Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid
Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid

NPA Boss elected President of African Refiners Association

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has been elected President of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA).


He succeeds Senegal’s Marieme Ndoye Decraene, who has ended her tenure.

The Executive Committee of the continental body approved Dr Abdul-Hamid’s nomination last week and the annual general meeting (AGM) last Thursday unanimously ratified the appointment at the 18th ARDA Week held in Cape Town, South Africa from March 13 to 17.

This is the first time a Ghanaian is leading the association and also the first time a petroleum downstream regulator is leading the body. 

In submitting the nomination, Dr Abdul-Hamid’s sterling leadership and visible results in the Ghanaian petroleum downstream were considered.

Marieme Decraene, the immediate past President,  African Refiners and Distributors Association, handing over to the newly elected President, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the association, Annibor Kragha, said Dr Abdul-Hamid's honesty and integrity in public life made him a suitable candidate for the top job.

As President, Dr Abdul-Hamid will be responsible for chairing and running the AGMs and the executive committee meetings of the organisation. 

The ARDA is an organisation with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, but its operational office is in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. 

Founded in 2006, it is the first-ever pan-African organisation for the downstream oil sector, with members comprising African oil refiners, importers, terminal operators, major marketers, distributors and industry regulators who share a common interest in matters pertaining to the refining, as well as storage, distribution and regulation of petroleum products in Africa, according to its constitution. 

At the end of its conference and AGM in Cape Town, Mr Kragha emphasised the simultaneous need to both prioritise energy transition and ensure the security of current supplies.

The conference has been the backdrop for a call for Africans to keep funds invested in the continent rather than offshore to provide financing for the estimated $190 billion annual energy funding needed in Africa. 

This was followed by the announcement of two African banks injecting $16 billion into oil and gas projects on the continent.

“Separate implementation strategies are needed for cleaner, lower carbon generating fuels to meet the critical current demands and the urgent progress towards sustainable renewable energy,” he said.

He stressed that a measured decade-by-decade sustainable financing plan to ensure that investments were made to deliver a unique African energy transition was essential. 

The ARDA, the Executive Secretary declared, was committed to securing project financing for strategic opportunities for the African downstream oil sector and providing funds for refinery upgrades for clean fuels storage and distribution, as well as petrochemical and LPG sector development.


To officially induct him into office, Dr Abdul-Hamid was decorated with a sash and presented with a presidential staff as a symbol of authority.

In his inaugural speech, the new ARDA President promised to make the association more inclusive and attractive to increase membership in order to achieve the stated objectives.

He also congratulated the Executive Secretary on his re-election.

Mr Kragha was re-elected for a second term in a unanimous vote by the organisation. 


Having held the position since 2020, the Executive Secretary has led the organisation through some of the world’s most challenging times, with his re-election serving as a testament to his commitment to champion a new era of energy security in Africa.

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