Germany Eyes West Africa for Enhanced Oil, Gas Imports

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

To address energy concerns, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz initiates discussions with Nigeria and other West African nations. The focus is on importing more oil and gas.

Scholz, on his third visit to sub-Saharan Africa within two years, underscores the region’s significance. Traditionally, Berlin’s presence here has been minimal.

His trip includes stops in energy-rich Nigeria and Ghana. The discussions also cover West Africa’s migration and regional instability.

Anton Hofreiter, a Greens legislator, commented on the visit’s backdrop. He highlighted Germany’s realization post-Russia’s Ukraine invasion. “We sought allies against Russia and faced surprising opposition,” Hofreiter said.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas further accelerates the energy dialogue.

Following Russia’s Ukraine invasion in 2022, Germany turned to Qatar for liquefied gas. Recent Middle Eastern disruptions emphasize the value of diversified energy sources.

Oil dominates Nigeria’s exports to Germany. Now, officials contemplate adding gas. “Instead of flaring gas, countries can opt for export,” a German official remarked about the trip. “Germany is keen on discussing gas imports with Nigeria.”

However, resolving Nigeria’s energy sector’s chronic underinvestment is vital. The business team with Scholz might address this issue.

Additionally, Germany sees populous Nigeria and Ghana as potential labor reservoirs. With Germany’s aging workforce, this is critical. “German firms are eager to hire Ghana’s IT experts,” said Stefan Liebing, ex-chief of the German African Business Association.

Germany’s non-colonial history in West Africa could be an advantage. It may offer Berlin a unique political influence in this unstable region.

In 2022, Germany returned the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. This gesture aimed to mend historical European colonial wrongs.

For Scholz, facing domestic migration criticism, this trip holds significance. He believes boosting economic opportunities in origin countries can curb migration.

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