Corporate Council on Africa’s latest news updates

 

 

(Posted 18th January 2023)

 

CCA MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Congo awards Lake Kivu gas blocks to U.S. and Canadian producers
Reuters
DRC has awarded licences to three natural gas blocks in Lake Kivu on its eastern border, with some production expected to start as early as next year, the hydrocarbons ministry said on Monday. The Makelele block was awarded to RED, a local subsidiary of United States-based Symbion Power, the ministry said. The Idjwi block went to another U.S. company, Winds Exploration and Production LLC. The Lwandjofu block was won by Canada-based Alfajiri Energy…. Read more>>

 

U.S.-AFRICA RELATIONS

The United States Releases Signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to Strengthen Electric Vehicle Battery Value Chain
U.S. Department of State
Today, the Department of State released the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on electric vehicle battery value chains signed by the United States on December 13, 2022, during the Africa Leaders Summit.  Through this MOU, the United States will support the commitment between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to develop jointly a supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.  The MOU supports the DRC and Zambia’s goal of building a productive supply chain, from the mine to the assembly line, while also committing to respect international standards to prevent, detect, and take legal action to fight corruption throughout this process…. Read more>>

In Africa, the US is “Recalibrating” to counter drivers of instability
defenceWeb
Applying the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement has always been described as a marathon, not a sprint. This has proven true as no commercially significant trade has occurred under the deal since its launch on 1 January 2021 due to negotiation delays….. Read more>>

Ubuntu could help push Africa’s free trade agenda
Institute for Security Studies
“The US has recalibrated its approach. We will not only seek to empower the African continent in the field of security, development, and governance, but we will also strive to help them address the drivers of instability and conflict to meet the ambition and promise of Africa.” This is according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for African Affairs, Chidi Blyden, who was speaking in Washington in December. She explained how US-Africa security ties are being revamped, with the recent US-Africa summit being one way to understand African challenges….. Read more>>

AGRIBUSINESS

An energy crisis is seeping into South Africa’s food supply
Bloomberg
The most severe power cuts ever experienced in South Africa are threatening food and water supplies and disrupting the lives of millions of people, including chicken farmers. In the poultry industry, electricity outages have forced factories to pause round-the-clock operations for as long as half a day at a time. As a result, over 10 million birds designated for slaughter are still alive and consuming feed, creating a backlog that companies fear they won’t be able to fix…. Read more>>

ENERGY

South Africa’s energy crisis deepens as blackouts hit 12 hours a day
CNN
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced this week to cancel a trip to Davos by an escalating energy crisis that is inflicting rolling blackouts on the continent’s most developed economy. Ramaphosa swapped his trip to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland for emergency meetings on the “ongoing energy crisis,” his spokesperson Vincent Magwenya posted on Twitter on Monday. South Africans have endured power cuts for years but 2022 was the worst on record with 205 days of rolling blackouts…. Read more>>

Zambia signs $2 billion solar power development pact with UAE
Bloomberg
Zambia and the UAE signed a $2 billion agreement to build solar plants in the southern African country that will increase its generation base by more than half. The joint venture between Zambia’s state-owned power utility, Zesco, and a UAE government-owned renewable energy company, Masdar, targets the development of 2,000 megawatts of solar power projects, President Hakainde Hichilema said in a statement on his Facebook page…. Read more>>

African activists cast doubt over climate talks’ credibility
AP
Climate activists in Africa are expressing anger toward the United Nations climate agency, accusing it of allowing corporations and individuals with dubious climate credentials to greenwash their polluting activities by participating in its annual climate conference. The criticism follows Thursday’s announcement that oil executive Sultan al-Jaber will lead the next round of U.N. climate talks, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates beginning in late November…. Read more>>

HEALTH

An energy crisis is seeping into South Africa’s food supply
Bloomberg
The most severe power cuts ever experienced in South Africa are threatening food and water supplies and disrupting the lives of millions of people, including chicken farmers. In the poultry industry, electricity outages have forced factories to pause round-the-clock operations for as long as half a day at a time. As a result, over 10 million birds designated for slaughter are still alive and consuming feed, creating a backlog that companies fear they won’t be able to fix… Read more>>

Global push to treat HIV leaves children behind
The New York Times
The stories the mothers tell when they gather at the Awendo Health Centre in western Kenya are a catalog of small failures, missed opportunities and devastating consequences. What unites the two dozen or so women who meet periodically, on wooden benches in a bare clinic room or under a tree in the courtyard, is their children: All have H.I.V. It has been two decades since efforts to prevent the transmission of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, from mother to child during pregnancy and birth began in earnest in sub-Saharan Africa…. Read more>>

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Africa will get a new $1 billion spaceport in Djibouti
Quartz
Africa could soon get a new spaceport after Djibouti signed a partnership deal with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology to build a facility to launch satellites and rockets in the northern Obock region. According to the preliminary deal, the Djibouti government will “provide the necessary land (minimum 10 sq km and with a term of not less than 35 years) and all the necessary assistance to build and operate the Djiboutian Spaceport.” The $1 billion spaceport project will also involve the construction of a port facility, a power grid and a highway to ensure the reliable transportation of aerospace materials…. Read more>>

Somalia to issue first new banknotes in more than three decades
Bloomberg
Somalia’s central bank aims to replace the only high-value currency note still in use by next year to deal with counterfeit bills, excess cash in circulation and inflation. The redesigned 1,000-shilling notes will replace those printed before the civil war broke out in 1991, central bank Deputy Governor Ali Yasin Wardheere said in an interview in Mogadishu, the capital…. Read more>>

IMF executive board approves $240 mln disbursement to Uganda
Rueters
The IMF said on Tuesday its executive board approved two reviews of a financing agreement with Uganda that allow for the immediate release of about $240 million to the East African country. In December, Uganda and IMF staff had reached an agreement for the combined second and third reviews of its 36-month Extended Credit Facility, paving the way for the release of the financing, which brings total disbursements under the arrangement launched in June 2021 to $625 million…. Read more>>

Ghana-based aid and advocacy groups call for debt cancellation amid crisis
Reuters
More than two dozen aid and campaign groups called on Wednesday for international creditors to cancel a large portion of Ghana’s debts as it struggles to contend with an economic crisis. Ghana’s consumer inflation rose to 54.1% year-on-year in December, driven by rising fuel, utilities and food costs. International reserves have dwindled to less than two months of import cover. “The people of Ghana have suffered extensively from the crisis,” the groups, which all have operations in Ghana, said in an open letter…. Read more>>

ICT

Facebook tops in marketing use in Africa
Nation
Facebook retained its lead as the most used social media platform for marketing in Africa, according to findings of a new survey by media monitoring and analysis firm Meltwater…. Read more>>

In Africa, FTX Posed as Haven From Tumbling Currencies, Inflation
The Wall Street Journal
Weeks before cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, dozens of young Nigerians in skintight dresses and brightly colored suits shimmied under limbo bars, posed for photos in front of the company’s logo and sipped expensive liquor at a swanky beachfront venue…. Read more>>

Elon Musk’s tech firm eyes Kenya entry by June
The East African
Elon Musk’s satellite Internet firm Starlink announced it will launch in Kenya in the second quarter of this year, posing competition to other players in the industry including Safaricom and Zuku. The billionaire technology entrepreneur’s company announced it is “pending service coverage or regulatory approval”. Kenyans, however, can order and deposit an amount of Ksh12,260 ($99) which is fully refundable to get the service if approved…. Read more>>

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