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Issue 403 - 07 November 2019

Globeleq: New chief executive

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Globeleq chief financial officer and chief operating officer Mike Scholey will take over as chief executive from 1 January, replacing Paul Hanrahan. “We are very excited to have Mike taking up the CEO position in 2020. We believe his well-established relationships with key stakeholders, combined with his business insights and current experience working closely with the outgoing chief executive, Paul Hanrahan, make him the best candidate for the role. Mike and Paul will continue to work together in transitioning the company’s leadership through to the end of the year,” said Globeleq board chairman Laurence Mulliez.

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Any administration would be hard-pressed to cope with Cyclone Idai. For central Mozambique, southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe, the catastrophe is piled onto already often poorly served communities and underperforming governments. Even after the most severe storm hit on 14-15 March, news outlets and the donor community took time to appreciate the scale of the disaster – as mosque killings, Brexit and Donald Trump jostled for airtime that might have helped generate more immediate support.

Mozambique
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Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company began receiving power from the first 100MW unit of the 200MW Dema emergency power plant in mid July. Since the government began talks with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group last year, there has been a concerted push to improve the country’s woeful power situation. Alongside Dema, a 120MW emergency plant is planned for Mutare, tenders have been reissued for the refurbishment of the country’s moribund coal power plants, as well as a solar tender and a feed-in tariff for renewable energy independent power producers.

Zimbabwe
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Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan announced on 24 May that Phakamani Hadebe has been confirmed as Eskom chief executive. Hadebe had been in the temporary position since February, managing the utility’s critical financial situation and overseeing the drive to clean up governance. “Hadebe has experience at the Land Bank and Treasury, he had a stint at banking institution Absa, he is competent to steer Eskom and stabilise the institution and position it for its role in the economy,” Gordhan said.

South Africa
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The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) has launched a new five-year strategy with the goal of building on a governance restructuring carried out in early 2018. PIDG is one of the most active development finance institutions working in challenging countries and with new technologies and business models. Implementation of the strategy will be bolstered by additional commitments announced last year of £500m ($655m) from the UK and $100m from the Netherlands over a four-year period.

Issue 399 - 13 September 2019

Angola: Aenergia contracts revoked

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Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water has notified Angolan company Aenergia SA of its intention to terminate contracts for the installation, technical assistance and maintenance of power plants in the country. A presidential order on 23 August gave the ministry permission to terminate the contracts, settle accounts with Aenergia, take possession of equipment and conclude agreements with GE to ensure contract implementation. The contracts, which were financed through a loan to the government by GE Capital Ltd, were approved by the ministry in July and August 2017.

Angola
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Sceptics looking for evidence that Chinese companies do not always follow the rules of international business need look no further than the recent list of firms suspended from doing business with the World Bank Group (WBG), African Development Bank (AfDB) and other multilateral development banks. The bank’s list of disbarments contains dozens of Chinese companies, many of them inter-related, banned for corruption in African and other markets in the latest actions against those caught bribing officials.

Issue 336 - 08 December 2016

Liberia: New petroleum law

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Liberia has enacted the new Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Law, which requires competitive bidding for all petroleum contracts, and that all oil companies declare their true owners. The interim management team (IMT) of the National Oil Company of Liberia (Nocal) has welcomed the new law, describing it as “a milestone achievement for the country’s emerging oil & gas sector”.

Liberia
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The latest round of intrigue in South Africa has seen the influential energy ministry deputy director-general Ompi Aphane suspended for unstated issues related to compliance. In an interview with EE Publishers investigative editor Chris Yelland, energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said that Aphane had been given three days to respond to questions but failed to meet the deadline.

South Africa
Issue 337 - 22 December 2016

Guinea: Steinmetz under house arrest

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Beny Steinmetz has been placed under house arrest in Israel amid an investigation into his BSG Resources’ acquisition of rights to the Simandou iron ore mining project.Israeli police detained Steinmetz on suspicion of bribery and money laundering. A court on 19 December released him to house arrest for two weeks on bail of 100m shekels ($26m). His Israeli and French passports were confiscated and he was barred from leaving Israel for 180 days.

Guinea
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Amid the feelgood talk about cleaner, more efficient fuels during the mid-January Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the presence of criminality and dirty money in energy industries worldwide was highlighted by the launch of a report from US think tank the Atlantic Council. In Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends, and Remedies, consultant Ian Ralby argues that, despite its undoubted impact, “the global scourge of illicit downstream hydrocarbons activity remains relatively invisible” – and much more is needed to tackle this particular oil curse.

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A French court has dismissed an appeal by two French and four Ugandan NGOs seeking to challenge Total’s handling of the Tilenga development project. The case is the first to be brought under France’s 2017 Corporate Duty of Vigilance law, and the NGOs hope to establish a precedent with wider implications for Total and other international companies.

Uganda
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Chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organisations, Democrat senator Karen Bass, and Republican ranking member Christopher Smith last month introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives (HoR) calling for free and fair elections in Tanzania. If passed, the resolution would give the US administration the legal basis to impose economic and other sanctions on the country.

Tanzania
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More evidence is expected from UK authorities and South African sources as part of the investigation into the use of the UK’s banking system by the Gupta brothers, Lord Hain of Neath – Peter Hain – told African Energy. Letters from Hain to the chancellor, Phillip Hammond, last month instigated investigations by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), National Crime Agency, and the Serious Fraud Office. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun investigating in the United States and evidence has been submitted to the European Union, although an investigation has not yet begun.

South Africa
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Nigerian politicians’ focus in the year ahead will be on the 2019 elections and the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari serving a second term. Buhari seems to have returned home from medical treatment in London last August reinvigorated to an extent many doubters thought impossible, but if politics is a results business – rather than merely a question of the volume of resources at power-brokers’ disposal – the president and his All Progressives Congress (APC) have much to do.

Nigeria