Senegalese President Macky Sall is a respected leader, both in his country and globally. He has served as chairman of the African Union and championed African issues in and out of Africa.
But one of the first things that comes to mind when we think of Macky Sall is that he is a champion for our continent’s energy industry. In an era when the foreign voices urging Africa to accept energy transition timetables not in their best interest are loud and insistent, Sall has unapologetically stood up for what’s right for our continent. Most recently, he has done so at the 2022 G20 summit and the COP27 climate conference.
President Sall’s well-informed and eloquent voice is needed more than ever.
This October, during the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) 2023 African Energy Week in Cape Town, we are looking forward to seeing the AEC recognize Sall for his perseverance in making Africa’s energy needs known to the global community.
Bold Advocate for African Priorities
President Sall has advocated repeatedly for equitable African representation at international energy forums where decisions are being made that profoundly affect Africans’ daily lives.
As he communicated to the United Nations General Assembly in 2022, African nations will not settle for remaining on the sidelines while decision-making bodies meet to discuss energy policy. Representatives of those nations must be brought into the center of deliberations.
Permanent seats on the UN Security Council, Sall noted, would give 1.4 billion Africans representation in decisions that impact them every day.
As Chairman of the African Union in 2022, Sall was also outspoken, insisting that international energy-related partnerships listen to African voices with respect. Along the same lines, he has called for a greater African presence in the G20, where South Africa alone currently represents the continent.
Sall has boldly proclaimed that continued extraction and capitalization of African oil and gas resources is necessary to fuel economic development, energy security, and industrialization. He has made it clear that Africa will transition to renewables at its own pace — one that is best for its people and economies.
He also has pointed out the lack of logic in wealthy countries attempting to deny Africa the same fossil fuels they used to become industrialized, while over 600 million Africans remain without electricity.
At an MSBC (Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea-Conakry) Oil, Gas, and Power conference held in Dakar, Senegal last year, Sall stated, “While remaining committed to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, we must continue to defend the interests of our countries in the run-up to COP27.”
Speaking later in 2022 in Egypt at COP27, Sall emphasized the need to continue producing natural gas, the cleanest of the fossil fuels, in Africa. This, he said, would lower carbon dioxide output while allowing the continent to grow, both economically and in electrification.
Stage Set for a Just Energy Transition in Senegal
As we have stated before, Senegal’s energy sector has been an encouraging example of transformative growth under Sall’s leadership.
In large part, this is due to his visionary collaboration with leaders of other nations. Among these is German Chancellor Olaf Schultz, who met with Sall in May of 2022 and then announced he was discussing gas development and LNG projects with Dakar.
Like other EU member nations, Germany is seeking freedom from dependence on Russian supply, and Senegal, along with Mauritania, is ready to be part of the answer. BP and Kosmos Energy’s Greater Tortue/Ahmeyim (GTA) natural gas project is set to begin in 2024. GTA holds 15 trillion cubic feet of gas resources, which along with two other Senegalese projects, the Yakaar-Teranga Development and the Banda Gas Field, have spurred investment and exploration in the MSGBC Region.
President Sall has leveraged this regional partnership to his country’s benefit, and the effect is expected to raise regional GDP, a foundational factor for achieving a just energy transition.
In line with making that transition and as part of its goal to reach universal access to electricity by 2025, Senegal is pursuing renewable energy production through the Senergy 2 solar project and the 158 MW Taiba N’Diaye wind farm.
In addition, President Sall has led the PES (Plan for an Emerging Senegal), which encompasses economics, human capital, and good governance through 27 flagship projects in construction, logistics, and mining. The plan is also an attraction for the global investment needed to catalyze energy independence for the country.
Senegal’s energy industry serves as a model for every African nation that wishes to use its oil and gas resources to achieve a better economy, a better quality of life, and a just transition to renewables.
Keynote Speaker for Africa Energy Week 2023
The African Energy Chamber will proudly welcome President Sall as its much-anticipated opening keynote speaker for Africa Energy Week 2023, to be held in Cape Town October 16-20.
President Sall’s keynote address is expected to set the tone for the discussions, deal-making, and initiatives that follow, much as his leadership has set the tone for his country’s energy progress.