Recent energy price hikes slowing global electricity demand sharply

The world’s electricity demand growth is slowing sharply in 2022 from its strong recovery in 2021 as economic growth weakens and energy prices soar following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These findings are according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Electricity Market Report. Global electricity demand is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2022 after last year’s 6% increase, bringing it in line with its average growth rate over the five years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new report says. While electricity demand is currently expected to continue on a similar growth path into 2023, the outlook is clouded by economic turbulence and uncertainty over how fuel prices could impact the generation mix. Strong capacity additions are set to push up global renewable power generation by more than 10% in 2022, displacing some fossil fuel generation. Despite nuclear’s 3% decline, low-carbon generation is set to rise by 7% overall, leading to a 1% drop in total fossil fuel-based generation. As a result, carbon dioxide emissions from the global electricity sector are set to decline in 2022 from the all-time high they reached in 2021, albeit by less than 1%.

Source: ESI Africa

East / Southern Africa

AfDB, COMESA sign USD550 000 grant to conduct study on developing Africa Cloud Ecosystem

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have signed a letter of agreement for a USD550 000 New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility grant to support a feasibility study for setting up an Africa Cloud Ecosystem (ACE) project. The grant will support the first phase; Market Analysis (pre-investment study) which will assess the market for the ACE project and examine the bankability of the project including testing of the concept in the COMESA region. The agreement was signed by the AfDB Zambia, country manager, Dr Raubil Durowoju and COMESA assistant secretary general, Dr Kipyego Cheluget on behalf of secretary general, Chileshe Kapwepwe, at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka, on Wednesday, 13 July 2022. “The [ACE] project will be a first of its kind, laying the foundation to facilitate the African continent to undertake this shift in the key sectors of economy, education, government, agriculture and health through the provision of a reliable ecosystem of data centres,” Dr Durowoju said.

Source: COMESA

Angola / Democratic Republic of the Congo

Angola awards USD333-million contract to Trafigura consortium to improve DRC rail link

Angola's Ministry of Transport has awarded a tender to a Trafigura consortium to operate and expand rail infrastructure to speed up commodity imports from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC, Africa's biggest copper producer, exports copper, cobalt and other metals in trucks via Tanzania or South Africa, which takes several weeks because of congestion and customs delays. As part of a 30-year concession agreement, the consortium has agreed to invest USD256-million in infrastructure, USD73-million in rolling stock and USD4.3-million on other activities to improve the Lobito corridor, Angola's transport ministry said. The Angolan transport ministry said in its statement that the improved rail corridor could contribute between USD1.6-billion and USD3.4-billion to Angola's GDP, and generate revenue for the government of around USD2.03-billion in total over 30 years. It said it would also increase competition in the logistics space by offering a viable alternative to road transportation and could lead to lower freight transport tariffs.

Source: Engineering News


Amea Power to partner with SDF for 30 MWp solar PV plant

Amea Power continues its expansion in Africa. This time, the independent power producer (IPP) based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is setting up shop in Djibouti and has won the construction of a 30 megawatt peak (MWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant. The agreement for the implementation and joint development of the project was signed on Monday, 18 July 2022, between the managers of Amea Power and Yonis Ali Guedi, the Djiboutian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. This was in the presence of the Djiboutian Head of State Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. Amea Power will develop its project in partnership with the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Djibouti. The electricity produced will be sold to the state-owned company Électricité de Djibouti under a power purchase agreement. Currently, Djibouti has an installed capacity of 126 megawatts (MW) according to Power Africa. But only 57 MW are reliably available to serve a population estimated by the World Bank at 988 000 and its main industries. Recently, however, the government has decided to exploit Djibouti’s renewable energy potential, relying on IPPs.

Source: AFRIK 21

Ethiopia / Malta

Ethiopia, Malta keen on cementing bilateral ties

Ethiopia and Malta are keen on strengthening and cementing bilateral ties and cooperation, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen conferred with Ambassador of Malta to Ethiopia, Ronald Micallef, on ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The deputy prime minister appreciated the government of Malta for recently opening its embassy in Ethiopia which paved the way to further deepen ties between the two countries. He stressed the need to explore the potentials of both countries for mutual benefits, noting that Malta is a gateway between Africa and Europe. The deputy prime minister further congratulated the Republic of Malta on joining the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member for 2023/2024 and expressed hope that Malta would play a positive role in world peace and stability during its mandate in the UNSC. Ambassador Micallef on his part reiterated that his country views Ethiopia as one of the vital nations in Africa that is reflected through the opening of its embassy in Addis Ababa. The two countries would reap benefits through bolstering their economic and development cooperation, particularly in trade, investment and education, he noted.

