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Published 6th August 2015

Vol 56 No 16


Somalia

UK probes Soma’s local ties

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Corruption investigators are looking in the British oil company’s payments to individuals within the oil ministry

A secret financial report, seen by Africa Confidential, claims that the British company Soma Oil and Gas Holdings Limited has made substantial payments over the last 18 months to top officials in the Mogadishu government who influence decisions on oil and gas policy. This report was produced prior to the announcement by the Serious Fraud Office in London on 1 August that it had opened a criminal investigation into Soma's operations in Somalia.

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Fighting graft, Buhari-style

The administration’s anti-corruption campaign has yet to launch and questions are growing about the APC’s ability to deliver

Two vital promises were made during President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to Washington last month. Firstly, Nigeria would actively seek to recover some US$150 billion of stolen funds ...


Whose line is it anyway?

Two major mining companies are locked in combat over access to the railway line to export iron ore

The giant iron and steel producer ArcelorMittal has dragged Guinea and Liberia into its quarrel with Sable Mining over access to the rail export route. The line runs from Yekepa, i...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

With a cluster of key economic meetings stretched out in the last quarter of the year, Africa’s economic policymakers are grappling with two main challenges: rising youth unemployment and the falling prices of export commodities. The first two meetings – the United Nations summit on Sustainable Development goals in New York in mid-September and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in October – will address those topics head on. The third meeting, the Climate Change con...
With a cluster of key economic meetings stretched out in the last quarter of the year, Africa’s economic policymakers are grappling with two main challenges: rising youth unemployment and the falling prices of export commodities. The first two meetings – the United Nations summit on Sustainable Development goals in New York in mid-September and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in October – will address those topics head on. The third meeting, the Climate Change conference in Paris in December, will address the issues more obliquely in terms of the damage that desertification and extreme weather are doing to Africa. For jobs and export revenues to become such pressing concerns for Africa’s governments, especially those in charge of the bigger economies such as Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya, is not to ignore the past 15 years of impressive growth on the continent but to point to changing regional and international dynamics. The tempo and direction of China’s economy is changing and its appetite for raw materials diminishing. In the longer term China will want to buy more processed goods from Africa. How far African economies can take advantage of those trends will depend on both on technical skills and availability of cheap and reliable power and transport links. But for state budgets and jobseekers the lessons are clear: the commodity boom is over, probably for another decade.
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The Sampil truth

Questions remain about the nature of Sable Mining’s relationship with the government of President Alpha Condé.

Questions remain about the nature of Sable Mining’s relationship with the government of President Alpha Condé. How an inexperienced iron ore mining company with limited cash manage...


Kabila clouts Katumbi

The President wants to stop potential rivals in their tracks, something that may explain the corruption investigations of major politicians

The President’s Special Advisor for Good Governance, former Justice and Human Rights Minister Emmanuel-Janvier Luzolo Bambi Lessa, has issued a document asking Prosecutor General F...


Left and right on the Rand

The South African Competition Commission’s investigation of alleged bank manipulation of foreign exchange dealing is dividing government economic departments, Africa Confidential u...


Cracks in the ANC monolith

The alliance between ANC, communists and labour is weakening. Anti-Zuma factions seem to be carrying all before them

Eight unions in the Congress of South African Trade Unions are raising funds abroad to start a new labour-based political party and a new union federation. They want the former to ...


From East to East

Questions are multiplying about the costs and sustainability of China’s loans for the region's grand projects

It is Africa's fastest-growing trade route with Asia. Chinese investment in East Africa is rocketing as Beijing seeks access to the region's rich hydrocarbon and mineral reserves a...


How to be popular

The country was conspicuous by its absence from Obama’s East African trip, although it is key to US, Chinese and French strategy


Public sectarians

State-owned enterprises are in disarray as political appointees and managers clash. Much of it is to do with the ANC



Pointers

Mote and beemer

Egypt’s Customs Department has unilaterally raised the price of imported BMW vehicles by 18% in a move that appears intended to favour local car factories owned by the influential ...


Attack prompts security reshuffle

A presumed attempt on President Bouteflika’s life is being put to good use by intriguers in the ruling elite

The attack on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s seaside residence has resulted in the dismissal of security officers judged responsible for compromising the safety of the head of st...