African Energy is a UK-based business intelligence provider managed and owned by Cross-border Information (CbI), a long-established Africa and Middle East-focused consultant and publisher active in risk analysis and primary infrastructure sectors. The company has full-time staff in London and Hastings, and a network of correspondents and associates currently active in over 40 African countries.

Established in 1998, African Energy was initially a printed newsletter conceived by CbI, under contract to the Financial Times Energy group and later Platts, to provide an independent source of news and analysis of Africa's energy industries. Purchased by CbI in a 2003 management buy-out, our experienced editorial staff oversaw the transition of the title into a provider of consultancy services, while managing the evolution of the original newsletter into electronic formats, creating the widely praised African Energy Atlas and pioneering an Africa-focused political risk roundtable series, AfricaHardball.

Under CbI’s ownership, African Energy has forged a reputation for high quality cartographic resources, showcased through the African Energy Atlas, and a projects database that has been central to much of our consultancy work. Our consultancy clients include the African Development Bank-based Infrastructure Consortium for Africa, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, major corporates (including banks, power developers and oil companies) and clients with a range of niche interests.

In late 2013 we partnered with experienced conference producer Bruno Coburn, channelling our expertise into a new affiliate company CbI Meetings. The focus of activities has been the Africa Investment Exchange, a series of expert dialogues held under the Chatham House Rule for leading investors in Africa’s high growth industries. Our programme for 2016, includes the launch of a new Investment Exchange series focused on the MENA region.

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Thalia Griffiths
Editor

African Energy editor Thalia Griffiths is an experienced journalist and analyst of the politics and economics of Sub-Saharan Africa. She has been instrumental in the development of African Energy since its launch in 1998, and also works on other Africa-related CbI research projects.

Thalia started her journalistic career with Reuters news agency and is also a former deputy editor of London-based newsletter Africa Confidential.  Her career with Reuters included three years in the West Africa regional bureau in Cote d’Ivoire, where she covered civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the changing relationship between France and its former colonies, devaluation of the CFA franc regional currency and the death of Cote d’Ivoire’s founding president Félix Houphouet-Boigny and its consequences.  She also had assignments on the Middle East and Africa editing desk in Cyprus, and reporting in Eastern Europe.  She still travels regularly to sub-Saharan Africa.

She has an MA in German and French from Oxford University, where she specialised in medieval literature.

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Jon Marks
Head of African Energy Consultancy

Jon is the Chairman and founder of Cross-border Information. He is a political scientist with a deep knowledge of the politics and economies of Africa and the Middle East, based on more than 30 years of travel, study and curiosity about the post-colonial world. In addition to his internationally recognised work in policy and corporate circles as an expert analyst on North Africa, Jon takes a lead role in CbI’s business development and strategy.

The founding editor of African Energy, which he set up in 1998 under the banner of the Financial Times’ former FT Energy subsidiary, Jon is author of several books and academic papers on North African history, politics and security, as well as on various aspects of finance and business – notably on issues associated with national energy industries and approaches towards debt.

A fluent French speaker, Jon carried out doctoral research on Algeria’s Mozabite community at University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), which included fieldwork in Algeria. He has a Masters degree in African Government & Politics from the London School of Economics and read politics at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Jon is an Associate Fellow of the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs' (Chatham House) Middle East North Africa Programme.

Specialist interests include:

The Maghreb: Jon has a long-standing interest in the failure of – and potentials for – regional economic and political integration in the Maghreb region, and how to unleash the potentials of the southern Mediterranean’s big populations and natural resources to build a more stable, prosperous future for the majority.

Algeria: From the development of the nationalist movement to contemporary shifts in ideology and factional balance, Algeria has been at the centre of Jon’s work and life. Interests include Mozabite political sociology, Houari Boumedienne and Algerian football

Morocco: The experience of close friends at the business daily L’Economiste excited Jon’s deep interest in this most complex polity, and exciting business environment.

Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo: How the business elites work in these difficult governance environments, and how national wealth can be put to better use for the majority.

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John Hamilton
Director - North Africa

John Hamilton is director of Strategic Advisory and North Africa research and is based in CbI's London office, where he plays a key role in the company’s business development and strategy. He is also a contributing editor for both African Energy and Gulf States News (GSN).

A specialist in North Africa and Iraqi Kurdistan, John produces regular analyses, detailed monitoring reports and briefings for CbI's private clients.

He reads, writes and speaks standard Arabic and is also fluent in Bulgarian. His travel memoir of five years spent in Bulgaria entitled The Good Balkans was published by Wild Man Books in 2009.

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David Slater
Senior project manager

David is senior project manager and leads African Energy's consultancy work focusing on the African power sector, which involves the management, research and writing of reports for clients looking to either invest or trade in Africa. David has also been instrumental in developing CbI’s power supply and demand analysis and price forecasting models, which have been used to advise many clients on the economic feasibility of potential power generation projects and for identifying investment opportunities in a continent where data is often limited.

Previous projects David has led include power sector supply and demand analyses and forecasting of several West and Southern African countries, the compiling of political and economic country profiles, an in-depth IPP market entry report focusing on industry reform and the impact of potential changes in the extractive industries, and a detailed security threat assessment report for Nigeria.

He is also one of African Energy's regional specialists and a well-regarded research analyst in his own right, authoring numerous articles focusing on Nigerian politics, energy policy and developments, and finance.

A frequent traveller to Africa where he carries out on-the-ground investigative research, David plays a key role in developing the company’s consultancy services as well as managing and expanding its network of contacts throughout Africa.

He read politics at the University of East Anglia and has a Masters in International Relations from the University of Sussex where his research focused on UK-US relations.

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Dan Marks
Contributing editor and senior research analyst

Dan is a contributing editor to African Energy and a research analyst. His focus is on renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, IPP procurement, project finance, electricity market structure issues and development finance. Dan is also heavily involved with developing CbI’s data collection and management systems.

Dan writes on a wide range of subjects for African Energy, with coverage spanning the continent. He has developed a strong knowledge of financial issues and structural constraints in the African power market. He has particular knowledge of the South African electricity sector and renewable energy.
 
Dan is also an analyst with African Energy's consultancy team where he undertakes quantitative and qualitative power sector analysis, data collection and management and project planning. Notable projects include a lead role in the preparation and production of the first and second Monitoring progress in the Africa-EU Energy Partnership reports and a planning, advisory and supervisory role in the preparation of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa's annual report, Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa.
 
Dan graduated with a BSc in economics and physics from the University of Durham in 2010 and with a MA in international relations in the Middle East from the same institution in 2011. Between 2013 and 2015 he undertook a Master Recherche in economics at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.

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Nick Carn
Publications and marketing director

Nick is CbI's marketing and publications director, playing a key role in developing new products and services, as well as in the strategic management of the company. 

He joined CbI in January 1999 as a researcher and writer, contributing to a variety of titles over his first six years, including African Energy, Gulf States News, International Trade Finance, International Mining Quarterly Review, and yearbooks for organisations including the Berne Union and Atradius.

Nick has led development of CbI's African Energy Atlas and has many years' experience co-ordinating production and final presentation of publications and reports for CbI and its corporate clients, including the African Development Bank-based Infrastructure Consortium for Africa and Africa-EU Energy Partnership.  

He read politics and economic and social history at the University of Leicester.

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Lauren Andrews
Media partnerships and marketing

Lauren is CbI’s Events and Marketing manager with responsibility for managing African Energy’s media partnerships and the operations and logistics of CbI’s events.

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