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26th Big Five Board Awards Celebrate Exceptional Contribution to Africa’s Energy Industry

NAMCOR Double Winners

The Africa Energies Summit has culminated with a celebration of the very best individual and corporate contributions to the continent’s energy sector, as winners of the 26th Big Five Board Awards are announced.

The longest running African-focused energy awards, Big Five finalists were peer-nominated prior to the three-day Summit held in London, with delegates voting for each category’s winner during the three-day event.

Winners are:

Elephant: Distinguished Individual Contribution to the African Energy Industry

Phil Birch, Exploration Director, Impact Oil & Gas. For his key role in realising the true potential that deep offshore African margins could hold and for his significant personal contribution in changing the landscape of exploration in Africa whilst placing Namibia on the map with other significant global discoveries during 2022.

Lion: Distinguished Corporate Contribution to the African Energy Industry

TotalEnergies. Africa is at the heart of TotalEnergies’ global strategy. Africa represents around 30% of TotalEnergies’ global production (900 kbep/d) and 30% of global investments. In addition to extensive production and exploration interests, TotalEnergies has also carried out a solarisation programme in 38 countries and 5 solar farms on the Continent.

Leopard: Africa's Independent Player of the Year

Impact Oil & Gas. For its persistent belief in Namibia’s Venus well, successfully bringing in partners to share risk and reward, and showing true resilience in Namibia which has resulted in a basin-opening discovery.

Buffalo: Service & Supply Company of the Year

TGS. For its achievements on the African Continent in providing a data and intelligence library second to none; with coverage from Cape to Cairo, and ministry and NOC relationships that enable successful promotion and access.

Rhino: African National Oil Company of the Year

NAMCOR. For consistently adding value to all stakeholders across the oil and gas value chain and playing an instrumental role in ensuring the continued investment in exploration in Namibia’s oil and gas sector.

In addition, the Big Five Special Category – Africa’s Legend – was awarded to NAMCOR Managing Director, Immanuel Mulunga in recognition of his personal dedication to creating a world-class National Oil Company. His efforts include increasing exploration and production activities across Namibia’s basins and developing a strategic storage and transportation infrastructure in partnership with local and international companies, in a bid to boost Namibia’s oil and gas market to meet domestic, regional and international energy needs.

Reflecting an African Chief tradition, Mr Mulunga was handed the Legends’ Baton by 2021 winner, Eni’s Luca Bertelli. Crafted by famed Zimbabwean silversmith, Patrick Mavros, the baton - which is inlaid with silver pangolins, signifying respect - is passed from legend to legend each year, creating a unique and highly valued accolade within the African energy sector.    

Gayle Meikle, CEO of Frontier Energy commented: “A huge congratulations to all our Big Five Awards 2022 winners; it is a true honour to be able to continue this incredible tradition and to acknowledge the best-in-class on the African Continent.

The industry is made up of a tapestry of players, all very closely linked, and our collective success relies upon the dedication and commitment of so many in the industry. These Awards aim to acknowledge special individuals and companies that have shone a light on Africa, and we take our hats off to them and the teams they represent.


The 5th annual Africa Energies Summit played host to official delegations from African governments, and industry professionals across the value chain, including a wide range of leading players and investors in the African and international energy markets.