2018 International Conference and Exhibition (ICE). The event will be held at the Cape Town International Convention and Conference Center, Nov. 4-7 with the theme, "Shaping the Future in a Changing Energy Landscape." The event is also co-located with Africa Oil Week and promises to be a must-attend event.
With an impressive number of abstracts submitted for the Cape Town ICE, the Technical Program Committee has developed an exceptional program of oral and poster presentations. The technical program is focused around 12 core themes. The conference will commence with the Opening Ceremony which will feature high-level industry leaders from across the globe. A total of 10 exciting field trips both pre- and post-conference are planned along with seven short courses. There is also a diverse program of activities planned for students and young professionals attending the conference. I encourage you to visit the conference website for more information and to register.
With strong and exciting programs planned for the coming years, we need all hands-on deck to build on the successes of the last two years. The Africa Region is blessed to have an outstanding leadership team: Adedoja Ojelabi (president-elect); Kaushalendra (KB) Trivedi (vice-president); Mimonitu Opuwari (secretary); Scott Durocher (Treasurer); Bill Bosworth (immediate past president); Our house of House of Delegates representatives – Adeola Adesida (Ghana), Lydia Olaka (Kenya, East Africa), Fida Medina (Morocco), Gilbert Odior (Nigeria) and Nosa Omorodion (AAPG Advisory Council). The expanded leadership team will include Adeolu Aderoju (Africa Region YP lead), Heba Askar (North Africa YP coordinator); Chimankpa Chikezie (IBA coordinator); and Victor Ogunmola (Student Chapter coordinator). Al Zubaidi (Dubai) and Delia Kuye (Lagos) will continue to help manage the Africa Region business and provide professional guidance in all our activities.
A challenge we continue to face is the dwindling number of the AAPG Africa Region membership numbers. We must work hard to reverse this trend. We will continue to strive to make it easier for members to stay engaged and to pay their dues. If you have any suggestions on how we can increase our numbers and be more relevant do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the leadership team. AAPG is continually seeking to include a wider range of members on our various committees, an effort best aided when members nominate themselves or others. Please consider joining a committee this year.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. I want to hear from you. While we’ve had an outstanding last two years, there’s still room for improvement. I encourage you to send me your suggestions on how we can make our Association a stronger, more engaged organization.
Thank you again for the privilege to serve as the Region president. I’m excited about the next two years, and what it holds for us as we partner to strengthen and grow our Association.
Best regards and I look forward to seeing you in Cape Town in November!
President AAPG Africa Region 2018-20