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Regional insight – Africa

Africa remains a key net energy exporter accounting for 8.9% of global gas exports and 10.2% of global oil exports

Fast facts

1    Africa’s energy consumption grew by 2.9% in 2017, slightly above the 10-year average of 2.8%. However, its share in global energy consumption remains low at 3.3%


2    Oil and gas production rebounded by 5.0% and 9.0%, respectively, while coal production increased by 3.6%


3    Power generation increased by 4.4%, largely driven by strong growth from natural gas-fired plants and hydro-generation

+2.9% – Growth in African energy consumption
Growth in Africa’s energy consumption
+5.7% – Growth in African energy production
Growth in Africa’s energy production
+5.0% – Growth in African oil production
Growth in Africa’s oil production
+9.0% – Growth in African gas production
Growth in Africa’s gas production


  • Africa’s energy consumption increased by 2.9% in 2017, faster than the world’s average (+2.2%).
  • Regional consumption remains heavily dominated by oil (43.7% of the total), gas (27.1%) and coal (20.7%). Hydro accounts for 6.5% while nuclear and renewables combined only represent 2.0%.
  • The growth in energy demand in 2017 was led by natural gas (+6.8%) and oil (+2.2%) while coal consumption dropped by 1.7%. South Africa’s energy demand dropped, unlike other countries and regions in Africa.
  • Oil consumption increased by 2.5% to 4 Mb/d, below the 10-year average of 3.1%. Consumption growth was very strong in Western Africa (+13%).
  • Natural gas consumption rose by 6.8% (+8.6 bcm) to a record 142 bcm, driven by growth in Egypt (+6.6 bcm). Algeria and Egypt represent 67% of Africa’s consumption.
  • Coal consumption fell by 1.7%, after being flat for two years, driven by a decline in South Africa. In absolute terms, consumption was the lowest since 2007.
  • Primary energy production growth (+5.7%) contrasted with a 10-year average drop of 0.9%. The increase (+40 mtoe) was led by oil (+5.0%, +17 mtoe) and gas (+9.0%, +16 mtoe).
  • Oil exports increased by 8.5%, led by a recovery of Libya.
  • Natural gas exports increased by 9.2% reaching 101 bcm. LNG exports increased by 10 bcm, while pipeline gas exports dropped by 2 bcm.
  • Coal production increased by 3.6%, much higher than the 10-year average of 0.6%.
  • Power generation increased by 4.4%, above the 10-year average of 3.1%. Growth came largely from natural gas and hydro, while oil-fired generation declined. Non-fossil fuels accounted for 20% of total generation in Africa – well below the global average of 35%.
  • Africa accounted for roughly three-quarters of global cobalt production.
  • Africa’s CO2 emissions from energy use increased by 1.9% in 2017. The region accounted for 3.6% of global emissions.