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Sasol announced on 29 March it has developed a new blend of alcohol-based chemicals to be used in manufacturing of hand sanitisers to help address increased demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “Over the past few weeks, Sasol has experienced an increase in demand of nearly 400% for alcohol-based products.

South Africa
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Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) has invited bids for participation in the Premium Payment Mechanism (PPM), part of the GET FiT Program Uganda. The PPM is intended to improve the financial viability of small renewable power projects by providing a payment per kWh on top of the renewable energy feed-in tariffs approved by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).

Uganda
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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) issued its first local currency denominated bond in Zambia on 19 September. The ‘Zambezi’ bond also represents a new venture for Zambia, as the IFC is the first non-resident issuer in the country’s domestic capital markets. The IFC bond was well received by domestic investors as well as international buyers spurred on by the US Federal Reserve’s unexpected announcement a day earlier that it would not begin to taper its $85bn/month asset-purchasing programme. With a final issuance of 150m kwacha ($28.4m) – 50m kwacha higher than originally planned – the order book was over 700m kwacha, equivalent to an oversubscription of 4.8 times.

Zambia
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The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has widened its remit from a focus on war crimes to include land grabs and environmental destruction. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on 14 September published a policy paper setting out how the Office of the Prosecutor exercises its discretion in the selection and prioritisation of cases. The Rome Statute establishing the ICC stated four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, and states that its aim is to combat impunity and prevent the recurrence of violence, in conjunction with national jurisdictions.

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Eager to secure new sources of oil, Lakshmi Mittal has taken over from Tokyo Sexwale as Ophir Energy’s biggest shareholder as the company embarks on an ambitious exploration programme.

South Africa
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The Ivorian electricity supply sector has a substantial history of private sector development that is being eyed by potential entrants and existing players looking for investment opportunities in sub-Saharan generation and distribution. An eventual exit by US-headquartered private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) from Paris-based holding company Eranove (formerly Finagestion) is one potential deal that is stimulating investor interest – even though, as yet, ECP has not indicated its plans for the asset.

Côte d'Ivoire
Issue 187 - 28 May 2010

IFC to invest in new fund

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The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) is to invest in the first fund focused exclusively on lending to microfinance institutions in Africa and improving access to finance for smaller businesses.

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Denmark’s Danske Bank signed a loan agreement worth €117m ($128m) in June for the 100MW Assela wind project. The agreement is awaiting approval by Ethiopia’s parliament. Assela is backed by Denmark’s Ministry of Development Cooperation through Danish International Development Assistance (Danida), which signed an agreement to support the €146m project in 2018. Danida is providing both grants and guarantees for Danske Bank.

Ethiopia
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With commercial bank credit much diminished as a result of the global credit crunch, the use of medium- to long-term export credit agency insurance facilities to develop sub-Saharan projects in energy and other sectors looks set for an upturn, writes Kevin Godier

South Africa
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Ophir Energy said on 18 December it is turning to an alternative funding source for the Fortuna liquefied natural gas project after failing to secure a deal with a consortium of three Chinese banks. Ophir said it was prioritising a solution that would see “a leading Asian bank” provide funding of up to $1.2bn on similar commercial terms to those agreed earlier this year with the Chinese consortium

Equatorial Guinea
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is expected in July to approve its participation in the planned Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which is also supported by the Danish government through Danida

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The extent of debt, governance and macroeconomic problems confronting President Filipe Nyusi’s government was underlined by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission which visited in mid-June. Arguments continue to rage about repayment of the Ematum tuna company’s bonds – seen as confirmation of Mozambique’s market credibility when they were issued in 2013, but since revealed as a major instrument for enriching allies of ex-president Armando Guebuza. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde in May accused the government of “concealing corruption”. The UK, Portugal and other donors have suspended significant amounts of development assistance.

Mozambique
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed a senior loan worth $142m for the 100MW XiNa Solar One concentrated solar power (CSP) project. The loan includes $41.5m concessional finance from the Clean Technology Fund and will be the first independent power producer financed by the AfDB in South Africa. Finance for the $908m project is also being provided by other development finance institutions, including R500m ($47m) from the International Finance Corporation, and three South African commercial banks.

South Africa
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The development of renewable energy, especially off-grid rural electrification schemes, is a major thrust of the financing facility’s latest projects, writes François Misser in Brussels

Ghana | Congo Brazzaville | Burkina Faso | Mali
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Recently created Italian solar manufacturer MegaCell has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cairo-based Misr Asset Management (MAM) to develop a production plant making bi-facial high-efficiency solar cells and modules outside Cairo. The plant will have capacity to produce 120MW/yr of cells, and is scheduled to begin operations in June 2015. MegaCell chairman and chief executive Franco Traverso said MAM, which is owned by Misr Insurance Holding Company, was providing financing for the scheme, and would work to develop North African markets, while the Italian firm was supplying equipment and know-how.

Egypt