Summit discusses digital workplace transformation for Africa’s energy future

October 13, 2017
Summit discusses digital workplace transformation for Africa’s energy future

The third edition of the Africa Oil and Gas Talent Summit took place in Accra from October 11 to 12, 2017, with participants calling on Africa’s governments and private sector to pay serious attention workplace digitisation as a means of providing millennials the best environment to realise their fullest potentials.

Millennials are people born between 1980 and the year 2000; they are seen as the most technology savvy, which is why the Summit argued that effective workplace digitisation will bring out the best in people found within this age bracket.

It is estimated that by 2020, millennials, who are proficient in all technologies at their disposal, will form 50% of the global workforce.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of Finance and Infrastructure, Joseph Cudjoe, told the summit that these millennials demand greater freedom in managing how, when and from where they work.

“Companies, therefore, need to attract and retain these younger employees by meeting their expectations in the workplace. They are the ones to advance the digitisation of our industries and workplaces in Africa,” he said.

Chairman of the Summit advisory council Felix Amieyefori told participants that if Africa does not act - and act quickly - it would slip into “digital slavery”, as a fourth industrial revolution or digital revolution is unfolding, whose pace has never been matched in history.

“When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management and governance,” he said.

“Africa must see this as a challenge, otherwise we will slip into digital slavery - which will be far more disastrous than the slave trade that took our sons and daughters to their plantations and factories.”

The AOGS2017 is an annual event that brings together African operators, service providers and regulators to power-up their digital workplace strategies, particularly at a time when the industry is seeking innovative strategic responses to a lower-forever oil price future.

This year’s summit was under the theme ‘Digital Workplace Transformation for Africa’s Energy Future’, and it attracted participants from across the continent.

A key feature of this year’s Summit was roundtable sessions and expert presentations, with delegates made up of Chief Executive Officers of Exploration and Production and service companies; Ministers of state and directors of oil and gas; energy and power companies and Local Content Managers.

Others include global digital solution providers; Human Resource directors; consultants and senior managers in charge of learning and development, training and human capacity development.

The Summit Director, Mr. Emmanuel Emielu, noted that as oil prices remain low for longer, “people and processes are key for survival – people who can unravel the emerging complexities and ambiguities; resilient and focused people who can chalk-up innovative responses and implement same successfully”.

According to him, AOGS has become the platform to pit people and performance excellence centre-stage in Africa’s oil and gas discourse - adding that the oil industry is not new to technology disruptions, but digitisation of the workplace has become a new phenomenon.