Source: ENA


Ghana to sign USD3.2-billion railway project deal with Thelo DB consortium

Ghana's government will soon sign an agreement with Thelo DB consortium for a USD3.2-billion project to develop and make operational its Western Railway Line, the company said in a statement recently. Thelo DB is a South African railway entity incorporated between Thelo Ventures, an African industrial company, and Germany's Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting (DB). The Thelo DB consortium also includes Ghanaian partner Transtech Consult. Ghana's Western Railway Line runs a total of 339 km (210 miles) from Takoradi Port to Kumasi, but only 66 km is operational, according to the website of Ghana's Ministry of Railways Development, where it is listed as a priority project. Two mines are on the route, including the Ghana Manganese Mine at Nsuta and a bauxite mine at Awaso, which used to use the railway until it collapsed, according to the ministry. The line also goes through Ghana's cocoa-growing regions and cocoa used to be transported in significant quantities by rail but has not been since 2006. Transportation of cement, mining equipment and petroleum will also benefit from construction of the rail line, the ministry added.

Source: Reuters

Ghana / Burkina Faso

Ghana and Burkina Faso to promote trade and commerce

Ghana and Burkina Faso, through their respective Chambers of Commerce and Industry, seek to promote trade and commerce through exhibition of products in Accra. The five-day event, scheduled for 27 September to - 2 October 2022, will focus on creating a platform and opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises and small and medium-scale industries of both countries. The event would not only showcase Burkinabe products but bring together government officials, investors and private sector players to create conditions for a harmonious integration of Burkina Faso’s economy with special attention on tourism and culture, commerce, and economic sectors. This was said during the launch of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Burkina Faso Trade Fair on the theme Strengthening economic and trade partnership between Burkina Faso and Ghana: which synergies of actions in the current context of the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Mr Pingrenoma Zagre, the ambassador of Burkina Faso to Ghana, who launched the fair, said the event would not only strengthen economic and business ties but create a platform for learning and exchange of knowledge.

Source: News Ghana


IMF Executive Board completes Third Reviews of ECF and EFF arrangements for Kenya providing a USD235.6-million disbursement

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the Third reviews under the 38-month arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements. The board’s decision allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR179.13-million (about USD235.6-million), usable for budget support, bringing Kenya’s total disbursements for budget support so far to about USD1 208.2-million. Kenya’s EFF/ECF arrangements for a total of SDR1.655-billion (305% of quota or about USD2.34-billion at the time of programme approval on 2 April 2021) aim to support Kenya’s programme to address debt vulnerabilities, the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and global shocks resulting from the war in Ukraine, as well as to improve governance and support broader economic reforms. Kenya’s economy has rebounded strongly in a challenging environment and is projected to grow 5.7% in 2022. Inflation moved above the Central Bank of Kenya’s official target band of 2.5% to 7.5% in June and is expected to peak this year before easing back within the band in early 2023.

Source: IMF

Kenya / South Africa

Kenya Airways, South Africa carrier sign codeshare deal

South African Airways (SAA) has inked a codeshare agreement with Kenya Airways (KQ) on flights to and from their home countries in a bid to increase their reach. The deal, which became effective immediately, will see each airline sell, under its own code, flights operated by each other while travellers will combine flight segments and baggage on a single ticket. The pact will also give passengers travelling out of South Africa more options to travel to African destinations, including Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Mombasa and Kisumu. KQ passengers, on the other hand, will have more choices for travel into Southern Africa, including Cape Town, Durban and Harare immediately. The growth of the partnership, the two airlines said, will see the addition of Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Douala, Lusaka, Ghana and Nigeria, subject to government approval as the two carriers seek to offer more options for travellers within Africa. “We are very pleased to implement the codeshare with SAA, which offers our shared customers more options and flight combinations,’’ Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways CEO and group managing director, said.

Source: The EastAfrican


Mauritania to launch tender for multi-million Nouadhibou deepwater port

The government of Mauritania is set to launch a tender for the development of a deepwater port in the country’s second-largest city, Nouadhibou, by the end of 2022. Following the cancellation of previous negotiations for the development with China Harbour Engineering Company in 2019, the Mauritanian government, through the Agence pour la Promotion des Investissements en Mauritanie (APIM), is set to prioritise the construction of the deepwater port of Nouadhibou to boost trading for economic and GDP growth. With new economic opportunities rising for Mauritania at the back of recent large-scale gas discoveries including the Grande Tortue Ahmeyim and the BirAllah ultra-deepwater conventional projects, as well as increased focus on exploration and monetisation of oil, iron ore, uranium, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, the deepwater port provides an opportunity for improved trading with international markets such as Europe and America. With APIM already initiating talks with potential investors for financing of the USD323-million project during meetings held in Paris and Abidjan, the government is now awaiting the release of two reports to analyse the technical and financial feasibility of the project to commence with the launch of the tender.

