Nigeria will continue to cooperate with Algeria

Receiving the Algerian Ambassador, Belkacem Smaili, in a farewell audience at State House, Abuja, Thursday, the President said he looked forward to the establishment of gas pipelines, trans-Atlantic road, and fibre optic between the two countries.

He said the outgoing Ambassador was already "an authority on Nigeria," having spent over six years here, and witnessed two administrations.

Ambassador Smaili described Nigeria as "home," and wished "prosperity and wellbeing for Nigerians," as they go into the Next Level.

He said he also looked forward to a more robust relationship between Algeria and Nigeria.

Source: Premium Times

Angola

Sonangol and Total seek creation of JV

Angola’s state-owned oil firm Sonangol and French TOTAL intend to create a joint venture to operate in the distribution and trade of crude oil byproducts, as well as in the production of solar energy.

Angolan Competition Regulator Authority (ARC) on Tuesday said it is assessing the impact that Sonangol/TOTAL fusion could generate on competitors.

Inocêncio Muachingue, head of ARC Concentration Control Department, said the assessment process is still being conducted, but a decision will be made soon.

ARC official also underscored that since Sonangol already operates in the logistic chain, distribution, trade and byproducts market, it needs to assess whether there will be no hindrances or if the two firms can be aligned in terms of strategy.

ARC is responsible for the application of the law on competition and tackle abuse and monopoly.

Source: ANGOP

Democratic Republic of Congo

Obasanjo urges DRC to invest in Agriculture to help Africa Cut USD50-billion food import bill

Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday called on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to invest in agriculture and particularly cassava, soybean, cowpea and plantain to help Africa cut down annual food imports that is estimated at $50billion.

Mr Obasanjo spoke during the official inauguration of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Kalambo research station in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the country's President, Felix Tshisekedi.

The research station is named "The President Olusegun Obasanjo Research Station", in honour of the ex-President who is also the IITA Goodwill Ambassador.

Source: Premium Times

Mozambique

Mozambique’s EDM signs contracts for northern power line

Mozambique’s publicly-owned electricity company, EDM, on Tuesday signed contracts with Indian and Spanish companies for the construction of the first phase of a high voltage transmission line from the Chimuara sub-station in Zambezia province to the northern port of Nacala.

Phase One will carry the power from Chimuara to Alto Molocue in Upper Zambezia, and will be financed to the tune of 200 million US dollars by the Islamic Development Bank.

But a further 400 million dollars must be mobilised for the rest of the line. Phase two will run from Alto Molocue to Namialo, in Nampula province, and phase three will cover the final stretch from Namialo to Nacala.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique

Nigeria

Nigeria to increase taxes on deepwater oil production

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday his government is pushing for a quick amendment of fiscal terms in existing production sharing contracts between foreign oil producers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which could see tax credit received by the foreign companies scrapped and royalty payments increased.

Buhari, while submitting a budget proposal of Naira 10.73 trillion ($33.8 billion) for 2020 to the parliament, said the review of the PSCs had become necessary to shore up government revenue that has been hit by the decline in oil output and the slump in global crude prices.

The 2020 budget which was based on oil production of 2.18 million b/d — compared with a target of 2.3 million b/d for this year, the president said — was adopted as a more realistic projection after Nigerian output has averaged only 1.86 million b/d so far this year.

The government’s bid to earn more revenue this year from proceeds from restructuring its equity interest in joint ventures with foreign partners also failed to materialize, Buhari added.

Source: S&P Global Platts

Nigeria

Nigeria eyes larger share of USD11.5-trillion global digital economy

Nigeria is gunning for a larger share of USD11.5-trillion global digital economy fund, and investors, especially ICT investors, will be highly needed in this pursuit, the Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has said.

Dr. Pantami also said Nigeria's economy was already marching towards greatness and that any potential investor who failed to invest in the country now would regret.

The minister said this during the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Wednesday.

Source: Daily Trust

Nigeria

IMF backs Buhari on VAT increase

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said the recent decision by the Nigerian government to raise the Value Added Tax by 50 per cent holds positive prospects for the country's economy.

The IMF in an end-of-mission statement on Wednesday, said although the country's economic outlook under the current administration's policies remains challenging, the increment of the VAT rate from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent is a step in the right direction.

Source: Premium Times

Rwanda

10 fresh deals signed between Rwanda and Japanese tech companies

The recent seventh Tokyo International Conference of Africa Development (TICAD7) allowed a successful connection between Rwandan tech companies and counterparts in Japan.

The conference, which was chaired by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, was attended by President Paul Kagame and 25 other African head of states, as well as high level delegates from African countries, private sectors, civil societies, and International Organisations.

Among the Rwandan delegation was a group of 26 ICT companies' representatives, who sought to enter agreements with Japanese and African businesses to tap into various opportunities. All of the representatives have returned to Rwanda with either a Memorandum of Understanding or other variant of business agreements.

Source: New Times

Sudan

Cabinet outlaws mercury, cyanide in mining

Sudan's Council of Ministers has issued directives calling an immediate halt to the use of toxic mercury and cyanide in mining operations in Sudan following mass protests in South Kordofan and elsewhere in the country.

At its Periodical Meeting in Khartoum today, headed by Prime Minister Hamdok, the ministers directed that usage of mercury and cyanide has to be stopped immediately in mining operations. The council also ordered amendment of the agreements with companies working in the field of mining.

Source: Radio Dabanga

Zimbabwe

Government and Uganda upgrade relations

President Mnangagwa and his Ugandan counterpart President Yoweri Museveni have agreed to form a joint permanent commission that will enforce cooperation between the two countries on a number of economic sectors and fully implement already existing agreements.

The agreement saw Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Professor Amon Murwira and his Ugandan counterpart Minister Sam Kutesa signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form the joint commission before the two leaders at State House here.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr Kutesa said the two Heads of State discussed and reviewed the state of bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Uganda and observed that although a number of agreements and MoUs had been signed between the two countries, they had not been adequately implemented.

He said the two countries stood to benefit from cooperation around mining, tourism, agriculture, investment, education and air services.

Source: The Herald

Zimbabwe

Electricity price shoots up

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has given greenlight to State power supplier Zesa to increase electricity tariffs by over 400%.

According to Zera the increase has been necessitated by the depreciation of the local dollar against major currencies and this will see electricity jump from $38.61c/kwh to 162.16c/kwh.

"The authority analyzed the current situation characterised by about 18 hours of load shedding on most consumer groups, the high cost of alternative energy supplies, the deterioration of the tariff being charged against what is being deemed cost reflective," Ester Khosa Zera board chairperson said.

"Due to the non-cost reflectivity of the tariff, the utility had not been able to supply enough power to the productive sectors leading to long hours of load shedding."

Zera added that the increase in tariffs, is expected to improve Zimbabwe's power supply position.

Source: New Zimbabwe