East Africa: Reykjavik Energy

(HornTrade) -  “In East Africa utilisation of the geothermal potential could free the people of several nations from the bondage of energy poverty,” foreign minister Ossur Skarphedinsson told the UN General Assembly late September.
Last May, Reykjavik Energy and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries signed an agreement to cooperate on geothermal ventures overseas. Reykjavik Energy will lead the venture but Iceland GeoSurvey and three engineering companies — Mannvit, EFLA and Verkis — are also involved, along with a drilling company and two architect studios.

“But it is still in the beginning stages,” says Kristjan B. Olafsson from Reykjavik Energy Invest (REI), the international arm of Reykjavik Energy.
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South Soudan: Uncertainty over Lamu port as S. Sudan begins railway project

(HornTrade) – Construction of a modern railway  linking South Sudan to Uganda will begin before the end of the year, even as uncertainty clouds the Government’s plans to construct a new port at Lamu; considered a vital sea route for South Sudan’s crude oil exports.

“While the initial plan was to hit the existing Kenyan rail link at Rongai, where we were to build a container terminal. We are now also considering Lamu port,” Castello Garang Ring Lual, special advisor to South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, told The Standard. Read the rest of this entry »

Yemen: Parliament Forms Panel to Investigate DP World

(HornTrade) – Parliament approved on Saturday forming a panel to probe what MPs said were plans of the Dubai Ports World aimed at striking Aden Port, excluding it from providing services for ships and shifting international navigation route to Djiboutian and Dubai Ports.

The panel will comprise members of the Oil and Development and Transport and Communication Committees.

MPs urged to seriously address the issue of the port, which has already lost its prestige and significance as one of the old and strategic ports in the world due to irresponsible acts by the DP World. Read the rest of this entry »

Kenya: Kenya Airways acquires another aircraft

(HornTrade) – National flag carrier Kenya Airways has taken delivery of an additional aircraft, Boeing 737-300, with an aim of satisfying the increasing travel market demands.

The aircraft will be operating the regional routes to boost the ever increasing demand. The equipment registered as 5Y-KYN has been leased from KLM.

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Titus Naikuni said that the additional aircraft was in tune with Kenya Airways strategy to increase the level of efficiency across the network by offering passengers more convenience. Read the rest of this entry »

Gibe III hydropower dam in Ethiopia: Group says power project will increase poverty

(HornTrade) – China has been urged to withdraw the funding of the now controversial construction of Gibe III hydropower dam in Ethiopia.

Through a petition by a group calling itself the Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT) to the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, it is argued that once the project is implemented, the 240-metre high dam will compromise “a very fragile and unique ecosystem” which is identified as a protected area.

According to FoLT chairperson, Ikal Ang’elei, the filling of the reservoir will block the south-western part of the Omo River, threatening the livelihood of more than 200,000 people living in the lower Omo valley. Read the rest of this entry »

New Investment: Allana Potash Inc.

(HornTrade) – As everyone knows, the global potash market is run by two cartels: Canpotex in Saskatchewan and the Belarusion Potash Company in Belarus. Between the two, they control 90% of world potash production, which makes large potash projects outside of these two areas increasingly valuable. Allana has such a deposit in Ethiopia located in the Danakil Depression. The company has an independent NI 43-101 compliant resource of 105.2 Mts. with a composite grade of 20.8% KCl and hopes to expand the resource during its current drilling program. Historical drilling conducted in the 1960′s outlined a possible deposit of 171 million tons at a composite grade of 31-34%. One of the advantages of the deposit is that it is near the surface (easier to mine), which should help make Allana a low-cost producer. Furthermore, Read the rest of this entry »

East Africa: Mo Ibrahim Index

(HornTrade) – The regional averages for East Africa stood at 45% (2010) and 46.9% (2009). Out of the 12 eastern Africa countries, Uganda emerged third just behind Seychelles (74.5%) and Tanzania (54.1%).

Djibouti scored 50.1%, Kenya 49.7%, Comoros 48.3%, Rwanda 47.9%, Burundi 45.8%, Ethiopia 44.2%, Sudan 33.4% and Somalia got the least rank in Africa with 7.9%.

The 2010 Ibrahim Index shows both areas of progress and setbacks in governance between 2004/05 and 2008/09 (the most recent period assessed).

It shows that Uganda performed poorly in national security and highest in the rule of law. The survey is designed to encourage good governance.

The index was launched simultaneously with events in the cities of Accra, Dakar, Johannesburg and Nairobi. It measures the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by governments and non-state actors across 88 indicators. Read the rest of this entry »

Ethiopian Airlines set to join Star Alliance

(HornTrade) – Ethiopian Airlines was officially invited to join Star Alliance Wednesday, and aims within 12 months to become the group’s third member on the African continent following EgyptAir and South African Airways. ET’s integration, under the mentoring of Lufthansa, will begin “shortly.”

“On behalf of the Chief Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to invite Ethiopian Airlines to join the Star Alliance network,” Star CEO Jaan Albrecht said at a ceremony in Addis Ababa. “Ethiopian’s extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travelers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets. Moreover, we will in the future have three main hubs in Africa—Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg—allowing for an ideal access to the continent from either the North, Center-East or South”. Read the rest of this entry »

Ethiopia: Allana Potash May Begin Extracting Mineral From Deposit in 2013

(HornTrade) - Allana Potash Corp., a Canadian explorer for the fertilizer ingredient, may begin extracting the mineral from Ethiopia’s northeastern Afar region in 2013, said Vice President Nejib Abba Biya.

The company, based in Toronto, has been exploring the Dallol Depression in Ethiopia and had “very, very encouraging” results, Nejib said in a mobile-phone interview today from Addis Ababa, the capital. Allana expects to extract 1 billion metric tons from its 150 square-kilometer (58 square-mile) concession.

The depression contains “a few billion tons” of deposits, he said. “It will last for a long time.” Read the rest of this entry »

Vulture Funds: African legal body defies the vultures

(HornTrade) – In investment circles they are known as distressed debt funds or specialist situation funds – to ­everyone else they are vulture funds. Such vehicles buy up sovereign debt at bargain rates and then sue the debtor for the full amount plus interest charges and legal fees.

In 2007, in one of the most high-profile vulture fund cases, British Virgin Islands fund Donegal ­International attempted to sue the Zambian government for around $55m (£35m) for a $15m debt it had bought from the Romanian government for around $3.3m. The High Court awarded Donegal $15.5m.

At least 54 companies are known to have brought these kinds of actions, suing the world’s 12 poorest nations for a total of more than £1.2bn.
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