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The much-anticipated partial float of the naira, introduced from 20 June, reflected a concession by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had resisted devaluation as he did during his first stint as president in the 1980s. Buhari was forced by deteriorating economic conditions and declining confidence to listen to markets. African Energy hears that concerns over the naira and other issues have led to the World Bank Group, a key guarantor of the liberalised generation and distribution system, making quiet threats to stop guarantees.

Subscriber

Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) says energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa acted beyond his authority by declaring its transmission network common carrier to allow government-controlled Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to continue receiving power supply despite a year of failing to pay its bills. CEC is seeking to overturn the statutory instrument (SI) issued by Nkhuwa on 29 May declaring CEC’s network common carrier.

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Energy minister Medard Kalemani has said the first phase of the 2,115MW Julius Nyerere hydropower project at Stiegler’s Gorge is more than 70% complete. Speaking after visiting the project site on 5 April to counter reports that the project had stalled due to a shortage of funds, he said the Treasury had paid more than $700m towards the project, which has an estimated total cost of $3bn.“We are on schedule for the first phase, which is due to be completed next year,” he said.

Tanzania
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The National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) has announced three block awards in the deep-water Namibe Basin from its 2019 bid round. ANPG said Sonangol was awarded 35% in Block 27, with the other 65% remaining open for negotiation by other interested companies. Eni was awarded operatorship of Block 28 with a 60% interest, alongside Sonangol with 20%, leaving 20% open for negotiations. Block 29 was awarded to Total as operator with 46%, alongside Equinor (24.5%), Sonangol (20%) and BP (9.5%).

Angola
Subscriber

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 13 April charged the managing director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) with orchestrating a bribery scheme to help a client win a power plant contract in Ghana. The SEC alleges that US-Ghanaian citizen Asante Berko – a former Goldman Sachs employee who was appointed TOR managing director in January 2020 – violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by arranging for his firm’s client, a Turkish energy company, to funnel at least $2.5m to a Ghana- based intermediary to bribe government officials in order to win an electrical power plant project.

Ghana
Subscriber

New Sonangol chief executive Isabel dos Santos has suspended all talks relating to the sale of assets belonging to the Angolan state oil firm and stripped its legal department of most of its powers.A brief statement posted on Sonangol’s website following a 27 June meeting of the new board said the evaluation, negotiation and sale of any assets held by Sonangol and its subsidiaries had been suspended with immediate effect.

Angola
Subscriber

Angola’s government is running short of money just as the issue of who might succeed President José Eduardo dos Santos again comes under discussion. The president raised eyebrows in early July when he said he intended to see out his term of office, and there has been increased repression of government opponents. At the same time, a leaked memo from Sonangol chairman Francisco de Lemos José Maria has sharply criticised the legacy of his predecessor Manuel Vicente, now Angolan vice-president, and spelled out the problems facing the company.

Angola
Issue 399 - 13 September 2019

Africa Oil opens London office

Subscriber

Africa Oil Corporation has opened a London office with effect from 1 September, staffed by chief executive Keith Hill, chief operating officer Tim Thomas and vice president exploration Paul Martinez. Technical and accounting staff will remain in Calgary. “This relocation is designed to facilitate greater access to the investment community, partners in our existing ventures and deal flow in the current highly prospective growth market for oil and gas assets,” the company said.

Issue 342 - 16 March 2017

EITI outlines project reporting

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The board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has set out how members should report payments at project level in its 51 implementing countries, a month after President Donald Trump cancelled a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule requiring US companies to detail their payments.

Issue 340 - 16 February 2017

Morocco: Nakkouch leaves Nareva

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Ahmed Nakkouch, founding head of Morocco’s biggest private developer and a former head of state utility Office National de l’Electricité, is retiring from Nareva. He will be replaced by 46-year-old Aymane Taud, a director of Nareva’s parent company Société Nationale d’Investissement (SNI) since November 2006. Taud was appointed head of SNI’s fisheries companies Marona and Arpem in mid-2015. He came to SNI after heading BMCE Capital Conseil.

Morocco
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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
Issue 394 - 14 June 2019

ATI replaces sacked chief executive

Subscriber

The Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) has announced an interim replacement for George Oduor Otieno, who is fighting his sacking as chief executive of Africa’s largest insurer. The ATI board decided in early May to sack Otieno, and his job was advertised before he had been informed. In late May, Kenya’s Employment and Labour Relations Court blocked the move. Lady Justice Maureen Onyango said ATI’s decision to advertise the job when the petitioner was still in office was “unconstitutional and discriminative”.

Issue 339 - 02 February 2017

Nigeria: UK court rules on Shell case

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The High Court in London ruled on 26 January that two legal claims on behalf of over 40,000 Nigerians against Royal Dutch Shell and its subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for environmental damage caused by oil pollution in the Niger Delta could not be heard in the UK. Lawyers for the communities said they would appeal against the judgement. Mr Justice Fraser, sitting in the Technology & Construction Court, held that the claim against Royal Dutch Shell had no prospect of success and therefore that the claim against SPDC could not proceed.

Nigeria
Subscriber

A group of bureaucrats and politicians in the planning, works, energy and finance ministries stand accused of manipulating the state’s policy and procurement procedures since 2012 to steer control of the energy sector into the arms of Xaris Energy, a company closely linked to the ruling Swapo party. Xaris is partly owned by Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba, who holds a direct interest via his AMA Family Trust, according to an investigation into the N$7.4bn ($554m) expansion of Walvis Bay harbour.

Namibia
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Rwanda