Sonangol’s complex relationship with the Presidential office has created a de facto parallel government. Over the years it has operated outwith the traditional remit of a national oil company, exercising undue political and economic influence to the benefit of a select few. However, a combination of low global oil prices and restructuring will likely serve to finally curb its influence.
Under pressure to maintain Ethiopia’s economic growth, the government is keen to attract increased investment in its nascent manufacturing sector. A growing consumer market, a stable economy, and a large and relatively cheap labour pool, is an equation that is bound to attract interest from companies across the globe.
Italian oil company Eni’s most significant natural gas discovery off the coast of Mozambique in 2011 has served to strengthen both economic and commercial relations between the two countries. With both keen to take advantage of the burgeoning relationship, Italian investments in Mozambique are only expected to increase over the coming years.
Free Article
While ostensibly stepping down from his position as President of Angola, President Jose dos Santos has managed to amass a considerable power base over the years and will remain a highly influential figure in Angola’s political and business spheres. His successor, Lourenço can be viewed as a guarantor of smooth transition. He is a loyalist who is not expected to bring about significant political or economic change in the short term.
The Senate’s passing of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill is a small, but significant, step towards the long-awaited restructuring of Nigeria’s troubled oil and gas industry. It is through the PIGB that the government hopes to open up the sector to more and better business opportunities through increased transparency, better accountability and clearer regulations.
The actors and transit routes involved in the DRC-Dubai gold trade raise suspicion; not least because estimates suggest that 70% of all DRC gold reaches Dubai. Those who stand to benefit may have little incentive to enforce a crackdown. Understanding the nuances of the DRC-Dubai trade route should be a priority for sector stakeholders.
Investment and religious connections have emerged as the driving forces behind the Gulf’s relationship with Africa. Qatar, lacking its neighbours’ religious, cultural and economic connections to the continent, appears to have been less effective in garnering African support.
In a matter of weeks, the introduction of three new laws has completely changed the legal and regulatory landscape of Tanzania’s extractives industry, risking the country’s reputation as one of Africa’s most attractive investment destinations. As Acacia has discovered, this emerging environment is not a welcome one.
Free Article
Nigeria has become one of Turkey’s most important providers of liquid natural gas (LNG), and with the LNG industry in both countries gaining increasing prominence, LNG trade between the two is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.
President Lungu’s increasingly authoritarian actions have attracted concerns over Zambia’s democracy. There are indications that the recent declaration of a state of threatened emergency could be a mere ploy to stifle the increasingly vocal opposition.
A shortage of reliable power in Ghana continues to be a major obstacle for potential investors, but as the new government attempts to make good on its promise to develop the economy and attract investment, solving the power crisis is becoming a priority.
With President Kabila and his close circle of allies retaining tight control over industrial mining in the DRC, it is vital that foreign investors learn how to navigate networks of exposed political elite and their various gatekeepers. Shadow Governance’s new report on mining in the DRC details the key power plays and power players.