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International oil trading and refining companies that supply Libya with much of its diesel and gasoline continue to deal with delayed payments and increasing levels of financial risk caused by the failure of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) to transfer enough money to National Oil Corporation (NOC) to enable it to pay for imports. This situation has lasted for several months and appears to be a side effect of the dysfunction which has paralysed the administration following the fall of prime minister Ali Zeidan’s government in early March and the failure to establish a credible replacement.

Libya
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SE4All has some sweeping aims: to ensure universal access to modern energy services; to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. National plans will channel resources into much-needed energy efficiency plans, improve cooking stoves and help to finance renewables, from big hydro to solar and other off-grid solutions. But it is highly unlikely to ensure universal access 17 years from now.

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Protests across North Africa are being closely watched by political activists south of the Sahara, who are wondering whether a ‘domino effect’ could bring about regime change for them. After the collapse of eastern Europe in 1989, African countries saw a wave

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Barely a month after banning the use of foreign currencies within the country, the government has declared that mining companies and hotels must pay for their power in US dollars as part of new measures aimed at improving electricity supply. In June, the government banned the use of foreign currencies for local transactions and reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar, which it abandoned in 2009 at the height of hyperinflation. As an interim measure, the government introduced the RTGS dollar in February to pave the way for the reintroduction of the local currency.

Zimbabwe
Free

With West Africa in its first weeks of confronting the coronavirus pandemic, nothing would have been easier, and more face-saving, for President Alpha Condé than to announce another postponement of Guinea’s National Assembly elections (originally due in April 2019) and its parallel referendum on constitutional changes. But the vote went ahead on 22 March, leaving Guinea in an uncomfortable, and potentially explosive, place.The new law is certainly desirable, replacing the hastily drafted constitution that was introduced as Guinea turned its back on decades of dictatorship in 2010.

Issue 206 - 01 April 2011

Clare Short named EITI chair

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Former UK international development secretary Clare Short has replaced Peter Eigen as chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). An outspoken, sometimes controversial figure, notably over her opposition to UK

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Projections and commitments from Ghana’s eloquent political class and the human resources offered by its vibrant young population – forecast to reach 29m in 2018 – drive optimism that a sub-Saharan success story can generate sustainable growth to move its economy beyond lower middle-income status. Following their December 2016 election victory, President Nana Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) government have struggled to turn around a legacy of debt and alleged malfeasance by their National Democratic Congress (NDC) predecessors.

Ghana
Issue 402 - 25 October 2019

African leaders flock to Sochi summit

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More than 40 African leaders have headed to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the 23-24 October Russia-Africa summit. Significant military deals are expected to be signed, as well as nuclear and oil and gas agreements. Russia, whose African presence waned after the Cold War, is making a new push to increase its influence to compete with China, Europe and the Gulf states. In Guinea, where Rusal owns bauxite mines, Russian ambassador Alexander Bregadze has spoken in support of President Alpha Condé’s controversial bid to change the constitution so he can run for a third term.

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This year’s elections in South Africa, 20 years after the first all-race elections in 1994, offer an opportunity to reconfigure the country’s politics after two decades of African National Congress (ANC) rule. This will be the first election in which the ‘born free’ generation, born after the end of apartheid, will be eligible to vote, with some 5m young people voting for the first time, and the first election that the ANC will contest without Nelson Mandela, who died in December.

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A government move to cut the subsidy it pays to keep electricity prices low for domestic and industrial consumers has fed into new fears of civil unrest and underlined the burden of paying for imported diesel until the Bujagali IPP eventually comes on stream

Uganda
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The introduction of fresh regulations for Sonatrach’s tendering process could release a large backlog of projects at the company within weeks.

Algeria
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Elections on 23 December are unlikely to deliver the change Democratic Republic of Congo so badly needs. The outlook is deteriorating as polling day approaches, following deaths at rallies in support of opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, and an apparently deliberate fire in Kinshasa that destroyed controversial voting machines. Fears have been expressed that the elections will be far from free and fair, potentially stoking further conflict as President Joseph Kabila Kabange – who has been in power since 2001 – seeks to hold on to state institutions via his hand-picked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

DR Congo
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While most attention focuses on Sayef and Muatassim, an even younger military son, Khemis El Qadhafi, is starting to play a significant role. From a young age, Khemis has led an elite military unit, which military observers say is being promoted by Qadhafi senior as a major force

Libya
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The government is under pressure to split Zesco into generation, transmission and distribution arms as a precursor to privatisation, as part of a $1.5bn support package under negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail out the struggling economy.According to sources close to the transaction, finance minister Felix Mutati has agreed at talks in Washington to restructure Zesco as a way of making the power utility more efficient. “Chances of the company (Zesco) being privatised are high,” a senior government official close to the Treasury told African Energy.

Zambia
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Dramatic events across the Sahel have heightened concerns about instability and security threats across the region, where criminal networks and jihadist cells – including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) splinter groups – have been increasingly active from southern Algeria to northern Nigeria

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