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Issue 399 - 13 September 2019

Africa Oil opens London office


Africa Oil Corporation has opened a London office with effect from 1 September, staffed by chief executive Keith Hill, chief operating officer Tim Thomas and vice president exploration Paul Martinez. Technical and accounting staff will remain in Calgary. “This relocation is designed to facilitate greater access to the investment community, partners in our existing ventures and deal flow in the current highly prospective growth market for oil and gas assets,” the company said.

Issue 342 - 16 March 2017

EITI outlines project reporting


The board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has set out how members should report payments at project level in its 51 implementing countries, a month after President Donald Trump cancelled a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule requiring US companies to detail their payments.

Issue 340 - 16 February 2017

Morocco: Nakkouch leaves Nareva


Ahmed Nakkouch, founding head of Morocco’s biggest private developer and a former head of state utility Office National de l’Electricité, is retiring from Nareva. He will be replaced by 46-year-old Aymane Taud, a director of Nareva’s parent company Société Nationale d’Investissement (SNI) since November 2006. Taud was appointed head of SNI’s fisheries companies Marona and Arpem in mid-2015. He came to SNI after heading BMCE Capital Conseil.


US developer Symbion Power has sharply criticised Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) for what it says is its continued failure to pay for power supplied by the Ubungo plant. Despite losing a separate arbitration case brought by Standard Chartered Bank, the utility remains intransigent in its dealings with Symbion. But Ubungo has been shut down for several months and another big arbitration case could be on the cards, with all the accompanying bad press for President John Magufuli’s clean-up campaign.

Issue 394 - 14 June 2019

ATI replaces sacked chief executive


The Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) has announced an interim replacement for George Oduor Otieno, who is fighting his sacking as chief executive of Africa’s largest insurer. The ATI board decided in early May to sack Otieno, and his job was advertised before he had been informed. In late May, Kenya’s Employment and Labour Relations Court blocked the move. Lady Justice Maureen Onyango said ATI’s decision to advertise the job when the petitioner was still in office was “unconstitutional and discriminative”.

Issue 339 - 02 February 2017

Nigeria: UK court rules on Shell case


The High Court in London ruled on 26 January that two legal claims on behalf of over 40,000 Nigerians against Royal Dutch Shell and its subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for environmental damage caused by oil pollution in the Niger Delta could not be heard in the UK. Lawyers for the communities said they would appeal against the judgement. Mr Justice Fraser, sitting in the Technology & Construction Court, held that the claim against Royal Dutch Shell had no prospect of success and therefore that the claim against SPDC could not proceed.


A group of bureaucrats and politicians in the planning, works, energy and finance ministries stand accused of manipulating the state’s policy and procurement procedures since 2012 to steer control of the energy sector into the arms of Xaris Energy, a company closely linked to the ruling Swapo party. Xaris is partly owned by Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba, who holds a direct interest via his AMA Family Trust, according to an investigation into the N$7.4bn ($554m) expansion of Walvis Bay harbour.

Project context

Issue 397 - 26 July 2019

South Africa IPP Office head ousted


News that respected Independent Power Producers Office head Karen Breytenbach has been asked to leave has been greeted with surprise in the South African power industry. The Joint Implementation Committee, made up of the Department of Energy (DoE), National Treasury and the Development Bank of Southern Africa said on 23 July it had asked Breytenbach to leave, citing “issues that were creating operational instability at the IPP Office”.

South Africa
Issue 429 - 17 December 2020

Niger: Nature reserve boundaries redrawn


The government is set to pass a decree revising the boundaries of a 97,000km2 nature reserve in eastern Niger to address the concerns of environmentalists, oil companies and donors. French NGO Noé, which manages the Termit and Tin-Toumma National Nature Reserve (RNNTT) hopes the decree will be adopted before the first round of the presidential election on 27 December.


In the third year of his presidency, Félix Tshisekedi has outflanked Joseph Kabila to the extent that the former president is now lying low at his ranch near Lubumbashi amid fears his senator-for-life status may be insufficient to give immunity from eventual prosecution. The resignation on 29 January of prime minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba was another victory over key Kabila allies in a war of attrition for control of Democratic Republic of Congo that has seen members of the ex-president’s Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC) flooding to join Tshisekedi’s Union Sacré́e pour la Nation (USN).

DR Congo

Total has defended itself against criticism of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, publishing its social and environmental studies and action plans and pledging transparency. In the latest attack on the project, 263 organisations from 49 countries have banded together to campaign against the planned export pipeline to carry Uganda’s crude oil to the Tanzanian coast.

Uganda | Tanzania

A court in Milan on 17 March acquitted Eni and Royal Dutch Shell of corruption in the purchase of OPL 245. Campaigners said they were surprised and disappointed by the verdict, especially as two middlemen involved in the sale were found guilty in September 2018. The written ruling explaining the judge’s reasoning should be handed down 90 days after the verdict.


The Commercial Court in London has ruled that the Ghanaian government could not challenge an arbitration award made against it as its appeal had come too late. The arbitration was brought by Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC), which procured two GE LM 6000 combined cycle power plants in Italy to be installed in Aboadze under an emergency purchase agreement.


A judge has ruled that energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa acted illegally by declaring the Copperbelt Energy Corporation network common carrier last year. The ruling has been widely welcomed by the industry but the dispute is by no means over, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka.