Senegal is fast establishing itself as a major player in Africa’s energy landscape, with the first gas coming online in mid-2024.
Meanwhile, Senegal’s government is working to develop the digital sector through large-scale initiatives such as “Digital Senegal 2025,” which includes 28 reforms and 69 projects, or Diamniadio Digital Technology Park, a future digital hub inspired by Dubai Internet City that is currently under construction.
The digital contribution to GDP has already reached 10%, meeting one of the plan’s 2025 objectives, and might rise more in the future thanks to gas money poured into the PES.
Senegal has been on an ambitious road to harness the promise of digitalization over the last decade, with the objective of lowering administrative procedures and raising investment, which could benefit energy companies. One advantage for energy businesses interested in investing in Senegal is the ‘Digitalization of Administration.’ This strategic project intends to improve the quality and accessibility of public services by leveraging digital technology. One major accomplishment in this field is the full digitization of administrative procedures, a significant boon for investors. Investors may get real-time regulatory information, which provides clarity and confidence. Investors may monitor regulatory changes and compliance requirements, promoting a trusting and predictable environment.
Digital technology can also make it easier to provide funding for businesses without the stringent collateral requirements of traditional lending. Thanks to applications like Wave or Orange Money, Micro, small, and medium-sized businesses that would not normally have been able to acquire finance can now do so through partial credit guarantees and new types of equity involvement. In the long run, this can help local businesses working with international oil companies simplify international payments.
Digitalization is not limited to administrative and financial operations; it also includes infrastructure enhancements. The PASSANT project aims to digitally connect remote areas, reinforce the national fiber optic network, and enhance local governance. It is developed by Senegal Digital, a national company whose missions include implementing the state’s digitization policy and managing state digital infrastructures. It involves deploying fiber optic and wireless infrastructure, which could benefit logistics providers for the energy sector.
Furthermore, this effort includes the development of a cutting-edge data center at Diamniadio’s Digital Technology Park to house information systems and national content. The Digital Technology Park is one of the flagship projects of the PES, aiming to develop a digital hub in the Special Economic Zone of Diamniadio. The African Development Bank provided around €60 million for the first phase of this huge project, which spans 25 hectares in Diamniadio.
Half of the site will be used for office space, attracting both local and international tech businesses and serving as an incubator, while the other half will house the data center, which will protect data sovereignty and serve numerous applications.
Senegal’s energy industry is primed for significant development as digitization continues to unfold, creating a tempting opportunity for energy investors seeking a forward-thinking and tech-savvy location. The MSGBC Oil Gas & Power conference and exhibition will hold a session titled “Scaling Up Investment Opportunities in Africa’s New Energy Frontier”, which will be entirely dedicated to investment strategy in the region. The event will take place in Nouakchott from November 21-22.