Facing an acute natural gas supply crisis, Europe is exploring new avenues to secure its energy future. This situation, which also affects other global actors such as the Middle East, the United States, and Russia, positions Africa as a crucial potential partner in the energy sector. Integrating African natural gas into the European energy portfolio is seen as a strategic measure to diversify supply sources and strengthen Europe’s energy security, currently dependent on traditional suppliers like Russia.

To realize this supply, it is imperative to establish balanced commercial agreements, ensuring a stable and competitive provision of African natural gas. Several African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria, are mobilizing to increase their export capacities, supported by significant gas discoveries in Senegal, Mauritania, and Mozambique. These advancements signify the growth of African gas production, which already accounted for 20% of global production in 2021.

However, exploiting this resource faces significant obstacles. The lack of adequate infrastructure for transporting gas from production sites to Europe requires substantial investments in pipelines and liquefaction facilities. The Central Africa Business Energy Forum (CABEF) highlights the Central Africa Pipeline System (CAPS) project, aiming to interconnect sub-regional countries to enhance energy production, transport, and distribution. This project aspires to create a common energy market in Central Africa, facilitating energy marketing and supply.

Yet, political instability in some producing countries represents another major concern, potentially compromising gas production and exportation. Political stabilization and the establishment of effective governance are thus crucial to ensure a reliable supply.

In conclusion, the European supply of African natural gas offers promising prospects but is faced with infrastructural challenges, energy security, political stability, and international competition. Close collaboration, as advocated by the CABEF, is essential to overcome these obstacles and encourage beneficial cooperation between Africa and Europe in the energy sector.

Nathalie LUM
Chairwoman of the CABEF.