IVY MANLY-SPAIN: Imprints of An Energy Amazon

Ivy Manly-Spain has defied the odds and risen above the patriarchal systems to build one of the most successful oil and gas companies in Africa. As the CEO of Hill Oil, Ms. Manly-Spain has led the company towards occupying a strategic spot as Ghana’s number one Oil Marketing Company. She speaks to Africa Energy & Infrastructure magazine on some of the challenges confronting the sector in Africa; her company’s growth and expansion plan; the future of the oil and gas industry in Ghana, among other issues.

Excerpts:

As a reputable industry Leader in Africa, what can you say are the specific challenges leadership in Africa has witnessed and what can be done differently.

Some of the specific challenges that leadership In Africa has witnessed over the years are Nepotism, favoritism, corruption, leaders inability to negotiate better deals for various countries and lack of utilization of the youthful human resources available. Africa needs generational leaders who will use the vast natural resources for the benefit of generations unborn.

Looking at the Oil and Gas sector in Africa especially when it comes to transportation, what will you say are the achieved strides and areas the sector can improve on?

Over the years, a lot of investment has gone into transportation in the Oil and Gas sector, in terms of road infrastructure, Bulk Road Vehicles, policies on safety etc. However there are still a lot of very old trucks in the industry which is a threat to safety. I believe safety should be paramount in any policy in the Oil and Gas Sector. For example Government policy should be very strict on importation of second hand oil and gas trucks into the industry.

If a larger investment pool is allocated to the oil and gas sector, how do you foresee the future of Oil and Gas in Africa?

As we are all aware, the Oil and Gas sector requires huge capital investment. So with a larger investment pool and right policies, the future of the Oil Gas sector in Africa would be very bright and lucrative.

Do you think Africa’s indigenous companies can dominate in every aspect of Oil and Gas from mining, processing to transportation if the right measures are put in place?

Yes, Africa’s indigenous companies can dominate in every aspect of the Oil and Gas sector. Over the years, the local expertise has been built and with the right measures in place, supported by additional capital ingestion, indigenous companies can dominate every aspect of the Oil and Gas Sector.

Given that Ghana has a large amount of Petroleum in reserve, what will you say is the role of Hills Oil Marketing when it comes to getting these products to the end-user?

Hills Oil Marketing has already created a value chain of 3 companies involved in  importation, marketing and haulage of petroleum product to the end users in the Oil and Gas Sector. With large amount of Petroleum Reserve in Ghana, the strategy is to move further upstream for exploration and finally build a Refinery for processing of crude oil.

What will you say is the relevance of technology in the Oil and Gas sector?

If all Oil producing countries in Africa will have their own refinery and refine their own products, I trust Oil Products will be economical to the end user.