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Subscriber

Canada will require extractives companies listed on its stock exchanges or based in the country to disclose their payments under the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act, which came into force on 1 June. The act was passed into law on 16 December 2014 and, after 1 June, all extractives companies subject to the act will be required to report payments including taxes, royalties, fees and production entitlements of $100,000 or more to all levels of government in Canada and abroad.

Subscriber

The return of controversial executives Matshela Koko and Prish Govender to national utility Eskom was greeted with dismay by civil society organisations and condemned by opposition parties. Governance issues at the utility, coupled with failure to publish interim results, are making it difficult for Eskom to raise money amid concerns that the utility is running out of cash. Failure to publish results could result in the suspension of Eskom bonds on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

South Africa
Issue 256 - 14 June 2013

Senegal: DP World

Subscriber

Dubai’s DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem met President Macky Sall on 6 June to discuss the company’s Dakar port project. A DP World statement said that Sall had assured the chairman that DP World’s investment was “welcomed and protected”. DP World Dakar obtained a 25-year concession in 2010 to operate container terminals at Dakar port and invest in their modernisation.

Senegal
Subscriber

The management of National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the eastern Libyan town of Al-Bayda has suspended its attempts to sell oil independently from the established NOC management in Tripoli since the United Nations (UN)-backed Presidency Council led by Faiz Serraj moved to the capital. But the legitimacy of what the UN and its backers say is now the recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) is far from established. The dominant power brokers in Cyrenaica are still negotiating the terms of their endorsement of the new administration. Without their support it will be constitutionally weak, and failure to agree will start a new conflict over control of Sirte Basin oil infrastructure.

Libya
Issue 258 - 12 July 2013

OECD criticises Portugal

Subscriber

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Bribery released its Phase 3 report on Portugal in late June. The report evaluates and makes recommendations on Portugal’s implementation of various anti-corruption laws. The group said it was “seriously concerned that Portugal’s enforcement of the foreign bribery offence has been extremely low”. Despite Portugal’s strong economic links to countries plagued by severe corruption, only 15 foreign bribery allegations have surfaced since 2001. These allegations have not resulted in a single prosecution to date and several investigations were closed prematurely. “Portuguese authorities did not proactively investigate or seek the co-operation of foreign authorities in several cases,” the group said.

Issue 340 - 16 February 2017

Trump repeals disclosure rule

Subscriber

Transparency campaigners have condemned President Donald Trump’s use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal a rule obliging energy and mining companies to disclose payments they make abroad (AE 339/18). Signing his first piece of legislation, Trump repealed the Cardin-Lugar rule, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. ExxonMobil and its former chief executive Rex Tillerson, now Trump’s secretary of state, had lobbied against the rule, but similar regulations have been introduced in several other global markets since then.

Issue 253 - 03 May 2013

Zambia: Banda on trial 


Free

Former president Rupiah Banda is on trial in Lusaka, having been stripped of his immunity, arrested and charged with abuse of office in connection with a Nigerian oil deal with the Abuja-based Sarb Energy. Banda’s son Henry has also been named in court documents. Sarb Energy was reported to have been paid $2.5m for shipping oil to Zambia, but failed to deliver.

Zambia
Subscriber

Critics abroad and poorer Angolans may question where billions of dollars of oil revenues have gone in past decades, but the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) prefers to trumpet its successes in the run-up to parliamentary elections on 23 August that will surely consecrate defence minister João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço as successor to President José Eduardo dos Santos. The government, forced to cut spending and borrow heavily as oil prices slumped to levels far below its budget calculations, is telling voters a better future beckons, with the announcement of progress on a string of new large hydroelectric power schemes (HEPs) and other infrastructure.

Angola
Subscriber

Sable Mining is to cancel its AIM listing and take the company private after a series of factors including the lower iron ore price and a Global Witness investigation depressed its share price. The cancellation takes effect from 17 October.Sable’s main asset is the Nimba iron ore project in south-east Guinea. Sentiment has been affected by political instability in Guinea, the Ebola epidemic and low iron ore prices, as well as what Sable described as “unpredictability of legal systems together with unsubstantiated and irresponsible allegations and adverse press speculation”.

Guinea | Liberia
Subscriber

SNC-Lavalin Group chief executive Robert Card has warned that any move by the authorities to charge the Canadian engineering company in connection with an extensive bribery scandal would immediately threaten its future and could force it to close. Card told The Globe and Mail he would be “deeply concerned” if the company was charged because it would hurt the business severely. “If the company can’t do business, you really only have two choices. You are going to do some dismemberment and cease to exist entirely, or you are going to be owned by somebody else,” he said.

Subscriber

Amid rising social tensions and opposition to President Blaise Compaoré’s plans to stand for another term as president, public accounts court senior judge Noumoutié Herbert Traoré has promised that judgements on three long-running cases will soon be issued. The three cases include allegations of false accounting by state energy company Société Nationale Burkinabé d’Hydrocarbures (Sonabhy). The case against Sonabhy includes false accounting to gain tax breaks and contracts awarded by direct negotiation without prior board approval. Traoré formally delivered the 2012 report on management of public finances from the Cour des Comptes to Compaoré in December 2013.

Burkina Faso
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UN-sponsored Radio Okapi reported on 5 February that the International Court of Arbitration of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce had declared that the government’s cancellation of an exploration agreement with the local Générale Pétrolière du Congo (Gepeco) was “faulty, ineffective and unfounded”. Gepeco signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 12 October 2011 for oil exploration in the Tanganyika Graben. The government cancelled the MoU without warning in April 2012, and Gepeco took the case to the court in November 2013.

DR Congo
Subscriber

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill has received cabinet approval and will shortly be presented to parliament, four years after it was first drafted. The new law, which will update the previous 1984 legislation, contains provisions for blocks to be awarded through open licensing rather than direct negotiation. There has been criticism of recent licence awards approved by parliament under a certificate of urgency before the bill becomes law (AE 274/15), but this has been dwarfed by a bizarre series of developments involving the Offshore Cape Three Points South licence.

Ghana
Issue 413 - 17 April 2020

Power Africa: New acting coordinator

Free

Mark Carrato has been named as Power Africa acting coordinator, replacing Andrew Herscowitz, who moved in February to become chief development officer at the new US International Development Finance Corporation. Herscowitz had headed up Power Africa since its launch in 2013. Carrato most recently led the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Office for Central American and Mexican Affairs and had previously worked with USAID in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Subscriber

Greenpeace has served papers to energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) and finance minister Nhlanhla Nene through the sheriff of the Pretoria High Court in an attempt to force the government to update its decade-old nuclear liability regulations. A court date will be set, and Greenpeace senior climate and energy campaign manager Melita Steele told African Energy that the organisation hoped a judgement would be reached this year. Greenpeace said in a statement that South Africa’s nuclear liability regulations were “completely inadequate” having not been updated since May 2004.