Energy security is increasingly becoming a major focus in the world today. For developing countries, energy security is limited by lack of access to resources and critical infrastructure. Recent natural gas discoveries in Sub-Saharan Africa are creating energy development opportunities. At the same time, the increased global interest is forcing developing countries to choose an energy strategy that either prioritizes domestic consumption or export of energy resources. The strategy a government chooses affects the overall energy security of that country. This thesis seeks to explain why countries pursue energy strategies that focus on domestic consumption of indigenous energy resources instead of export. To answer this question, case studies of the energy sectors of Tanzania and Mozambique analyze the factors influencing the choice of energy strategy.This thesis finds that the primary factors influencing energy strategy choice are political party competition, the countrys economic strategy, and international relationships. Analysis of the case studies indicates that the combination of political elite cohesion, economic reforms that favor the domestic energy market, and structuring the influence of international actors in policy development enables the development of the domestic energy sector.