The Buzz: This Week In Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $55.43 per barrel, WTI at $49.34 per barrel and natural gas at $2.88 per million BTU (beginning of day 09 October 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Renewables On-Track to Grow Exponentially in Africa

The International Energy Agency predicts off-grid solar applications will nearly triple in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2022. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia combined, the off-grid solar capacity is expected to reach over 3,000MW by 2022 with 70 million new connections to basic electricity access.

Overall, the report forecasts renewables will grow exponentially in the next five years, after a record growth in 2016. Globally, renewable capacity is expected to rise by 43 percent in the next five years.

The growth in renewables is expected to put pressure on coal and natural gas production, according to the IEA.

South Sudan, Uganda to Cooperate on Electricity

Uganda is set to provide electricity to the South Sudan border towns of Nimule, Kaya and Kajo-Keji, according to The Observer. The Ugandan and South Sudanese governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build power lines linking the border town to Uganda’s power grid. Uganda plans to extend 132kV power lines from Lira to Arua. Both countries are members of the East Africa Community, which supports cross-border electrification programs. The aim is to spur socio-economic activities and also reduce refugee flows from South Sudan into Uganda.

Aliko Dangote Accuses Tanzania of Scaring Away Investment

Aliko Dangote, owner of the Nigerian-based Dangote Group, which has a large interest in commodities throughout Africa, has accused Tanzanian President John Magufuli of scaring away foreign investors, according to the Financial Times.  Magufuli has come under fire in recent months for campaigning for and implementing aggressively nationalistic policies in the oil and gas and mining sectors. Many oil and gas and mining officials have claimed the policies go too far, and will cause foreign investment to flee the country.

“They’ve scared quite a lot of investors and scaring investors is not a good thing to do,” Dangote told the Financial Times.

Total Plans to Map Guinea Oil Blocks

Total has signed an agreement with ONAP, the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea, to map oil blocks offshore Guinea and potentially acquire three of those blocks, according to Reuters. Total has one year to complete the seismic mapping of the deep and ultra-deep blocks. The deal follows an announcement by the company to pursue offshore blocks in West Africa.

$24 Billion in Oil Deals Questioned in Nigeria

Nigeria’s oil minister, Emmanuel Kachikwu, has issued a formal complaint to President Muhammadu Buhari, claiming that no oil contracts have been submitted to the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp during the one-year tenure of the company’s Managing Director Maikanti Baru, according to Bloomberg. Contracts valued at over $20 million are to be approved by the board, according to Kachikwu. Despite the requirement, over $24 billion in oil deals has been signed without the necessary approvals, the oil minister alleges.

The NNPC denies wrongdoing.