The land is ploughed under electrical pylons leading from a coal-powered electricity generating plant east of Johannesburg, Thursday, Nov. 17 2022.InternationalIndiaAfricaHOUSTON (Sputnik) – Europe is in dire need of energy partners that are in close proximity as it seeks to secure enough supply after cutting off Russian energy, African Union Energy Commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid told Sputnik on the margins of CERAWeek. “They are in dire need of close, not foreign. Africa is geographically closer to Europe. In many ways it provides support [to Europe],” Abou-Zeid said on Wednesday. Africa is prepared to serve as a key partner in Europe’s energy sector, according to Abou-Zeid. Europe has looked to the United States for an alternative source of gas through imports of US Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), but it is not enough to replace Russian gas. The Ukraine conflict has reportedly made Africa an attractive investment opportunity for energy security after the region had some exploration successes in 2022. AfricaAfrica Must Meet Local Demand Before Contributing to Europe’s Energy Needs — Oil Firm CEOYesterday, 08:18 GMTIn February, Russian ambassador-at-large and the head of the Russia-Africa partnership forum Oleg Ozerov told Sputnik that Russia has much potential in the oil and gas spheres to develop relations with African states. Abou-Zeid mentioned that Africa does not have any special relations with Russia, but emphasized that relations are not bad.