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Alongside the change of energy minister in mid-September, President Samia Suhulu Hassan replaced the board and senior leadership of Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco). The national utility’s new managing director Maharage Chande previously worked at MultiChoice Africa, which owns cable TV channel DStv, where he was Tanzania managing director and then regional managing director for East and West Africa.

Tanzania
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The newly elected government of President Hakainde Hichilema is hoping to agree an International Monetary Fund (IMF) package to stabilise foreign exchange reserves and enhance Zambia’s credibility as it seeks to renegotiate with lenders.

Zambia
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A presidential taskforce report which recommended that PPAs be redrawn has been greeted with resignation by stakeholders who have been ground down by years of dithering. Industry players are now left hoping the government will adopt a realistic outlook in renegotiations, writes Dan Marks

Kenya
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The UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) has postponed a decision on whether to re-accredit the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), amid strong opposition from some members to a demand that the DBSA commit to a net-zero emissions target for its investments. It adds another element to wider arguments over Africa’s responsibilities in relation to climate change in the run-up to COP26 summit in Glasgow in November .

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In contrast to South Africa, where the government has managed to cool tempers inflamed after announcements that IPP tariffs might be renegotiated, officials in Ghana appear to be fanning the flames. IPPs are being pushed to renegotiate the terms of contracts at the same time as arrears from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are growing. One financier involved with several projects told African Energy that talks were under way between IPPs and the Ministry of Finance to resolve arrears without liquidity support facilities having to be drawn.

Ghana
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We all agree: the future is necessarily based on renewable energy and storage solutions, as economies, corporations and communities work to tackle the climate crisis by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Africa understands the need for this better than most, as vulnerable populations in regions like the Sahel suffer the consequences of global warming on their daily lives and resource distribution.

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The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on 29 October released the Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry 2019 report, which claims to propose “bold actions” and to be “the largest institutional transformation that South Africa has undertaken in a strategically important area in recent history”. The report outlines many previously announced policies, including the functional unbundling and legal separation into subsidiaries of Eskom’s generation, transmission and distribution functions, and efforts to improve operational performance, governance and transparency.

South Africa
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The pledge by China’s President Xi Jinping to end state financing of overseas coal projects – with huge ramifications for several coal-producing and importing countries – set off a lively debate about its possible ramifications. Fears about the consequence for Africa may have been overstated, according to one industry figure who responded to African Energy’s article.

Kenya | Botswana | South Africa
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Much of the news flow ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November has been about which global leaders will turn up and what carbon reduction commitments they will make. Many in Africa are more concerned the least-developed continent will be forced to adopt ill-fitting policy straightjackets and forced to choose between rival superpower-led development models, most notably China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (BRI) and the US-led Clean Green Initiative (CGI) and Build Back Better for the World (B3W) programmes.

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The Hichilema government says it wants to resolve the long-running dispute between Zesco and CEC, but the duelling companies continue to operate in parallel universes of competing claims around tariffs and arrears, while state miners’ financial shortfalls add to problems, write Dan Marks and Chiwoyu Sinyangwe.

Zambia
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Colonel Mamady Doumbouya’s cabinet has been presented by his regime as bringing technocrats into key positions to improve the government’s performance, but critics say ministers are either too ‘apolitical’ to enact genuine change, or compromised by past business dealings. A strong signal comes with the presidency taking direct control of major state assets from other public sector bodies, write David Slater, Jon Marks and our Special Correspondent

Guinea
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The emergence of a new variant of Covid-19 in southern Africa sent oil prices tumbling and prompted governments around the world to block flights to the region, potentially causing fresh headaches for project development. It will be some weeks before the Omicron variant’s impact becomes clear, but the episode show how any recovery from the pandemic can be quickly derailed and the need for an accelerated vaccination programme around Africa, writes Dominic Dudley.

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A huge rush is under way to tackle governance issues at Kenya Power and address the cost of energy from IPPs ahead of President Kenyatta’s Christmas Day deadline for implementing recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce’s PPA review, writes Dan Marks

Kenya
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After reaching a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a $1.4bn bailout, President Hichilema’s government faces a stern test trying to convince the public that a hike in energy prices is needed to restore economic fitness, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka

Zambia