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The 40th anniversary of Muammar Qadhafi’s Fatah Revolution will confirm the regime’s hold on power and ability to shape Libya’s direction. Changes are anticipated to the way the political system operates, but more important still may be shifts in the pecking order within the first family, writes Jon Marks

Libya
Issue 293 - 29 January 2015

Uganda: Russian sanctions continue

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Two consortia bidding to build a 60,000 b/d refinery near Lake Albert submitted final bids in December, and an announcement is expected soon. African Energy understands that, having initially favoured the Russian bid, the Ugandan government, or more particularly President Yoweri Museveni, is now backing the South Koreans because of US and EU sanctions relating to the former.

Uganda
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With the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, the EU loses arguably its most stalwart supporter of free trade, both with third countries as well as the European single market, which former prime minister Margaret Thatcher did so much to promote. This could have a long-term impact on how the EU does business with its southern partners. It also suggests the direction the UK will take as it seeks to consolidate markets in the Commonwealth – a favourite focus for Leave campaigners – and the wider Global South.

Issue 334 - 10 November 2016

Libya: No budget breakthrough at NOC

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National Oil Corporation (NOC) will be paid less than one-fifth of the budget it has requested from the Government of National Accord (GNA) to maximise increases in oil production over the coming year. According to the framework set out by chairman Mustafa Sanalla following a high-level meeting in London on 1 November, NOC needs $2.5bn to get production back to 800,000 b/d in 2017. However, it appears that it will get the equivalent of $425m. The decision reflects both the lack of authority within Libya’s ruling institutions and a desperate lack of cash within the Treasury, which cannot even spare funds for potential revenue-generating investments.

Libya
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Growing political tensions across Sudan as the date for southern secession approaches are slowing international trade and risk-taking business, writes Kevin Godier

South Sudan | Sudan | Libya
Issue 379 - 26 October 2018

Trump builds up US DFI

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Despite President Donald Trump’s election promises to dismantle the US’ development institutions, his administration has created the US International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) as part of a strategy to strengthen the country’s ability to win contracts and counter Chinese and other expansion in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Its creation was passed by Congress with bipartisan support in the early October Better Utilisation of Investments Leading to Development (Build) Act vote and quietly signed into law by Trump.

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As the economic powerhouse of southern Africa, with a legacy burnished by its emergence two decades ago from apartheid, South Africa is expected to take a leading role in the continent’s politics. Through players such as African Union secretary-general Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the expansion of its corporate presence north of the Limpopo, SA is doing just that. Its ambitions are huge: for example, taking a lead in developing the Inga hydroelectric resource in Democratic Republic of Congo. But concerns that high political ambitions are often tainted by low economic motivations have become pervasive during Jacob Zuma’s presidency, emerging again in Central African Republic.

Central African Republic | South Africa
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US developer Symbion Power has sharply criticised Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) for what it says is its continued failure to pay for power supplied by the Ubungo plant. Despite losing a separate arbitration case brought by Standard Chartered Bank, the utility remains intransigent in its dealings with Symbion. But Ubungo has been shut down for several months and another big arbitration case could be on the cards, with all the accompanying bad press for President John Magufuli’s clean-up campaign.

Tanzania
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Government reformists and international economists agree that scrapping subsidies is essential if Nigeria is to have more cost-reflective pricing and bite into the rents that have enriched a well-connected few, but the reality that change is a political risk has been underlined by the controversial decision to raise petrol prices, leading to protests and strikes that have tested the government’s resolve

Nigeria
Issue 400 - 27 September 2019

South Africa IRP expected next month

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South Africa’s mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe said on 25 September that the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would be adopted at the first cabinet meeting in October. The document was presented to cabinet on 18 September following lengthy consultation with the National Economic Development and Labour Council. The IRP is the central planning document for the country’s energy mix and will have major implications for future generation procurement.

South Africa
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National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla has pushed production of crude to 760,000 b/d, its highest level for nearly two and a half years. But while he is achieving results, his pragmatic vision for the development of a depoliticised oil sector has yet to gain support from the United Nations and the dominant international powers or from the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

Libya
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Since late 2013, a disagreement between the Tebu and Zwai tribes in the region of Sarir, approximately 700km south of Tobruk, has deteriorated into bloodshed. The conflict has damaged the 450MW Sarir power station, one of the largest plants in the east of the country and the main source of power for the Man-Made River (MMR), and the plant is unlikely to be repaired for some time. On 1 February, fighters from the Brigade 427 militia, which is drawn from the ethnically Arab Zwai tribe, were reported to have fired a missile at the power station, damaging a pair of turbines.

Libya
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Both Putting America First and Making America Great again were mentioned by US speakers at the Powering Africa Summit in Washington on 9-10 March. Congressman Ed Royce, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a central force behind the Electrify Africa Act alongside former Republican staffer Nilmini Rubin, now vice-president for investment at engineering services company Tetra Tech, said that Africa had “great potential” to be a trade partner and to create jobs in Africa and the United States.

United States
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A group of bureaucrats and politicians in the planning, works, energy and finance ministries stand accused of manipulating the state’s policy and procurement procedures since 2012 to steer control of the energy sector into the arms of Xaris Energy, a company closely linked to the ruling Swapo party. Xaris is partly owned by Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba, who holds a direct interest via his AMA Family Trust, according to an investigation into the N$7.4bn ($554m) expansion of Walvis Bay harbour.

Namibia
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The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)’s £98m ($150m) Green Africa Power (Gap) facility aims to finance ten projects by 2016, adding around 270MW of renewable power capacity by 2018. It has been designed to mitigate some of the challenges preventing renewable energy projects reaching financial close. According to the Business Case and Intervention Summary put together by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Gap aims to change the cost profile of renewable energy projects to attract long-term debt structured in a way which is cheaper in the early stages of a project’s operation, and “to mitigate some of the risk associated with construction delays and cost over-runs”.