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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.


Membership is available to the following entities:

a) Oil and by-product refining companies operating in Africa (refinery).

A refinery is defined as an industrial feedstock processing plant (crude oil, coal or gas) for the production of petroleum products (including bitumen and petrochemicals).

b) Legal entities operating in the import, storage, transport, distribution and regulation of petroleum products and which, in one or more countries in Africa:

  1. have an import terminal and/or control a significant share of national imports and/or
  2. operate a distribution network of a significant size in a national market and/or
  3. operate a company for land or sea transportation of crude oil, oil products and chemicals of a certain significance compared to the national demand and/or
  4. bear the responsibility for the regulation and the control of refining, importing, stocking, transporting or distributing petroleum products.

Admission of Members is the responsibility of the Executive Committee on a proposal of the Executive Secretary.



The opportunity to be a key player in deciding ARA policy on pan-African downstream developments - respecting commercial, socio-economic and environmental factors

Take part in ARA WEEK - the meeting place for downstream oil in Africa

Have the right to vote at the ARA Annual General Meeting

5 delegates to the ARA Annual General Meeting (AGM),

5 delegates to the President’s cocktail and gala dinner during the ARA WEEK

Nominate participants in ARA work groups:

  • Product Specifications
  • Human Resources
  • Storage and Distribution
  • Refining & Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ)
  • Regulation

Invitations and free participation to industry seminars throughout the year

The possibility to meet and share experiences with regional, pan-African and international companies

Access to the ARA African Downstream Database offering data on supply/demand, specifications, facilities and pump prices

Your company link on ARA website

Participation in regional studies

Reduced training fees

Reduced Storage and Distribution Forum fee

Free participation in ARA laboratory round robin tests

Get 25% discount at the CITAC Downstream Workshops held during the ARA WEEK after the AGM