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Issue 337 - 22 December 2016

Bosshard leaves International Rivers

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Peter Bosshard left campaign group International Rivers on 22 December and will take up a new position on 1 February as director of the finance programme of the Sunrise Project, leading a new campaign to accelerate the shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. Under Bosshard’s leadership, International Rivers has campaigned vigorously against large dam projects in Africa. The NGO has been a staunch critic of the Inga scheme in Democratic Republic of Congo, which it argues will not benefit most Congolese, and has gathered evidence of the problems encountered by communities resettled as part of Sudan’s Merowe dam project.

Issue 404 - 21 November 2019

Wentworth: CEO replaced

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AIM-listed Wentworth Resources announced on 13 November that chief executive Eskil Jersing was stepping down from the board and leaving the company with immediate effect. Jersing joined Wentworth in June 2018 with a mandate to drive the business forward, but the share price has declined steadily since then.

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A total of 53 individuals and companies have now been charged over corruption at Kenya Power in a case that has become increasingly politicised. Among those charged are 11 current and former managers, including former managing director and chief executive Ben Chumo and current acting managing director and chief executive Ken Tarus. Tarus has been replaced by Jared Omondi Othieno, who had been acting general manager for street lighting. Another five managers have been suspended.

Kenya
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In the third year of his presidency, Félix Tshisekedi has outflanked Joseph Kabila to the extent that the former president is now lying low at his ranch near Lubumbashi amid fears his senator-for-life status may be insufficient to give immunity from eventual prosecution. The resignation on 29 January of prime minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba was another victory over key Kabila allies in a war of attrition for control of Democratic Republic of Congo that has seen members of the ex-president’s Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC) flooding to join Tshisekedi’s Union Sacré́e pour la Nation (USN).

DR Congo
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The sacking of petroleum, energy and renewable energy minister Thierry Tanoh, formally announced on 10 December, was not unexpected. Tanoh had been in conflict with powerful players, notably influential presidential adviser and former minister Adama Toungara, over a planned audit of the sector, further reforms and project developments. The former banker had also clashed with Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was lobbying President Alassane Dramane Ouattara to sack the minister.

Côte d'Ivoire
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Industry scepticism about the project’s economics notwithstanding, on 23 January, President Uhuru Kenyatta shook hands with Total executive committee member Momar Nguer to confirm the French major’s commitment to investing in the Lokichar-Lamu oil pipeline. These things matter in East African oil and geostrategic manoeuvring; Uganda’s export pipeline was planned to pass through Lokichar until Total backed a rival route to Tanzania, but having since bought Maersk Oil, it needs an export route in Kenya too.

Kenya
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US developer Symbion Power Tanzania Ltd on 13 March filed a request for arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris claiming breach of contract due to non-payment by Tanzania Electricity Supply Corporation (Tanesco) for power from the 126MW Ubungo plant (AE 331/1). Symbion says Tanesco has refused to pay for its power since the contract was agreed, claiming variously that the power purchase agreement (PPA) had been “put on hold”, never been signed or, later, that it had been rescinded.

Tanzania
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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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Western governments are determined to interdict the Indian-flagged tanker containing a cargo of Libya crude sold to an Emirati buyer by the Cyrenaica-based parallel management of National Oil Corporation (NOC). On 27 April, the vessel was located in waters south-east of Malta, having been turned back by the authorities in Valletta the previous day. Failure to prevent it from unloading the cargo and completing the transaction in defiance of a United Nations Security Council resolution banning unauthorised crude exports would destroy the credibility of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Libya
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Emboldened by President Donald Trump’s election win, Republican lawmakers have started the process of dismantling the bipartisan Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule, which requires oil, gas and mining companies publicly listed in the US to publish their payments to governments in countries where they operate. The rule became law in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, but its implementation was held up by legal challenges and it was released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) only in June 2016 after Oxfam America sued to speed the process up.

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Tanzania’s Auditor General has criticised the procurement of a major contractor at the Rusumo Falls, blaming the World Bank Group for the deviation.

Rwanda | Tanzania | Burundi
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The Commercial Court in London has ruled that the Ghanaian government could not challenge an arbitration award made against it as its appeal had come too late. The arbitration was brought by Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC), which procured two GE LM 6000 combined cycle power plants in Italy to be installed in Aboadze under an emergency purchase agreement.

Ghana
Free

The government was dealt a blow on 15 June when the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled in favour of Betamax, after the Mauritian-Singaporean petroleum products supply joint venture had appealed to the arbiter in London against a Supreme Court of Mauritius (SCM) decision against it.

Mauritius
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ZETDC has been taken to arbitration by developer NRE in a dispute over US dollar payments, in a case with significant implications for the country’s struggling power sector and which also highlights the macroeconomic problems weighing on the Mnangagwa administration, writes Marc Howard

Zimbabwe
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Rwanda