Beyond geopolitical competition: cooperating to enable Africa’s energy access and green industries

, Berlin time (CEST, UTC+2)
Venue: The Westin Paris - Vendôme Hotel, 3 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris


Keynote speaker

  • NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber


  • Carole Nakhle, CEO, Crystol Energy
  • Theophilus Acheampong, Visiting Fellow, Africa Programme, ECFR

Chaired by

Maddalena Procopio, Senior Policy Fellow, Africa Programme, ECFR

The global energy transition has become a battleground for competing interests, with Africa emerging as a pivotal arena. International players vie for access to Africa’s abundant natural resources —from traditional oil and gas to renewable energy sources like solar and wind to critical minerals needed to manufacture green technology— in pursuit of their net-zero and green industrial aspirations. Concurrently, African stakeholders increasingly assert their role in shaping the discourse and outcomes of the energy transition based on their interests and ambitions. While competition can drive innovation, the current landscape of geopolitical rivalry around the energy transition risks hindering progress on the transition for all. Tensions can lead to trade bans on exports of natural resources and strategic products; they can disrupt energy markets, leading to price volatility and uncertainty, and a slowdown in investments; they can impede international collaboration on research and development as well as cooperation in addressing climate change.   

Amidst divergent views on how to achieve net-zero emissions and the imperative of balancing environmental responsibility with social stability and economic growth, various partnership models have emerged between international players and African governments. From the Emirati to the ‘European’, the US, the Chinese and more, each model presents different comparative advantages but also inherent limitations in terms of their aspirations and outcomes. None of these models works perfectly on its own.  

While acknowledging distinct visions, this roundtable debate seeks to explore the potential for synergy among the different models and spheres of engagement. Central to this discourse is the understanding that while approaches to the energy transition vary globally, the ultimate objective remains shared: a decarbonized future. We will discuss the potential for partnerships in key enabling fields such as infrastructure development (including transmission/electricity, such as the Utilities for Net Zero Alliance created at COP28) and finance. We will then dive into unpacking how partnerships can sustain the development of green industries in Africa and partner countries. 


09:30                Arrival and registration

10:00 – 10:10   Welcome address – ECFR
Keynote speech – NJ Ayuk, CEO, African Energy Chamber

10:25 – 11:25    Session I: Cooperation priorities to enable Africa’s energy sectors development

11:25 – 11:40    Coffee break

11:40 – 12:40   Session II: Harnessing cooperation for African and global green industry integration

12:40 – 12:45   Closing remarks

12:45 – 14:00   Networking at lunch