Is the European Union an Energy Actor in Relations with Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries?

  • Lukáš Tichý
  • Jan Prouza
Keywords: European Union, Sub-Saharan Africa, energy, actorness, oil, gas


The main aim of the article is to analyze the EU energy relations with several current (Angola, Gabon and Nigeria) and potential energy suppliers (Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya) in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2007-2017, with an emphasis on the potential for energy security enhancement. The purpose of the article is to find out if the EU is perceived in Sub-Saharan Africa as an indispensable actor of the international energy relations, or whether these energy relations are still the domain of individual EU Member States. At the same time, the article further analyzes the goals, interests and tools that the EU is pursuing and using in its energy policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa. The article uses the concept of a modified form of the EU's external energy actorness based on three criteria: (1) the perception of the actor by a third party, (2) the policy goals and interests, and (3) the resources and policy tools.

Author Biographies

Lukáš Tichý

born in 1982, is a coordinator of the Centre for Energy Policy and a researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague. He lectures at Metropolitan University Prague. His fields of interest include energy security of the EU and Russia, Russian foreign and security policy, energy security, discourse analysis, terrorist attacks on energy sectors, EU–Russia relations and the theories of international relations. He has published several articles in domestic and foreign journals, including Energy Policy, International Politics, Middle East Policy, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, and Asia-Europe Journal, as well as some conference proceedings and monographs.

Jan Prouza

born in 1984, has completed the M.A. program in Political Science – African Studies at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Hradec Králové and the doctoral program International Relations and European Studies at Metropolitan University Prague and the Institute of International Relations Prague. During his M.A. studies, he spent one semester at the University of Ghana. Since then, he has been repeatedly visiting it because Ghana has become one of his major scientific interests. In his publications he focuses also on the West Africa region, African conflicts and African political systems in general. Since 2009 he has been working as an assistant professor at the Department of Politics of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Hradec Králové. Presently, he is also an assistant professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Metropolitan University Prague.