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A former consultant with US pipeline contractor Willbros International has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to pay some $6m in bribes to Nigerian officials. The consultant, Paul Novak, was also managing director of Addax Nigeria before it was sold to Sinopec.

Nigeria
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President José Eduardo dos Santos and his Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) party mobilised the apparel of state (along with Brazilian election experts and a massive birthday bash for the 70-year-old leader) to secure a landslide in the 31 August general election. The MPLA may not win as much as the 82% it won in 2008, but it will have gained enough votes to legitimise dos Santos’ 33-year rule – at least in the eyes of Angolan power-brokers – and open the way for peaceful political transition.

Angola
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South Africa’s Protection of State Information Bill, which was passed by a majority vote in parliament in late April and is now before President Jacob Zuma for signing, has been criticised by a number of bodies, including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Right2Know campaign and the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

South Africa
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Mali’s economy and finance minister Aloussény Sanou has told other government departments their expected funding has been blocked. The move comes after the World Bank suspended its International Development Association (IDA) credits and other facilities to the country.

Mali
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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on 29 November said it had debarred Brussels-based Tractebel Engineering (TE Belgium) for 46 months for fraudulent and corrupt practices related to a project in Haiti in 2015-16. The decision qualifies TE Belgium for cross-debarment by the World Bank Group, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other multilaterals.

Issue 265 - 08 November 2013

UK: Transparency legislation due in 2014

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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 


Issue 426 - 05 November 2020

World Bank debars Kalpataru, CEDRI

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The World Bank has announced debarments of India’s Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd and its regional subsidiaries and of China Electric Design and Research Institute (CEDRI). The bank said Kalpataru was sanctioned as a result of fraudulent practices when participating in the Southern African Power Market Project (SAPMP) in Democratic Republic of Congo, which rehabilitated and extended high-voltage power lines, and the Egypt Wind Power Development Project (EWPDP), which included developing transmission infrastructure.

DR Congo | Zambia
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The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved a regulatory clearing account (RCA) balance for Eskom of R13.27bn ($763m).The RCA is a mechanism for recouping prudently incurred costs that were not foreseen in previous tariff determinations, as well as making adjustments where assumptions such as inflation and tariff income have varied. The balance will be recouped from standard tariff customers, special pricing arrangement customers and international customers. Eskom and Nersa have frequently found themselves at odds over the RCA as well as tariff determinations.

South Africa
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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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Project developers and financiers spend inordinate amounts of time and money assessing risks and their mitigation. But when traditional credit and political risk calculations are being made, they still too often overlook the populations whose land they are building on, even if they think they have community engagement in hand. Disgruntled populations may express their frustration and even violently turn on developments that seem beyond their control, and that threaten their (sometimes literally) sacred home turf.

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Angola has moved in recent weeks to take concrete legal action against the children of former president José Eduardo dos Santos over longstanding corruption allegations. José Filomeno dos Santos went on trial in December, accused of taking $500m out of the country in 2017 during his time as head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, while at the end of December, a Luanda court ordered the freezing of Isabel dos Santos’ Angolan bank accounts and shares in state companies, as well as the assets of her Congolese art collector husband, Sindika Dokolo.

Angola
Issue 327 - 08 July 2016

Luanda turns down IMF funding

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Angola has opted not to pursue an extended fund facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that would have offered significant funding alongside tough conditionality, and will instead seek only technical assistance. “The president of the republic has informed the IMF of the government’s decision to continue their policy dialogue with the fund only within the context of the Article IV consultation and not through discussion concerning an EFF supported programme,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a news briefing in Washington on 28 June.

Angola
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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
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Japan’s Hitachi Ltd on 28 September agreed to pay $19m to settle charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by inaccurately recording improper payments to South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) in relation to the award of the combined $5.6bn boiler contracts for the 4,764MW Medupi and 4,800MW Kusile coal power plants.The revelations included in the SEC complaint have led to calls for legal action to be taken against South African group of companies Chancellor House and the ANC, as well as increased scrutiny of the controversial nuclear tender and Chancellor House’s involvement in the upcoming coal baseload independent power producer (IPP) procurement programme.

South Africa
Subscriber

President José Eduardo dos Santos’ billionaire elder daughter Isabel has added to her portfolio with a controlling stake in Portuguese engineering company Efacec, ten years after she bought 38.3% in Portugal’s Galp Energia in partnership with Portuguese businessman Américo Amorim. Isabel dos Santos, whose fortune was estimated at $3bn last year by Forbes magazine, established the 50/50 Winterfell joint venture with the recently created Empresa Nacional de Distribuição de Electricidade (ENDE) in order to purchase foreign assets. Isabel dos Santos and Winterfell bought a 65% stake in Efacec Power Solutions at the beginning of June from two Portuguese companies, Grupo José de Mello SGPS and Têxtil Manuel Gonçalves.

Angola