WDH/Scholz relies on Nigeria for hydrogen and liquid gas

(Location of Economic Forum Lagos – not Abuja)4

LAGOS (dpa-AFX) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has confirmed that he sees West African Nigeria as an important partner in the production of hydrogen and, temporarily, also for the purchase of liquid gas. “Nigeria has an ambitious energy transition plan,” he said on Monday at an economic forum in Lagos, Nigeria. “And you are also well placed to remain a key player in renewable energy and hydrogen – as well as liquefied natural gas, which we will continue to need in the coming years until the hydrogen market is fully established.” At the moment, Germany primarily sources oil from Africa’s most populous and economically strongest country.

There is criticism in the coalition: Green energy politician Lisa Badum called it a “scandal” that Scholz is “asking companies and states to increase their fossil investments in the global south.” “We can’t actually afford a climate chancellor who takes action when it comes to new fossil sources, but sits on his hands when it comes to switching from dirty natural gas to renewable energies.”

At the economic forum, Scholz also supported the establishment of the African Free Trade Area (AfCTFA), which has officially existed since January 1, 2021. However, implementation of the AfCTFA agreement is progressing slowly. It is intended to facilitate regional trade between 54 countries, which is made more difficult by high import tariffs and bureaucratic hurdles.

With almost all African countries – with the exception of Eritrea – AfCTFA covers a market of over 1.2 billion people and is therefore the world’s largest free trade area. A customs and monetary union as well as a common market will be added later. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has not yet recorded a significant increase in regional trade.

Scholz said that as a member of the European Union, Germany knew about the advantages of regional economic integration. “That’s why we fully support Africa’s path towards the AfCFTA, not only as the largest donor, but also by supporting the negotiations and implementation.”/mfi/DP/stk