OPEC Secretary General Begins 4-day Visit to Congo


Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo, 23 August 2021–OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, began his mission to the Republic of the Congo by holding a bilateral meeting with HE Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons and Head of Delegation to the Organization, in Brazzaville.

The meeting kicks off a four-day visit to OPEC’s newest Member Country. Congo joined the Organization on 22 June 2018.

At the meeting, the Minister welcomed the Secretary General and the accompanying delegation to Brazzaville.

The Minister stressed that Congo will continue to play a key role in the affairs of the Organization from the point where his predecessor Minister Jean Thystère-Tchicaya left off.

The Minister also reiterated his country’s unwavering commitment to the decisions and efforts of OPEC and the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) process, in which 10 non-OPEC oil-producing countries work with OPEC in interests of oil market stability.

The Secretary General recalled the moment when Congo joined the Organization in 2018.

“Both OPEC and the Republic of the Congo have a come a long way in the years since, and it was truly a privilege to be OPEC Secretary General when the Organization welcomed your country as the 13th OPEC Member, and seventh from Africa, on 22 June 2018,” he stated.

Barkindo thanked the Minister for the ongoing, remarkable contributions provided by Congo to the Organization and the DoC, in particular the unparalleled efforts exerted by HE Denis Sassou Nguesso, Congo’s President and Head of State.

“Your President, His Excellency Nguesso, has been a staunch supporter of the work of OPEC and the DoC, and the Organization recognizes his exemplary leadership, acumen, great diplomacy and tact,” he said.

In reference to the rotating position of the Presidency of the OPEC Conference, the Secretary General highlighted: “We welcome your encouragement and backing, your guidance, and your voice, particularly as the Republic of the Congo undertakes the Presidency of the OPEC Conference in 2022.”

He added: “Let me stress that as OPEC Secretary General I am to here to support the President in whatever way I can, and the OPEC Secretariat stands ready to work alongside you and your team as we look to build on the success of the DoC in 2022.”

The meeting was attended by senior officials and heads of hydrocarbon companies situated in Congo.

The Secretary General attended a luncheon hosted by the Minister following the conclusion of the meeting.

Later today, the Secretary General will also meet with HE Anatole Collinet Makosso, Congo’s Prime Minister, at his office in the Congolese capital.

The agenda of the mission includes several high-level meetings, as well as visits to the Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC), Congo’s national oil company, and the Headquarters of the African Petroleum Producers Organizations (APPO).

The mission concludes with a visit to Pointe-Noire, where the Secretary General will visit oil facilities and engage with oil companies.

Congo has played a leading role in OPEC’s success since becoming a Member Country at the 174th (Ordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference, which convened on 22 June 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

Prior to joining the historic DoC, the African oil producer attended meetings of the OPEC Conference as an ‘observer’ over many years and issued supportive statements for the DoC process.