United States (U.S.) Department of Energy Delegation Joins African Energy Week (AEW) 2023


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 25, 2023/ -- The United States (U.S.) has long-played an instrumental role in developing and monetizing Africa’s energy resources, with a strong slate of American energy companies and technology providers driving impactful projects across the entire energy value chain. As the continent pursues a just and inclusive energy transition on the back of low-carbon oil and gas, U.S. partners will be critical as the demand for innovative approaches to decarbonizing the industry grows.

During the 2023 edition of the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition – the largest energy event on the continent – the African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to announce that a keynote address will be delivered by Josh Volz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, Middle East, Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Energy. Volz leads a delegation from the Department comprising Julie Middleton, Director of the Office of African and Middle Eastern Affairs in the Office of International Affairs, and Sarah Dhere, International Relations Specialist.

The U.S. has represented an important partner for Africa since initial discoveries of oil and gas were made on the continent. For decades and across almost every energy market in Africa, American companies have been at the forefront of development, investing in the expansion and resilience of the continent’s oil and gas industry.

International energy companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron, for example, have played an instrumental role in developing projects and monetizing resources. ExxonMobil has operated in Africa for more than 100 years and since 2006, has committed more than $46 billion across the continent. The company spearheads some of the continent’s biggest hydrocarbon projects such as the Area 4 Coral South Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) development in Mozambique; several deepwater assets in Angola – a country where it is investing more than $15 billion -; the Tanzania LNG project and more. Recently, the country expressed plans to invest in Algerian shale gas while applying for acreage offshore Liberia, a testament to its commitment to Africa’s oil and gas future.

Similarly, Chevron boasts substantial investments across the entire value chain in Africa. For over a century, the company has driven a strong pipeline of projects, with interests in Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, the Republic of Congo and Togo. Africa is a priority for the company and Chevron plans to continue investing for many years to come. Apache Corporation is also committed to Africa’s energy future and represents one of the largest American investors and oil producers in Egypt. The company is planning a $1.4 billion investment in the country in 2024 and has ambitions of scaling-up hydrocarbon E&P activities even further.  

On the oil services side, companies to the likes of Halliburton and Baker Hughes have been operating in Africa for decades and continue to provide the technology and tools needed to enhance sustainability and competitiveness. Baker Hughes has recently been awarded several competitive contracts for projects such as the Eni-led Belaine Phase 2 development offshore Ivory Coast; the bp-Kosmos Energy-led Greater Tortue Ahmeyim development in Senegal/Mauritania; and the $7.8 billion Agogo Integrated West Hub Development in Angola. Halliburton is also driving several projects, having recently opened an operations’ base in Senegal and re-entered the Libyan market.

American companies’ participation transcends oil and gas activities. U.S.-based energy firms have shown a commitment to capacity building, knowledge sharing and technology transfer, working closely with regional governments to scale-up local content. Through the training of the local workforce, a commitment to inclusivity and partnerships with local players, American companies have advanced the role they play in Africa’s energy sector.

U.S. involvement in Africa extends into the green energy sector, with the Government and energy companies supporting the continent’s efforts to drive a just and inclusive energy transition. Just this month, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry engaged with African leaders, inking several agreements to fast-track green energy investment. These included mobilizing capital for Africa’s climate solutions; $200 million in funding to expand access to renewable energy in Africa; $1.4 million in support for Kenya’s carbon market activation plan, and many more. American capital and technology will help advance Africa’s energy transition ambitions, the U.S. Department of Energy facilitates engagement between U.S. companies and African opportunities.

Specifically, the Department works to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relationships with key international partners. Under efforts to advance U.S. climate goals, support investment and collaborative partnerships in clean energy and technology deployment while leveraging expertise to identify opportunities to scale-up energy access, security and resilience, the Department is committed to a sustainable and secure energy future for all.

“At a time when Africa needs substantial investment and technology to advance its energy agenda and make energy poverty history, partnership with global counterparts have emerged as more critical than ever. The US Department of Energy has long-been an important facilitator of capital, technology and expertise by US firms in Africa and will continue to play a fundamental role in unlocking new energy opportunities across the continent,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

During the AEW 2023 conference, taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the U.S. Department of Energy delegation will participate in several panel discussions, investor forums and networking functions centered on advancing global partnerships under a common goal of alleviating energy poverty. Closed-room discussions will take place between the Department and various African leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Namibian President Hage Geingob, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and many more. With the US Department of Energy’s participation, the event will see new deals, discussions and ideas emerge.