May 20, 2024
Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris to Shift European Capital from Aid to Profitable Partnerships
– By Godswill Odiong

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As Africa seeks to propel its economic growth and tap into the vast potential of its energy sector, a significant shift is underway, moving investment trends from foreign aid to mutually beneficial commercial relationships with Europe. The upcoming Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris – taking place on June 1 and spearheaded by the African Energy Chamber (http://www.EnergyChamber.org) – serves as a pivotal moment, connecting European investors and project developers to emerging opportunities across Africa’s energy landscape, encompassing oil and gas as well as renewable energy projects.

Historically, Africa’s energy sector has been heavily reliant on foreign aid and external support, leaving the continent at risk to the policies and investment trends associated with the international community. While this type of capital has been instrumental in developing projects across the renewable energy and broader power sector spaces, Africa’s oil and gas has struggled to gain traction as global capital shifts towards cleaner sources of fuel. Africa’s vast reserves of 620 trillion cubic feet of gas and 125.3 billion barrels of oil not only offer the critical opportunity for the continent to make energy poverty history by 2030, spurring industrialization and sustainable economic growth, but present the chance for Africa to shift from aid dependency to collaborative relationships in the energy sector.

An example is the development of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a 1,143km pipeline connecting Uganda’s Tilenga and Kingfisher oilfields to international markets via the Tanga Port in Tanzania. Faced with fierce opposition from environmental activists, Western financial institutions have withdrawn their commitment to the project. Now, the EACOP is turning to China to fulfil its capital requirements, and with the lucrative proposal, the country is expected to respond.

Stepping into this picture, the Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris serves as a unique platform for European investors and African executives to explore potential collaborations, shifting focus from foreign aid to mutually beneficial commercial relationships. By bringing together industry leaders, policymakers, financiers, and project developers, the forum fosters dialogue, knowledge exchange, and relationship building. Participants will discuss innovative investment models, strategic partnerships, and joint ventures that can address Africa’s energy needs while providing profitable opportunities for European investors.

Representing one of the final frontiers for oil and gas, Africa is ripe with commercial opportunity. On the oil and gas front, international energy companies are shifting the landscape of Africa’s oil and gas industry from one of dependency on foreign aid to one of investment and collaboration. They are actively investing in the region, developing offshore fields, onshore facilities and large-scale infrastructure projects. As an example, French major TotalEnergies has collaborated with governments in projects such as the EACOP, Mozambique’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project as well as upstream activities in Namibia’s Orange Basin. These partnerships drive sustainable energy developments, increase energy access and industrialization in Africa while offering high returns on investment for the company. The Paris forum thereby provides an opportunity for more French and European companies to have a hand in transforming the African energy sector to a mutually beneficial commercial relationship.

Regarding renewable sources, abundant resources and a commitment to clean energy in Africa create attractive opportunities for investors. By promoting and strengthening existing collaborations between European investors – who possess expertise in clean technologies as well as capital – and African executives, the forum will accelerate the development of renewable energy infrastructure in Africa. These collaborations drive job creation, enhance local capacity, and position Africa as a key player in the global renewable energy sector.

Shifting investment trends towards commercial relationships between Africa and Europe also facilitates economic cooperation on a broader scale. European investors bring expertise, technology, and investments to Africa’s energy projects, stimulating job creation, knowledge transfer, and local capacity building. This not only benefits African economies but also opens new markets and business opportunities for European companies, fostering economic growth and trade between the two regions.

The Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris serves as a platform for fostering mutually beneficial commercial partnerships, reducing aid dependency, and promoting investment opportunities across the African energy sector. Through networking, presentations, and panel discussions, the forum enables delegates to connect, explore new business prospects, and collaborate. By facilitating knowledge sharing and providing valuable insights, the forum paves the way for European companies and financiers to enter the African market, establishing a foundation for long-term engagement and sustainable growth.

Taking place on June 1 2023, the Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris is open to all guests and RSVP (https://apo-opa.info/3KQXc64) is essential. RSVP to registration@aecweek.com.

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