Scholz to Boost Energy Security and Green Transition During African Tour

During the end of October and start of November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was on tour in Africa. On 29 October 2023, he arrived in Nigeria and the next stop is in Ghana.

On 30 October 2023, German Chancellor Scholz delivered the keynote speech at the German – Nigerian Business Conference in Lagos. Other items on the bilateral agenda include migration and peace in the West and Central Africa region.

Currently, the trade volume between Germany and Germany stands at EUR 3 billion. German is Nigeria’s second largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the investment side, Germany invested EUR 150 million in Germany in 2021.

The African tour occurs during the Ukraine-Russia conflict whereby Germany has been trying hard to diversify its energy source away from Russian gas. One of the alternative sources could be Nigeria.

Facing mounting public opposition, Germany had to close down its last three nuclear power plants. To surmount this dilemma, Germany has no choice but to prolong the operation of its coal-fired power stations.

“It is regrettable that minerals are just about extraction as they end up in other countries rather than for Nigeria’s development. It is something that bothered me a lot in the past that sometimes it was just about extraction, which is not enough. There should be one bit more for making it feasible that some parts of the economic development can be used in the countries of origin.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Additionally, the countries visited are rich in #CriticalMinerals needed to achieve #decarbonization via #EV. As it is widely known, Germany a strong auto industry with famous brands such as Volkswagen, BMW or Mercedes. As the auto industry undergoes its #GreenTransition, the securing of the #CriticalMinerals represents a strategic imperative to remain competitive globally.

Therefore, Germany is actively looking to invest in oil and gas as well as #CriticalMinerals in Africa to ensure a smooth transition to #CarbonNeutrality. He even went further that German investment will promote local value addition (#LVA) in order to dissipate the ‘mineral curse’.

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and Germany already imports oil but not yet gas from Nigeria. Nigeria has an estimated 202 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves which Germany would like to tap into.

Subsequently, German President Frank Walter Steinmeier will join the Chancellor Scholz to visit Zambia and Tanzania. The discussion in these two countries will center on securing the supply chain for #CriticalMinerals.