African Oil Policy Initiative Group

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The African Oil Policy Initiative Group (AOPIG) is a Washington, DC lobby group.

Members [1]


The group was established in early 2002, as a result of a DC symposium on African oil extraction held on January 25, 2002 [2]. The symposium was attended by, among others [3]:

The proceedings of the symposium are titled "African oil, a priority for US national security and African development", and are available from the website of the Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies (IASPS) [4].

According to a Christian Science Monitor article, on May 23 2002 the AOPIG presented a white paper in Washington. The article says: "The document urges Congress and the Bush administration to encourage greater extraction of oil across Africa, and to declare the Gulf of Guinea "an area of vital interest" to the US." [5]

"In January last year [2002], the IASPS hosted a symposium in Houston, Texas, which was attended by government and oil industry representatives. An influential working group called the African Oil Policy Initiative Group (AOPIG) co-chaired by IASPS researchers Barry Schutz and Paul Michael Wihbey, which has been largely responsible for driving American governmental policy concerning west African oil, emerged from the symposium." [1]

Paul Michael Wihbey, a fellow at IASPS and a principal at the energy consulting firm Global Water & Energy Strategy Team (GWEST), played a leading role in the formation of the AOPIG [6].

Another known member of the African Oil Policy Initiative Group is George Ayittey [7], who serves at American University as a visiting associate professor of economics, and is the President and founder of The Free Africa Foundation [8].


"Another Ghanaian in the Washington DC area well known in lobbying circles is Prof. George Ayittey of the American University. Prof. Ayittey was member of the African Oil Policy Initiative Group (AOPIG).

"AOPIG formed the US-Africa Energy Association, members of which included a number of serving and former Bush administration and several oil companies such as BP, Chevron, Texaco, Marathon, Shell and Anadarko. AOPIG and the US-Africa Energy Association lobbied the Bush Administration for the creation of AFRICOM. Was it coincidence that Anadarko also became a player in the Ghana oil find?" [2]

SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. When Uncle Sam Comes Calling in Africa, Znet, accessed February 17, 2010.
  2. Ghana oil – seeking national or some personal selfish interests?, ghanaweb, accessed February 16, 2010.