Saudi Arabia's plan to make African countries dependent on fossil fuels

Saudi Arabia has set up a programme to make countries in Africa and Asia addicted to fossil fuels, according to a survey published this week by the Centre for Climate Studies (CCR). Through its Petroleum Demand Sustainability Program (OSP), the oil-rich kingdom intends to finance hydrocarbon-intensive development projects.

Saudi Arabia wants to make countries in Africa and Asia dependent on fossil fuels. AFP/File

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Nairobi, Gaëlle Laleix

Launched in 2020, the OSP is supported by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, and Sabic, the petrochemical giant. The objective of the program is simple: to finance development projects such as infrastructure: roads or airports that will promote the consumption of petroleum products.

Some forty projects have been identified in Africa. The Saudi authorities are even considering a partnership with a car manufacturer to produce low-cost cars for the African market. In an interview with JRC journalists posing as investors, Saudi officials admit that these projects are aimed at artificially stimulating demand for hydrocarbons and capturing these new markets.

In early November, the Saudi Ministry of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with Senegal, Chad, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Nigeria. In 2023, Kenya received nearly $14 million from 16 Saudi companies, including Aramco. President William Ruto said at the time that "part of these funds" would be used to finance sustainable projects.

Read alsoThe JRC's survey on the PSO programme

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