- The US administration launched its Prosper Africa initiative in 2018, with the vision to open markets for American businesses, grow Africa’s middle class, promote youth employment opportunities.
- The initiative also aims to improve the business climate and enable the US to compete with China and other nations who have business interests in Africa.
- The $50 million programme will offer technical help to companies looking to enter or grow in Africa, which is urbanising more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth.
- The region is projected to have 1.52 billion consumers by 2025 — nearly five times the size of the US population.
A continued priority for the US Department of Energy is now looking towards Africa to develop opportunities in the exploration, production and monetization of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In the words of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, “increased amounts of US LNG on the world market benefit the American economy, American workers, and consumers and help make the air cleaner around the globe.”
Under this new strategy the US government, including the Department of Energy, is looking to assist Africa advance economic prosperity and energy development across the continent without saddling them with unsustainable debt, or imperil their long-term economic development or their sovereignty.
Biggest LNG project in Africa
When it comes to the oil and gas sector American corporations are already very active on the continent. Earlier this year Texas energy company Anadarko Petroleum gave the green light to start building a $20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique — the biggest such project ever approved in Africa.
To further this policy assistant secretary for fossil energy, Steven Winberg, will join over 25 Pan-African ministers at the Africa Oil Week summit in Cape Town this November.
Winberg will use the event to share US energy policy points with the continent and outline a vision for deeper US commitment to Africa in the oil, gas and power sectors.
According to the event organiser, this vision looks set to encompass increased two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa, with the US making potential capital available on joint-ventures and to part-finance LNG infrastructure for energy-lacking African countries.
Winberg said: “We want our friends and partners in Africa to thrive, prosper, and control their own destinies. And we welcome the opportunity to share with them not only our abundant energy resources, but also the knowledge and technologies that can help them develop their own resources.”
Author: Babalwa Bungane
This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.