This came after a month-long partnership negotiations that kicked off under Egypt’s sponsorship, Mulla added, describing the deal as an important step that the African petroleum countries have been looking forward to for years.

The minister made the remarks during his participation in the 39th virtual ministerial meeting of the African Petroleum Producers' Organization (APPO) held to discuss activating cooperation efforts in the petroleum and gas fields, as well as practical means to address the impacts of the coronavirus on the oil and gas industry, the oil ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Mulla said that work is underway for preparing a detailed study in cooperation with five APPO member states on the future of oil and gas in Africa amid the COVID-19 crisis and forming a technical committee to start preparing the study in cooperation with international consulting bodies to be submitted in mid 2021.