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Governments are assessing their positions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) project, after the dam’s third filling was completed, despite an escalation of rhetoric from Egypt and Sudan as the downstream nations continue to complain at a threat to their dependency on Blue Nile waters for irrigation and basic water supply.

Egypt | Sudan | Ethiopia
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Project bulletin

A public/private partnership led by Scatec and EDF will develop the 350MW Mpatamanga hydroelectric power plant, which will double Malawi’s installed HEP capacity, in welcome news for the struggling power sector.

Malawi
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Italian development finance institution Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP) is to provide a $100m loan for Lagos-based Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to invest in renewable power, energy efficiency and climate-resilient infrastructure projects.

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The three core Mano River Union countries are confronted by major decisions that will shape their future direction, from potential progress on major resources plays led by Guinea’s huge Simandou iron ore mining and infrastructure development and Liberia’s struggles with major investor Arcelor Mittal to Sierra Leone’s political crisis. All three have searching questions of governance and equity for their populations, writes Jon Marks with correspondents in Freetown, Conakry and Monrovia.

Sierra Leone | Guinea | Liberia
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Agence Nationale de l’Electrification et des Services Energétiques en Milieux Rural et Périurbain (Anser) has issued an invitation to tender for 14 projects, including three hydroelectric power (HEP) plants, to be implemented under the local development programme for the Grand Kasaï region.

DR Congo
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Schonau Solar Energy (SSE) has become Namibia’s first independent power producer (IPP) permitted to sell electricity to the South African Power Pool (SAPP) grid.

Namibia
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Island nations Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros are assessing initiatives to encourage more private investment in renewable energy, according to a World Bank Group (WBG) report published on 20 September.

Mauritius | Seychelles | Comoros
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President Cyril Ramaphosa is once again promising strong action to deal with South Africa’s electricity supply crisis, with new appointments expected at the beleaguered state utility Eskom to reinvigorate the board. Among the changes that have been mooted is replacing chief executive André de Ruyter, although that has yet to be confirmed. Measures to increase generation and ease load shedding that were announced by the president in July are also now being implemented at pace.

South Africa
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Business leaders want to believe the ‘hustler nation’ promised by incoming president William Ruto will be marked by entrepreneurial vigour rather than spotty governance. Kenya has huge potential, but in an economy struggling with an enormous debt burden, grand visions such as a 100% renewable power sector by 2030 may be difficult to achieve, write Marc Howard and Jon Marks.

Kenya
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Diamonds have served Botswana well in over five decades since independence, helping it to move from poverty to upper middle-income status, but Gaborone has grown dependent on gemstones and accelerated economic diversification is needed to exploit other potential resources – including coal and transition minerals. At the same time, moves to end state domination of a coal-based energy sector have moved only slowly.

Botswana
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Lusaka-based Africa GreenCo has reported trading over 2,000MWh of energy on the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) competitive markets since August. Mauritius-registered GreenCo started active electricity trading in July.

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Project bulletin

A consortium of TotalEnergies, Angola Environment Technology (Greentech) and state-owned Sonangol is expected to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Quilemba solar PV plant by November, according to TotalEnergies project manager Gonçalo Anacoreta.

Angola
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Uncomfortable financial disputes are expected to dominate the 27th United Nations Climate Change (COP27) conference, to be held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh on 6-18 November. African nations may achieve progress in some areas – perhaps by forcing the vexed question of compensation for loss and damage onto the agenda – but the meeting will likely once again fail to identify a way forward for electricity supply industries (ESIs) across the continent.

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Mining giant Anglo American (Anglo) and France’s EDF Renewables (EDF) have formed a joint venture company Envusa Energy (Envusa) that will develop renewable energy projects to meet Anglo’s energy needs in South Africa, with excess power supplied into the grid.

South Africa
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Germany’s commitment of ZAR6.2bn towards South Africa’s Just Energy Partnership (JETP) is assisting government efforts to approve a detailed investment plan in time for COP27.

South Africa