China’s role in the East African oil and gas sector : a new model of engagement
The oil and gas bonanza currently underway in East African looks set to alter the broader economic and geopolitical landscape of the region. As China continues its quest for energy security, East Africa is becoming an increasingly important region. Both Chinese state and non-state companies have gained a foot-hold in Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, where they are involved in both upstream and downstream activities. The Chinese presence, while significant, is off-set by a host of Euro-American, Middle Eastern and other Asian companies also involved in exploiting the region’s energy reserves. Infrastructural underdevelopment in the region is forcing Chinese companies to engage on the continent in new ways including the rise of joint Chinese-Euro-American ventures. This trend, in which China and its partners own financial stakes in infrastructure projects located in geo-politically unstable regions, will have future implications regarding security and national sovereignty within the region.