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Issue 366 - 06 April 2018

US imposes South Sudan oil sanctions

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The US government has imposed licensing restrictions on South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Mining, state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) and 12 other oil-related organisations. The restrictions were issued on 21 March by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the US Department of Commerce “as part of the US effort to end the ongoing conflict and resolve the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan”, a statement said.

South Sudan
Free

The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) is drafting a new regulation that will enable it to investigate corruption claims involving the private sector, according to a late May report on Ethiopian news site capitalethiopia.com. Ethiopia’s decade-old corruption law does not allow FEACC to look into private sector corruption claims, limiting it to corruption in state-owned organisations. FEACC recently arrested several Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority officials and local businessmen.

Ethiopia
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National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla has intensified his conflict with Presidency Council head Fayez Al-Sarraj, alleging that German oil company Wintershall has formed an alliance with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and succeeded in influencing the drafting of legislation for its commercial benefit. In a statement published on NOC’s website on 10 May, Sanalla said that, following the breakdown of negotiations over the renewal of its concessions, Wintershall had “shut in over 160,000 b/d of production, at a cost to the Libyan state of almost a quarter of a billion dollars per month”.

Libya
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Following a series of setbacks for the government this year in its attempt to declare CEC’s network common carrier, there had been hopes a negotiated settlement could be agreed. However, further legal action now looks a certainty, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka The Zambian government has made a fresh bid to seize control of Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC)’s transmission and distribution lines by issuing a new statutory instrument (SI) declaring the company’s network as common carrier.

Zambia
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 The Angolan government and General Electric have succeeded in having a court case against them dismissed by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, after a judge ruled the dispute should be heard in courts in Angola.

Angola
Subscriber

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has gone to the Lusaka High Court seeking a judicial review to halt the government’s latest attempts to seize its transmission line network, including those it jointly owns with Democratic Republic of Congo’s Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel).

Zambia
Issue 429 - 17 December 2020

US to require ownership disclosure

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In a major victory for transparency campaigners, the US Congress has passed a groundbreaking measure to ban anonymous shell companies by a veto-proof majority. The Corporate Transparency Act, which was tacked on to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, will oblige corporations and limited liability companies established in the United States to disclose their real owners to the US Treasury Department.

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Oil and gas minister Mohammed Aoun is doing his best to impose his authority on an industry which has been dominated by his powerful rival National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla for the past seven years. There is a strong personal animosity between the two. Indeed, Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dabaiba may have appointed Aoun with the intention of making Sanalla’s position as awkward as possible.

Libya
Subscriber

Energy minister Newton Kambala was fired by President Lazarus Chakwera on 11 August, following his appearance at Lilongwe Magistrates Court on graft charges. Kambala had been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) two days earlier.

Malawi
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The island’s ‘Saint Louis Gate’ power procurement scandal and other corruption enquiries, plus the government’s loss of a petroleum supply arbitration appeal, highlight the potential pitfalls of doing business in Africa’s most highly rated economy, writes Marc Howard.

Mauritius