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New prime minister Aziz Akhannouch has thought hard about forming an administration that can drive the next phase of social and economic reform after the Islamist PJD government was eviscerated in elections. The business magnate has excited Morocco’s economic elite by forming a government filled with liberal-minded individuals and promising to deliver King Mohammed’s new development model, whose success could persuade alienated voters that the Makhzen really can offer a significantly better future for the majority, write Our Casablanca Correspondent and Jon Marks

Morocco
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Legal proceedings are due to be launched to challenge fundamental aspects of South Africa’s electricity policy, as the stakes in the battle between the government and environmentalists escalate, writes Dan Marks

South Africa
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Hard work to restore the electricity supply industry via grid and plant maintenance, and the expected completion of three new gas-fired plants near the main coastal population centres, has raised the prospect of an end to a decade-long energy crisis. African Energy’s analysis of recent project developments offers a rare positive message from a still highly unstable Libya, writes John Hamilton.

Libya
Issue 451 - 03 December 2021

EAC membership beckons for DR Congo

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The East African Community (EAC)’s Council of Ministers voted on 22 November to recommend Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s admission to the regional body at their 44th extraordinary meeting. Negotiations will follow before heads of state give their final approval to make DRC the bloc’s seventh member.

DR Congo
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In a new policy brief, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) has identified five key areas where action is needed if Africa is to make the most of its vast wind energy potential.

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a commitment of up to $165m for the Leveraging Energy Access Finance Framework (Leaf) programme, which promotes solar home systems, green mini-grids and solar PV systems for commercial and industrial offtakers.

Kenya | Ghana | Nigeria | Ethiopia | Guinea | Tunisia
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President Filipe Nyusi announced a major reshuffle on 4 March, with changes including the appointment of a new prime minister and a new mineral resources and energy minister.

Mozambique
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Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been followed by swingeing sanctions on the Russian economy and has led to European countries focusing hard on finding alternative sources of energy. African gas producers and a new generation of renewables exporters stand to benefit from this, but Russia still has friendships it can rely on around the continent, write James Gavin, John Hamilton and Jon Marks.

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Since the putsch that removed the now-exiled President Alpha Condé in September, ‘Interim President’ Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has been determined to stamp his mark on Guinea. His policies may be less confrontational than those of his friend Colonel Assimi Goïta in Mali, who replaced French forces with Russian Wagner Group paramilitaries, but Doumbouya has nevertheless asserted control over his country’s political and business life.

Guinea
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Supporters of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara have described it as an act of realism which places Madrid at the top table of decision-makers. However, for other observers, the decision is puzzling.

Morocco | Western Sahara (under UN mandate)
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Algiers will adhere to its contracts with existing clients regardless of other political or commercial pressures. Sonatrach’s relationship with Public Gas Corporation of Greece (Deoa) goes back to 1991. In February the two companies agreed additional LNG cargoes which will be delivered. Likewise, TotalEnergies, with a much longer history has worked hard to overcome the influence of the chequered history of Algero-French relations. As Spanish relations enter the deep freeze, Repsol’s interests and gas exports via the Medgaz pipeline will run according to the existing contracts.

Algeria
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Algeria may be earning more money in the new high oil and gas price environment but with major calls on state revenues from every quarter, Sonatrach is not in line for significant new funds to help it address falls in output. Some politically favoured projects may go ahead regardless of commercial logic, but a lot of expectation rests on the 20 memoranda of understanding signed by PDG Toufik Hakkar during his tenure even though most have not yet led to new investment commitments. 

Algeria
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European powers are lobbying Algeria to provide far more gas and to shift its position in Opec to encourage higher oil output, but production shortfalls and political considerations mean a shift away from its historic alignment with Russia is unlikely. Relations with Europe are made more complex by tensions with regional rival Morocco, but years of underinvestment and poor governance in Algeria’s energy sector mean it is in any case not well placed to respond to calls for higher output, writes Jon Marks

Algeria
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Less than a year from elections, numerous candidates are eyeing up the prize of taking over from President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Nigeria
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Officials and corporate executives are talking up the improved business environment they see resulting from the three-year $12bn facility agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last November, support from the World Bank Group (WBG) and other multilaterals, and continued financial flows from the Gulf states. This has helped to stabilise the Egyptian pound and should allow Cairo to finance critical infrastructure developments – led by new power plants – and tackle the burden of arrears owed to international oil companies (IOCs).

Egypt