The Week That Was – 20th November 2020

23 Nov 2020

The Week That Was is a weekly recap of all major events that took place in Africa last week.

Central Africa

  • VAALCO Energy announced that it has acquired Sasol’s 27.8 percent stake in the Etame Marin block offshore Gabon for $44 million.  The deal also includes Sasol’s 40 percent stake in offshore block DE-8. This transaction takes Vaalco’s stake in the Etame Marin block to 58.8 percent.
  • The global public health community celebrated the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) outbreak in Equateur Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Eastern Africa

  • The government of Ethiopia plans to sell a minority stake in Ethio Telecoms before July 2021.  It will also start the tendering process in December for two new telecom licenses.
  • Kenya Railways launched a rail link between the city centre and the Jomo Kenyata International Airport (JKIA).
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Kenya’s Treasury announced that the government in in need of $690 million of debt relief and will take up an offer to defer repayment of some of its debts.  This step risks the country’s credit rating of being downgraded as a result.
  • The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved an immediate disbursement of about US$10 million to Somalia.  This brings Somalia’s total disbursements to about US$365.5 million.
  • The IMF board also approved a $52.3 million loan to South Sudan to help with its urgent balance of payments.
  • The Bank of Tanzania has placed China Commercial Bank Limited under statutory administration taking control of the bank.  The decision was taken as the bank failed to maintain the minimum required capital by law.  The Bank of Tanzania said a decision on the correct course of action will be taking within 90 days and ensured customers their deposits will be secured.
  • A high-powered delegation led by the Saudi Ministry of State for African affairs visited Zimbabwe to scout for investment opportunities.  The delegation was most interested in mining and agriculture sectors.

Northern Africa

  • The executive board of the IMF has agreed to disburse a further $1.6 billion to Egypt after a review as part of a $5.2 billion financing agreement.
  • Egypt has awarded 11 companies 82 concessions for mineral exploration.  AKH Gold, Barrick Gold, Centamin and Red Sea Resources were among the successful bidders.
  • Elections in Libya will take place in December 2021.  This was announced during talks in Tunisia aiming at establishing an executive authority that can arrange and oversee elections.
  • The government of Sudan announced a plan to offer concession for 27 oil blocks.  24 of these are onshore whilst the rest are offshore blocks.

Southern Africa

  • Canadian based Osino Resources has announced significant gold discoveries at its Twin Hills Gold Project in Namibia.
  • At South Africa’s annual investment conference, commitments of more than $7 billion were made.  The largest pledge was made by the New Development Bank of the BRICS group of nations.

Western Africa

  • Perenco SA is looking to acquire a controlling stake in block CI-11 in Ivory Coast, currently operated by a consortium that includes the national oil company Petroci. If the deal proceeds, Perenco will hold a 51 per cent stake and controlling rights to the block.
  • The European Union has disclosed that it has spent more than €260 million to provide access to clean water and sanitation to more than 10 million Nigerians.
  • Moody’s investor services announced that Nigeria’s infrastructure is running behind other emerging markets and requires $3 Trillion over the next 30 years for infrastructure development to close the current deficit.

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