Source: Energy Capital & Power


AfDB, Green Growth Knowledge Partnership and WWF host dialogue on mainstreaming natural capital for a green economy

The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), have hosted a dialogue to revalidate Mozambique’s commitment to mainstreaming its natural capital to spur the transition to a green economy. Mozambique, alongside Tanzania, was selected as a pilot country, for applying a natural capital approach in investment processes. The national dialogue titled: Africa Green Economy Conference: Innovative Pathways for a Nature Positive Future from Policy, Business and Finance, took place on 29 June under the Natural Capital for African Development Finance initiative and the Economics for Nature programme. Participants explored opportunities for developing public policy that values better Mozambique's unique natural capital assets, which are vital to ensuring a robust, inclusive recovery and the transition to a nature-positive economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. In Mozambique, the natural capital assessment focuses on the Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor, which the government has targeted for developing a special agro-industrial processing zone, with support from the AfDB.

Source: AfDB


Central bank working to regulate virtual assets

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) governor, Johannes !Gawaxab recently said the country is working to regulate virtual assets and a framework for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. “A technical committee has been established between the Bank of Namibia and [the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA)] to develop a prudential licensing and regulatory framework for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The committee is charged with developing a prudential licensing and regulatory framework, and until such a time that it is finalised and operationalised, the public remains cautioned to be careful when investing in virtual assets, as there is no protection should funds so invested be forfeited,” !Gawaxab said. The BoN is researching cryptos from currencies to assets to finalise the country’s position !Gawaxab said, adding that the bank has in the meantime introduced a fintech framework or sandbox environment, which allows any innovative entrepreneurs to approach the bank for consideration of approval to operate their business models in such a controlled and investigative environment before being granted permission to engage with the public.

Source: Namibia Economist


Nigeria's NNPC sees IPO launch mid next year, CEO says

State-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be ready to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the middle of next year, its group CEO said recently after the firm formally became a commercial company known as NNPC Ltd. "We are convinced that by the middle of next year, this company will be IPO ready, which means that you have the system, processes, and a company that is accountable to its stakeholders and shareholders," Mele Kyari told reporters in Abuja. As a commercial entity, NNPC Ltd will no longer have recourse to state funds. Its shares and assets, including oil blocs and refineries are now held by the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance. Junior Minister of Petroleum Timpire Sylva said that NNPC Ltd will operate as a profitable entity that would declare dividends.

Source: Reuters

Somalia / Kenya

Somalia, Kenya ink deals on khat, aviation as relations warm

The presidents of Somalia and Kenya have signed a range of deals, including one to restart trade of the stimulant khat, the countries' foreign ministers said, in a sign of improving diplomatic relations. The two neighbours are together battling an al Qaida-linked insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians in the last decade. Somalia's leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, inked deals with his counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi during his first official trip to Kenya's capital since winning the presidency in May, the countries' foreign ministers said in a joint statement. The presidents agreed to restart flights by Kenya's national carrier Kenya Airways to Mogadishu, resume the khat trade from Kenya to Somalia, ease some visa restrictions, and re-open the border, the statement said. The leaders agreed to work together with regional and international aid bodies to help mitigate the impact of the drought and coordinate efforts in the "fight against terrorism", the statement said.

Source: Reuters


IMF Executive Board approves a 40-month, USD1 046.4-million ECF arrangement for Tanzania

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a 40-month extended arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Tanzania, with access equivalent to SDR795.58 (200% of quota, equivalent to USD1 046.4-million). The board’s approval allows for an immediate disbursement equivalent to USD151.7-million. The ECF arrangement follows fund emergency support to Tanzania in 2021 (100% of quota, equivalent to USD561.5-million). The arrangement is expected to catalyse additional bilateral and multilateral financial support. Spillovers from the war in Ukraine are stalling the Tanzanian economy’s gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating the country’s development and reform challenges to unleash its economic potential. The ECF arrangement is centred on supporting the economic recovery from the scarring effects of COVID-19 and coping with spillovers from the war in Ukraine; preserving macroeconomic stability; and advancing the structural reform agenda toward sustainable and inclusive growth. The programme draws from the key priorities of the government’s five-year National Development Plan. IMF financial support is also expected to help stimulate private sector investment and catalyse financial support from development partners.

Source: IMF


Uganda’s executives globetrot to drum up investor appetite for USD4-billion oil refinery

Uganda government officials have been racking up air miles between Entebbe, Italy and the United States to strike a financing deal for the USD4-billion refinery project. Government officials admit that the refinery project has fallen behind others and will likely come on-stream late in 2027 at the earliest if the necessary financing is tied up and the pending technical studies concluded sooner. As a result, local players that were primed to take up equity in the project as well as regional countries that expressed interest in the refinery that was sold as an East African Community venture, remain non-committal, citing the project’s failure to take shape since 2018, when it was awarded to a consortium of investors. Potential investors say they remain open to discussions with the government, but without an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) structure, the refinery remains an unbankable project. “The problem is that the refinery doesn’t have a structure yet – an EPC structure,” said Richard Byarugaba, managing director of the National Social Security Fund, a UGX14-trillion (USD3.68-billion) fund that the government approached in 2015 to take up stake in the project.

Source: The EastAfrican