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US- Africa collaboration targets deeper ties, LNG development

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The United States (U.S.), is hoping to deepen ties with many African countries at this year’s Africa Oil Week, by leveraging its Prosper Africa Initiative and energy programme.

Last December, the U.S. administration launched its Prosper Africa initiative with the vision to open markets for American businesses, grow Africa’s middle class, promote youth employment opportunities, improve the business climate, and enable U.S. 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 U.S. population.

A continued priority for the U.S. Department of Energy is to look towards Africa, to develop opportunities in the exploration, production and monetisation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).In the words of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, “increased amounts of U.S. 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.

The visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, to this year’s Africa Oil Week event in Cape Town highlights the importance that the United States put in fostering relationships with the continent.With the emergence of shale gas earlier this decade, the United States shot to the top of the global oil and gas rankings. In 2018, it averaged 17.87 million barrels per day (b/d), which accounts for 18 per cent of the world’s production, up from the 15.6 million b/d in 2017.

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.

“I am excited to represent the U.S. at the upcoming Africa Oil Week Conference in Cape Town, South Africa,” Assistant Secretary 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,” he added.


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