As German investor interest increases in African gas and hydropower projects such as the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Inga 3 Dam, this week's Germany-Africa Business Forum turns the spotlight on how funds can be mobilised for sub-Saharan big-ticket energy initiatives.

Germany’s upstream industry took off in the 1980s with the Esso-Shell joint venture BEB operating offshore acreage alongside the now-merged Wintershall and DEA, but the main focus of expertise was always with midstream engineering companies.

Apart from a brief dalliance 10 years ago in Mauritania shooting seismic in the Taoudeni basin, Wintershall never ventured beyond the Sahel, and neither did most engineering firms.