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The ARA is the African organisation for the African downstream oil sector. It was established on 23 of March 2006 in Cape Town, South Africa.

To develop its activities, the Association quickly established itself as an association with a formal structure comprising: the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, Work Groups and legal headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and Operational Headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The members of the Executive Committee and the various Work Groups reflect the geographic and cultural diversity of the African continent. Members of the Association represent stakeholders and actors from all parts of the downstream oil sector across Africa.

The ARA aims to promote fair economic policies in respect of all downstream oil activities across the African continent. The ARA strives to help its Members to develop with their Governments coordinated pan-African policies on oil supply, refining and distribution in Africa that are consistent with international agreements while promoting local investment, employment, training and development in a safe and clean environment. The ARA is active in promoting the sharing of global best practice amongst its members and other industry stakeholders.

The ARA is equally committed to improving the quality of fuels marketed within the African continent in order to remove urban air pollution. To achieve this aim, the ARA supports a coordinated, regional approach in the many African countries with a common supply chain.

The ARA works with all downstream stakeholders, including car manufacturers, Governments, banks and international financial institutions, in order to attract the necessary investment in the downstream oil sector.


The role of the ARA is to give a voice to all African downstream oil stakeholders. The ARA's principal aims and objectives are:

To achieve this, ARA cooperates with the relevant industry groups, governments, regulatory bodies, international agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental organisations.

  1. To address economic, environmental and social issues deemed by its membership to impact upon oil refining in Africa, or upon the importing and distribution of petroleum products throughout the African continent.
  2. To promote a better understanding of issues within the international oil industry which impact the African downstream oil industry.
  3. To promote the exchange of positive experiences between Members, as well as to improve their technical and economic performance.
  4. To improve communication and cooperation between its Members and the international oil market.