Africa in the Wider World: The Three Faces of African Energy

Africa’s place in the energy world is defined by its growing population and energy consumption, its legacy and new resource endowment, and its strategic location. In recent years excitement over newfound natural gas resources in East Africa has dominated headlines, heralding speculation about an emerging age of African energy. At the same time, however, increasing discoveries and development of U.S. shale gas and tight oil resources and the reality of the continued turmoil in historically large producing areas like Nigeria and Libya have put a damper on the “rise of Africa” narrative. As a consequence, Africa’s energy landscape is far more complicated than any one narrative might suggest. In fact, there are at least three faces of African energy that will have strategic implications for the continent’s place in the global energy landscape for the next several decades. Each one requires careful public, private, domestic, and international attention.

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Sarah Ladislaw

Sarah Ladislaw

Former Senior Associate (Non-resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program