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The former head of state electricity company Société Nigérienne d’Electricité (Nigelec) Foukory Ibrahim has been arrested and jailed on suspicion of embezzling some CFA20bn (£25.7m). Ibrahim was an ally of former president Mamadou Tandja, who was toppled in a February 2010 military coup. Ibrahim had immunity as a serving MP for the Mouvement National pour la Société du Développement, which is now in opposition, but this was lifted last year.

Niger
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Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) has sparked a storm of protest after the leaking of a letter to Symbion Power saying it was “ceasing negotiations” over a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 120MW Ubungo plant, despite having signed the document last December. Symbion said in a 30 May statement that Ubongo, where US President Barack Obama outlined his Power Africa initiative in July 2013, was operating under a PPA signed on 10 December by Tanesco managing director Felchesmi Mramba. “There is no question whatsoever that the PPA is a valid and binding document,” the company said.

Tanzania
Free

Climate change denier Donald Trump’s 8 November election victory stunned the COP22 meeting in Marrakech, before the other 196 governments responded with defiant statements supporting the Paris Agreement. Tackling climate change and energy poverty has been central to Barack Obama’s presidency; his championing of COP was underlined by secretary of state John Kerry’s robust appearance in Marrakech; the Power Africa initiative is supported by the Electrify Africa Act, which puts sub-Saharan economies’ lack of energy access onto the US statute book.

Free

The audit, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, was contracted following revelations of the so-called “cashgate” scandal that caused President Joyce Banda to sack her cabinet in October and led to the suspension of $150m of aid by major donors, including the UK and European Union. The first three of some 70 people who have been charged appeared in court in late January. The scandal has dealt a substantial blow to Banda, who had sought to depict herself as a “new broom” sweeping out the corruption and poor governance of her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika.

Malawi
Free

As usual, there was no explanation from Luanda of President José Eduardo dos Santos’ partial government reshuffle on 5 October, which reorganised key economic departments and the senior ranks of the military.

Angola
Issue 284 - 12 September 2014

Nigeria: Afren probe widens

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London-based Afren has suspended two more directors as part of an investigation into the receipt of unauthorised payments. The company suspended Iain Wright and Galib Virani on 28 August after finding that they had received payments linked to the previously identified transactions for the benefit of chief executive Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah, who were suspended on 31 July. The payments were not made by Afren, the company said.In a note to its H1 accounts, Afren said the board had engaged lawyers Willkie Farr & Gallagher (WFG) to conduct an independent review into three transactions between Afren and its partners in 2012 and 2013.

Nigeria
Free

Investor interest in Madagascar picked up when companies were attracted by the island state’s potential for power sector developments, as former president Hery Rajaonarimampianina hosted an influential donor and investor conference in 2016.The going has since proven tough for many investors, as early movers have run into payment issues with malfunctioning state utility Jiro sy Rany Malagasy (Jirama) and the administration has proved unpredictable in renegotiating power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Madagascar
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The warlord Khalifa Haftar’s comprehensive blockade of oil export terminals in eastern and western Libya is an attempt to force his drawn-out siege of Tripoli into an endgame. His price for lifting the blockade is the replacement of both National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla and Central Bank of Libya (CBL) governor Sadiq Al-Kabir. He also wants a greater share of oil revenues. Acceding to these demands would hand Haftar control of the two institutions that control the country’s resources and its money.

Libya
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An independent lawyer appointed by Eskom has cleared chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer of allegations of corruption, dishonesty, conflict of interest and abuse of power, the utility announced on 15 April. The lawyer submitted his findings to Eskom on 4 April, having begun his investigation on 20 March. Allegations relate to contracts signed with Black and Veatch to design the 4,800MW Kusile coal power plant, and Stefanutti Stocks, in which he was shareholder.

South Africa
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Ecobank chairman Kolapo Lawson was forced to stand down in late October after concerns were raised about corporate governance. Media reports said Lawson agreed to go after board members meeting in Ghana decided his departure was
necessary to restore confidence among customers and shareholders following a battle over governance issues. The Nigerian central bank wrote to the pan-African lender in April, notifying it of Lawson’s failure to repay $8.79m (N1.4bn) in debts sold to state-owned Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and a further N1.6bn owed to Ecobank by businesses associated with him. 


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
Subscriber

The Cyrenaica-based government of Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni is continuing efforts to establish its own oil sales in the international market, and to prevent buyers from engaging with the Tripoli-based management of National Oil Corporation (NOC). However, despite optimistic claims in early November that the eastern NOC had succeeded in closing a sale, and that a tanker to lift the crude was two days’ sailing from the Marsa Al-Harigah terminal, it has so far failed to overcome resistance from the international community and internal political barriers to achieving this ambition.

Libya
Free

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
Issue 411 - 12 March 2020

Cameroon: New VOG CEO, FEED contract

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Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) has named Roy Kelly as its new chief executive, with effect from 23 March. Kelly was previously partner, head of technical, at private equity fund Kerogen Capital. Once Kelly starts work, Ahmet Dik will step down as chief executive and from the board of directors, but will continue to work with the company for a 12-month transition period. After the annual general meeting, expected to be held in June, Roger Kennedy will move from his role as executive chairman to a non-executive chairman role.

Cameroon
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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.