Africa’s Energy Policy


Africa has many identities, shaped by its geography

When we look at Africa’s energy policy, we have to bear in mind that the African nations differ quite a lot from each other. In North Africa we have climatic characteristics that only allow agricultural production in the North, while the interior is Saharan. The north is also characterized by ancient civilizations that have shaped these regions, especially in Morocco, Algeria, in Tunesia the core area of Carthage, in Libya lived ethnic groups already known to the ancient Egyptians, and the Egyptians themselves. In the southern part there are advanced civilizations which are almost as old as those in North Africa, like the Nubians in Sudan. Old cultures are also found in Ethiopia and West Africa, which were very different from each other, not least due to the fact that linguistically seen these regions differ from each other. Some regions were more influenced by Arab influences, others by Berbers, others by the Bantu people, and still others have a true multicultural identity like South Africa, which also has strong European cultural influences.

Why Africa is at the centre of global energy policy

And even if we look at the energy reserves of individual African countries, they differ greatly in terms of their concentration of mineral ores, phosphorus deposits, oil and gas reserves, and the possibility of using hydropower, which is increasingly becoming a problem in foreign policy between Sudan and Egypt. These are only two countries with a very high population rate. Likewise, countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo have a whole range of mineral resources that are important for industrial production. However, the focus is often on Africa’s energy reserves, which explains why Nigeria, Angola and Libya play such an important international role, and Libya as well.

However, the real conflict is no longer between the individual European forces, but between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, which were under-represented but still have the potential to intervene more strongly on the African continent. China, on the other hand, is considering a different strategy to expand its economic and political network in Africa. The interest of the Chinese companies here concerns above all the energy reserves of Africa, but also the mineral resources which these countries possess. Thus, the Chinese are particularly interested in the resources that are only available to a limited extent in China and make China dependent on international trade with Western countries, especially the United States.

This conflict of global superpowers, especially the United States and China, will continue for the rest of the 21st century, casting its shadows on the African continent. Africa has become the central axis in the globalized world between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, between the Western Hemisphere and America, and between the Eastern Hemisphere and China. Just as often the real size of the African continent is almost always underestimated, because it is misrepresented on world maps, because the world maps depend on the navigation routes. But if you look at the sheer land mass, Africa literally stands out.

The vibe of the African cities is unique: Huge Cities

As I have mentioned so many times before on this page, there is a direct link between the economic growth of the global economy and the demand for energy, with economic growth increasing whenever the demand for energy has increased. This means that the two variables are linked to each other. Africa also has a particularly high population growth rate, and many African countries can draw on large energy reserves. Now, global companies are interested in conquering new markets and winning them over.

In Africa, due to the high population growth and enormous energy wealth, a  high economic growth rate is to be expected, not everywhere, but in many places. Wealth will be created in clusters that will initially stand out like lighthouses. We already see this in the rapid growth of cities such as Nairobi, Lagos and Casablanca in northwest Africa. These cities are the lighthouses of their time. The influence of the city of Casablanca reaches deep into the African continent. It is also to be expected that these cities will be the first to benefit from the expansion of the energy infrastructure.

Cities like Casablanca have an enormous vibe, and unfold a dynamism that has long since been lost elsewhere in the world. It is to be expected that this vibe will also transfer to the entrepreneurial activities in these big cities of the African continent, and contribute to the economic growth of those.

Disclaimer: This article is just meant to inform the reader of recent developments in the energy industry at large and to share knowledge and insights with a wider audience. For more information, please also see the IMPRINT (German: Impressum) and PRIVACY POLICY, which you can find at the top of this page in the menu bar.  

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