The Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber sees the opportunities in one of the high money making industries of the world
More and more people take up an environmentally friendly lifestyle. They drive hybrid or electric cars, use public transportation, ride their bicycles, or walk. No wonder this trend raises concerns about the future of the automotive industry as we know it. However, N.J. Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, sees the full half of the glass.
A leading authority in the African energy sector and a strong advocate for the African entrepreneurship, he firmly believes that the automotive manufacturing industry will continue to grow driven by visionaries and an increase in demand on developing markets like Africa. At the end of the day, all boils down to investing now in the future and setting the stage for a prosperous outcome, a message he shares in his Amazon bestseller, “Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.”
How will the automotive manufacturing industry be impacted by an increase in oil production from Africa?
N.J. Ayuk: All indicators see an increase in African oil production as positive in the automotive industry. Increased oil production will bring further economic growth and stability in Africa, which in turn will increase the demand for cars. The African consumer market is growing and so is our middle class. As many economies are oil-reliant, an increase in production positively impacts consumer demand.
Considering more fuel-efficient vehicles are being produced now, will that trend turn back around?
N.J. Ayuk: Consumer demand and concerns about climate, as well as the cost of gas, have driven the trend toward the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles. I don’t see that as going away any time soon. While people often turn to public transportation as an option, if the cost of gas is more affordable, they will use their vehicles more. Besides, Africa is not a refining continent and imports most of the fuel it consumes. This means the consumption of environmentally friendly fuel in Africa depends on the refiners who export their fuel to Africa as well as regulating the fuel emission standards in Africa.
What projections do you have for the future of the automotive industry and the people who work in it?
N.J. Ayuk: There is a lot of exciting technology happening in the automotive industry. From the advancement of self-driving cars, smart cars, and ridesharing reshaping how people use and experience their vehicles, we have a lot to look forward to. I predict a significant growth potential for the innovators, especially in Africa, where there is so much potential for progress. Those who can anticipate the needs and directions of the industry in the near future will reap the benefits. Similar to the message in my book, “Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals,” by investing now in the future, we set the stage for a prosperous outcome.
Any final thoughts on the environment and fuel-efficient vehicle production?
N.J. Ayuk: I support the use of more fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles and see it as something we all play a hand in. African regulators need to implement more stringent fuel emission norms similar to those we have seen in Europe or India. Existing and upcoming African refineries also need to adopt the right technology to produce clean fuels, just like the new Egyptian Refining Company has done.
In my book “Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals,” I stress the need to always keep the environment in mind. This goes beyond the short-term advantage of making money; this is about the future of our children and their children. When I look at my daughter, I want her to be proud of the work I’ve done to help Africa prosper in the oil and energy industry as well as my efforts to preserve the environment out of love for our planet and the entire human race.
NJ Ayuk is a leading authority in the African energy sector and a strong advocate for African entrepreneurship and the indigenous energy sector, NJ Ayuk is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today. A well-known dealmaker in the petroleum and power sectors and founder of a leading energy-focused law firm, N.J. is dedicating his career to helping African entrepreneurs find success and to building the careers of emerging African talent.
As Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of Centurion Law Group, NJ strives through his work to ensure that business, and especially oil and gas, positively impacts African societies and drives local content development.
He is the author of “Big Barrels: African Oil & Gas and the Quest for Prosperity” and “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.” N.J. graduated from the University of Maryland College Park and earned a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.