HOUSTON, TX – The African Leaders Visit: Energy concluded this afternoon following two days of meetings and site visits in Houston, TX that strengthened U.S.-Africa energy cooperation. Energy leaders from Tanzania and Kenya discussed their plans to develop significant recent natural gas discoveries in Africa with representatives from U.S. companies of all sizes, as well as with U.S. federal, state and local experts.
H.E. Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanzania's Minister of Energy and Minerals, noted that his country currently has 50 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and predicted that, with further exploration, it could increase to 100 trillion cubic feet. He also described how African economies are working to foster better business environments for U.S. industry: "Today, U.S. companies are going to be entering a new Africa. We have a unique opportunity to do this right, and this Visit is an important step in the right direction."
Minister Muhongo's remarks were echoed by H.E. Davis Chirchir, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, who said, "The Africa of yesterday is not the Africa of today. Now is the time for U.S. companies to see Africa as it is today. The opportunities are now."
As a center of transportation in East Africa, the Kenyan government will be making significant investments in the infrastructure, including importing and exporting terminals, necessary to move natural gas across the region.
The African leaders saw this type of infrastructure – including state-of-the-art U.S. equipment and technologies – during their visit to Houston. They toured the Port of Houston, which is consistently ranked first in the United States in U.S. import and export tonnage, as well as a liquefied natural gas terminal.
The Ministers are departing Houston for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest event any U.S. President has held with African governments. The Summit is an historic opportunity for the United States to play a driving role in the continent's future development.
As one of only two commercially-focused events to take African leaders outside of Washington, DC ahead of the Summit, the African Leaders Visit: Energy provided a forum for U.S. and African leaders to identify opportunities to partner in building sustainable infrastructure that will increase access to reliable, affordable energy on the continent.