DGermany wants to expand its energy cooperation with Senegal. Talks have already begun on the subject of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Sunday after a meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar.
In the morning the Chancellor had arrived there for his first trip to Africa. During a joint press conference in the presidential palace – appropriately with a view of a large LNG tanker off the Senegalese coast – Macky Sall also emphasized that his country was “very interested in supplying the European market with liquefied natural gas”. Senegal has significant gas reserves; There is a particularly large gas field in the north of the country. There is also the question of whether the federal government will participate financially in the exploration. Discussions on the topic will be “continued very intensively at the technical level,” emphasized Scholz on Sunday.
Senegal and South Africa at G-7 Summit
In the wake of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Germany is currently in talks with other countries to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. During a visit by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, to Berlin on Friday, it was said that Qatar wanted to deliver gas to Germany as soon as possible. Exactly when was initially unclear. However, cooperation with the Gulf state will hardly suffice to phase out Russian gas. This is one of the reasons why Africa is increasingly coming into focus as a possible new energy hub for Europe.
In Senegal, which, as one of the most important trading and economic powers in West Africa, currently holds the presidency of the African Union (AU), the Chancellor’s program also included talks with business representatives and a visit to a solar power plant that is being built with German help, among other things . The Federal Government also wants to become more involved in the country in the field of renewable energies in the future, as the Federal Chancellor emphasized on Sunday. Scholz also wants to expand cooperation on climate policy.
In addition to such questions, Scholz’s trip is primarily about geopolitical issues. In Senegal, Scholz emphasized that it was important to him to exchange views on different positions regarding the Ukraine war and to promote a closer union of the world’s democracies. “We will have to stick together in the world,” said Scholz on Sunday. Alongside India, Indonesia and Argentina, Senegal and South Africa, which the Chancellor will visit on Tuesday, are among the five countries invited by Scholz to take part in the G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau in June. The fact that Senegal is taking part in the G-7 summit is “a sign of a world that works together,” said Scholz.
Skepticism about Western sanctions
With a view to the Russian war, however, there are differences. The two African states abstained from condemning Russia at the United Nations General Assembly. Western sanctions are also viewed with great skepticism in some countries. The narrative that sanctions are causing global food shortages and rising grain and energy prices is widespread. The German government, on the other hand, has repeatedly emphasized that Russia alone is responsible for this development.
Before his visit to Johannesburg on Tuesday, Scholz, who is being accompanied on his trip by a business delegation, wanted to fly on to Niger on Sunday evening. In the West African country, which, along with Senegal, is seen as an anchor of stability in the region plagued by crises, security policy issues are on the agenda. While cooperation with the neighboring Sahel state of Mali is becoming increasingly difficult for Germany, the Bundeswehr’s involvement in Niger is to be expanded.
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