Matrix Petroleum founder and CEO talks up AfCFTA prospects

SOUTHERN AFRICA – Diversified United Kingdom-based Metrix Petroleum says the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) presents great opportunities for Africa’s development.

Matrix Chief Executive Officer Mr. Malvin Chiwanga said in a statement to the media that their company was already present in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and it was now expanding into Namibia and Tanzania through the linkages provided by AfCFTA.

“Intra-Africa trade is worrisomely low at the current moment, especially when it comes to oil and gas. The establishment of the African Free Continental Trade Area is a good start towards improving this. Estimates are that AfCFTA will create an African market of over a billion people and smoothen the movement of goods and services” said Chiwanga.

“Perhaps what has dragged intra-Africa trade back is the fact that we are all resource-centered and we produce more or less the same commodities, hence we need to look at value addition. In terms of oil and gas, we need to look at the potential to refine crude oil.”

“For example in SADC you have a scenario where most SADC countries could just buy oil from Angola but the failure to add value has left this market acquiring further afield from other regions, mostly the Gulf,” Mr. Chiwanga said.

Mr. Chiwanga, a Zimbabwean-born businessman, said AfCFTA presented an opportunity to oil-producing countries to venture into value addition and export across the continent.

“Efforts should be invested in the continent accruing full benefits of trading internally. It is also imperative that for this great initiative to succeed the continent should seriously look at issues of double taxation and extremely high customs charges among member states,” he added.

He pointed out that oil and gas possessed the huge potential to transform African nations, using the example of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi.

“In that era, the World Bank showed that the standard of living for Libya was better than some European countries. The same oil that could develop the country has been turned into a curse that has ravaged Libya.”

“It is also imperative that for this great initiative to succeed the continent should seriously look at issues of double taxation and extremely high customs charges among member states”

Malvin Chiwanga – Founder and CEO, Matrix Petroleum

Mr. Chiwanga said African leaders needed to invest more than just political will in driving AfCFTA forward.

“Political will alone is not the only important investment needed from African. We need to invest in creating a doing business environment that encourages investment and value addition.”

Oil has a big opportunity to improve the economies of oil-producing countries in the continent particularly Equatorial Guinea, Angola and even Lybia and the idea is to have oil-producing countries in Africa finding ways of refining their product and making them ready for the market.

 The CEO pointed that as it is, most African countries produce crude unrefined oil and need the help of other countries to refine hence, losing business and when African countries create value chains and refine their oil it opens avenues and ability for them to compete with other countries.

He further pointed out that It is important to note that in as much as exploitation of resources for the benefit of the economy, it is also important to cater for Environmental Social Governance (ESG). “It is imperative that most mining companies move towards caring about ESG as that will also ensure that the exploited environment is also catered for with clear rehabilitation plans”

The Zimbabwean-born, United Kingdom-based entrepreneur and businessman with a vast interest in the petroleum, energy and renewable energy as well as the medical sector founded Matrix Petroleum in 2018 and the company has since expanded its operations to more than 12 countries worldwide.

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