Archives: Energy and Natural Resources

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The US-Africa Business Forum: Investing in solar energy

Next week, the Second U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be taking place on the occasion of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. The Forum will focus in particular on several sectors that are important to African economies and offer trade and investment opportunities on the continent, including infrastructure and energy. This piece explores the theme of  energy as an increasingly attractive … Continue Reading

Agreement in principle announced for an EU regime on conflict minerals

In a so-called “trilogue” meeting on June 16, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, and the European Commission reached a “political” agreement on the key elements of a regulation that would implement a due diligence and reporting regime for conflict minerals imported in the EU. It has taken more than three years since the … Continue Reading

African Development Bank Group Annual Meetings Energize Africa

The theme of this year’s African Development Bank (AfDB) meetings, which ran from May 23rd to the 27th, was timely and necessary: “Energy and Climate Change.” In the first day of the meetings, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina announced the AfDB Group agenda for the continent’s economic transformation, which includes The New Deal on Energy for … Continue Reading

Diamond (Mines) Are Not Forever

In the last week of February, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe announced that all privately owned diamond mines would be nationalized and taken over by the newly created state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co. The move affected six primarily Chinese companies. This decision is in keeping with the larger nationalization plan for mines that the President announced … Continue Reading

How Mozambique Can Realize IMF’s Recent Predictions of Exponential Economic Growth

Early last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) caught the attention of investors when it issued a report predicting that Mozambique’s average economic growth rate between 2021-2025 could reach as high as 24 percent per annum and liquefied natural gas projects (LNG) could reach more than 50 percent of the country’s nominal output by the … Continue Reading

AfDB President Launches “New Deal on Energy in Africa”

New African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina chose last week’s World Economic Forum at Davos for the official launch of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, along with a Transformative Partnership for Energy in Africa (TPEA).  While a candidate for the AfDB president position a year ago, Adesina placed energy at the top … Continue Reading

Climate negotiation scorecard: how did Africa fare at the COP 21?

The outcome of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC, which came to a close just over a week ago in Paris, was generally a positive one for Africa. While, of course, the continent represents a wide range of interests when it comes to climate change, African countries have developed an increasingly unified voice over … Continue Reading

Africa’s long road to Paris

As the UNFCCC’s twenty-first Conference of Parties (COP) gets underway in Paris today to negotiate a post-2020 international climate treaty, it is time to recognize that African countries have come a long way in the global climate negotiations process. In the earlier days, climate change was portrayed as a scientific problem for so-called “developed” countries … Continue Reading

What the Home Battery Could Mean for Africa

The African continent is revolutionizing itself as the place where no infrastructure is no problem.  This began in the telecommunications field: Africa lacks a robust system of landlines, which traditionally enable better access to desktop computers, online services, and financial institutions.  But the emergence of cellular telephony has allowed individuals across Africa to bypass this … Continue Reading

Anatomy of a Nigerian Oil Scandal: Audit of National Oil Company Fuels Momentum for Sectoral Reform

After months of speculation and mounting pressure, it’s finally here: the government of Nigeria has released the long-awaited PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s national oil company. It’s not often that the release of a highly technical accounting report makes the headlines—much less grabs the attention of millions—but … Continue Reading

European Parliament Divided on Conflict Minerals Regime

Background On April 14, 2015, the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament adopted amendments (by 22 votes to 16, and 2 abstentions) on the European Commission’s proposal for an EU conflict minerals regime published in March 2014. The INTA vote followed a compromise reached among three of the main political groups of … Continue Reading

World Investors Eye Egypt’s Future

Is the world ready to invest in Egypt? After years of a stagnating economy and political uncertainty, the results from last month’s Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) suggest that investors are taking a fresh look at what could be a new landscape for economic prosperity in the country.  To better understand the results and impact … Continue Reading

European Parliament considering highly restrictive conflict minerals regime

Recent developments in the European Parliament threaten to make compliance with the future EU conflict minerals regime extremely complicated for companies that require tin, tantalum, tungsten, their ores or gold. Background The European Commission was encouraged to propose a European regime which would emulate the US Dodd Frank 1502 legislation in order to discourage the … Continue Reading

Nigerian Court of Appeal Allows Third Party to Challenge Arbitration Award

In the recently published Abuja Court of Appeal case of Statoil (Nigeria) Limited & Anor v. Federal Inland Revenue Service & Anor ((2014) LPELR-23144(CA)) (“Statoil”) dated 13 June 2014,  the Nigerian court held that a third party had locus standi to challenge an arbitration agreement to which it was not a party. This decision has … Continue Reading

AU-UN Report Reveals Startling Illicit Financial Flows in Africa

A new, comprehensive report published by the African Union’s high-level panel on illicit financial flows and the United Nations economic commission for Africa (Uneca) concludes that Africa loses more than $50 billion every year to illicit financial flows (IFFs).  The report, entitled Illicit Financial Flows, represents the first African initiative of its kind, and is … Continue Reading

Accelerating the Use of Geothermal Power in East Africa

Last week, London-based firm EnergyNet held its “Powering Africa Summit” in Washington.  The Summit, opened by U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz, attracted project developers, equipment suppliers, financiers, the U.S. Government’s Power Africa team, and African government officials. Unfortunately, due to the African Union Summit that was being held at the same time in Ethiopia, no … Continue Reading

Ghana Achieves “Zero Hunger”

Ghanaian officials announced this month that Ghana has achieved “zero hunger,” and are crediting this success to some of the policies of former Ghanaian president John Kufuor.  The Zero Hunger Challenge — a UN initiative that is supported by various Non-Governmental Organizations and foundations — aims to eliminate hunger through investments in agriculture, rural development, … Continue Reading

Solar Investment Booms in Sub-Saharan Africa

According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, two out of three sub-Saharan Africans, approximately 600 million people, do not have access to electricity, instead relying on costly, environmentally unfriendly, and unhealthy forms of energy such as diesel generators and kerosene lamps and stoves.  With many sub-Saharan African countries receiving a high number of days … Continue Reading

With Billions in New Pledges, Power Africa Gains More Power

A little over a year after President Obama first announced Power Africa, the Administration has released the Power Africa Annual Report.  According to the Annual Report, the initiative has “helped facilitate the financial close of transactions which expect to produce nearly 2,800 MW of new generation capacity — more than 25% of the 10,000 MW … Continue Reading

NEPAD Summit Introduces Flagship Infrastructure Projects Just Before The Anticipated U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

From June 14-15, African leaders, businesses and investors gathered for the Dakar Finance Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure–organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)–to discuss the financing of major national and regional infrastructure projects.  The Summit’s hallmark feature was the creation of the Dakar Agenda for Action (DAA), which acknowledges African states’ desire to … Continue Reading

Electrify Africa Act Affirms Broad U.S. Support for Investment in Power Sector

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electrify Africa Act of 2014, confirming the existence of a broad, bi-partisan consensus in favor of supporting U.S. direct investment in Africa’s energy sector.  The bill, which now heads to the Senate, seeks to establish a “comprehensive United States Government policy to encourage the efforts of … Continue Reading

Wildlife Conservation Efforts Spark Public-Private Partnerships in Africa

           Throughout Africa, governments and private organizations are partnering to conserve Africa’s endangered wildlife.  Wildlife conservation’s appeal stems not only from ideals of social responsibility, but also from diverse economic interests.  These interests stimulate a variety of business partnerships, including public-private ones, in Africa’s wildlife conservation. The Economics of Conservation             African nations are among the fastest-growing economies in … Continue Reading
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