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State oil company Petroci will hold a roadshow in Paris on 13 June showcasing open acreage available for direct negotiation. The roadshow, to be held during the Oil & Gas Council Africa Assembly, comes as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire await a ruling from the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea on their maritime boundary. This will clarify the situation for Total, which licensed Block CI-605 last year in deeper water south of its Block CI-100, which contains the 2013 Ivoire-1X discovery.

Côte d'Ivoire
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With a month to go before elections, state power utility Zesco has reduced daily power cuts to households from eight or more hours to four hours, in a move expected to boost President Edgar Lungu’s chances of another five-year term. However, the reduced load-shedding does not apply to mining companies, which are still restricted to less than 30% of their peak power demand. Zesco spokesman Henry Kapata said the utility was importing 90MW from a power barge docked at Mozambique’s Nacala port, 48MW from Aggreko and 75MW from Electricidade de Mocambique.

Zambia
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German aid and development institutions such as the influential Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have become increasingly prominent over the past decade: the government’s 2011 Germany and Africa strategy paper claims Germany is now the second largest development partner in Africa’s energy sector. KfW has paid particular attention to funding feasibility studies and participating in funds and mechanisms aiming to overcome financing bottlenecks as well as providing development financing to major projects such as the Bujagali hydropower scheme in Uganda, the KivuWatt methane-to-power scheme in Rwanda and the Ouarzazate solar complex in Morocco.

Free

Tunisia’s Jasmine revolution, which drove Zine El Abidine Ben Ali into exile in Saudi Arabia on 13 January, was the unexpected trigger that has made Arab populations wake up after decades of submission to personalised, autocratic regimes. But it is events in Egypt that will drive how the ‘Arab street’ and those who seek

Tunisia
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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
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After official silence and considerable speculation, the Equatorial Guinea government confirmed reports that a putsch was launched against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on 24 December. Security has been considerably ratcheted up in the oil-rich dictatorship after the government in early January said “mercenaries” – at least 27 armed men it claimed were from Chad, Cameroon, Sudan and Central African Republic – had been arrested. Arms and ammunition were found just over the border in Cameroon, security minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said.

Equatorial Guinea
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US government development finance institution the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) has announced it will beef up its South African operation from 2013, dedicating a senior staff member “to leverage the country’s position as a business hub and strategic US partner” and help implement the US-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (US-ACEF)

South Africa
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The AfDB will return to its original home in Abidjan, it was agreed during its late May Marrakech meeting, but African Energy understands that fewer staff will be based there than in earlier years, reflecting their dispersal to an increasing number of regional offices and the recognition that the Tunis headquarters building will still have a role.


Issue 410 - 27 February 2020

Somalia: Petroleum law ratified

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President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has ratified Somalia’s long-awaited petroleum law, paving the way for licensing of exploration blocks. The law, which was approved by parliament in May 2019 includes a revenue-sharing agreement that provides for revenues from any eventual oil production to be distributed through the country’s federal states. It establishes the Somali National Oil Company as the state entity charged with participating in petroleum operations, as well as the Somali Petroleum Authority, which will act as a regulatory body overseeing oil and gas activity.

Somalia
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The Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme will provide more water to South Africa (up to 45.5cm/s from 24.6cm/s) and another 1GW of hydroelectric power, according to an agreement in principle to develop the scheme’s estimated R12bn second phase. The power will not be for tomorrow: the project is scheduled for completion by August 2020. South Africa has said it will bear the full cost, underlining the importance it places in getting water to two major nodal development projects, at burgeoning mining centre Lephalale near Vryburg, and Steelpoort.

Lesotho
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President José Eduardo dos Santos on 2 June appointed a new board of directors for state oil company Sonangol. The new team will be headed by his daughter Isabel, a businesswoman who led the commission that formulated proposals for Sonangol’s restructuring. The new board will implement the reforms recommended by the commission, outlined in two presidential decrees on 26 May.

Angola
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While the growth of key emerging markets is slowing and G8 economies remain sluggish at best, high-growth African borrowers can look to Eurobonds and private equity, as well as increased multilateral and bilateral support, to support their budgets and help finance infrastructure, writes Jon Marks in Tokyo

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In another twist in the long-running saga of the 6GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) and controversy over water use in the Nile Basin, there are reports from Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia over the issue. Israeli online news site Mida reported on 19 July that a decision on Israeli involvement followed a flurry of recent diplomatic activity, including a visit to Tel Aviv by Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri, which came soon after Netanyahu returned from a tour of Africa. The previous negotiator was former Palestinian Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan.

Egypt | Ethiopia
Free

South Africans, with President Jacob Zuma at their head, have long dreaded Nelson Mandela’s death, as not only a sad close to a major chapter in history, but also because it will force the nation to look more closely at its values, leadership and governance. Many South Africans do not like what they see, to the extent that Mandela’s political legacy may no longer be the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s sole preserve, as new movements emerge on the left and the Democratic Alliance (DA) seeks to widen its appeal.

South Africa
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Six months into the crisis which tore up Mali, its neighbours are still debating security strategies to resolve a conflict which threatens regional stability and foreign economic interests. Despite the lack of outright consensus, the international community is increasingly leaning towards a political exit through negotiation with militant groups, leaving armed intervention off the table, writes Oualid Khelifi

Niger | Algeria | Mali