Olaf Scholz is traveling to Africa for the first time during his term as Federal Chancellor. On his first stop, Senegal, he assured the West African country of German support for gas production. Referring to Africa and the gas deposits there, the Chancellor said in the Senegalese capital Dakar that countries without economic resources could not be prevented from exploiting their opportunities. Specifically, it is about the development of a gas field off the West African coast. Senegal and Mauritania have shares in it. According to media reports, the operator BP suspects 425 million cubic meters of natural gas there.
Details not yet known
Senegal would like to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany and Europe in the coming years. This was announced by President Macky Sall after the meeting with Chancellor Scholz in Dakar. “We are interested in supplying gas to the European market,” he said.
Scholz spoke of a common concern. We have started to exchange ideas and “following these talks, we will continue this very intensively at the technical level,” said Scholz about the planned cooperation. “We want to be good partners.”
The Chancellor cited the Russian attack on Ukraine as the reason for the U-turn towards increased exploitation of fossil natural gas deposits. “The fact that we have to take a fresh look at the situation in the world is the result of what I called a turning point – and that will not be limited to individual questions, but must also have consequences in many other places.” With this, Senegal could make a contribution to replace Russian gas. In addition, Scholz assured the state of increased German cooperation in the areas of solar and wind energy.
There were already signs of a trend reversal on the subject of gas from Africa on Friday, when government circles said that despite the restrictions imposed by the European Investment Bank and the development banks, an engagement in the natural gas sector in the West African country could be imagined. European governments are currently looking around the world for alternatives to Russian gas.
Scholz promises Africa food aid
The Chancellor also addressed the food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine and the massive price increases in many African countries. “That must not leave us cold, it doesn’t leave us cold,” said Scholz. The federal government will continue to support aid programs and actively work to end the Russian blockade of wheat exports from Ukraine.
Russia enjoys great sympathy among many African countries, and the Russian blockade of grain exports from Ukraine hasn’t changed that much so far. Almost half of the African states abstained or did not vote on the two previous UN resolutions on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
Three countries in three days
Dakar is the first stop on Scholz’s first trip to Africa as chancellor. Further stations are the Niger and South Africa.
In Niger, the Chancellor will visit the Bundeswehr on a foreign mission for the first time. German soldiers are involved in the EUTM mission northeast of the capital Niamey. The security situation in the entire Sahel zone is precarious. South Africa is Germany’s most important partner country in sub-Saharan Africa.
qu/kle (dpa, rtr)