Strategies & Market TrendsAfrica and its Issues- Why Have We Ignored Africa?

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From: TimF7/27/2011 3:33:55 PM
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Famine in East Africa
Jul 27, 2011 | 9

With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, affecting more than 11 million people, the United Nations has declared a famine in the region for the first time in a generation. Overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia are receiving some 3,000 new refugees every day, as families flee from famine-stricken and war-torn areas. The meager food and water that used to support millions in the Horn of Africa is disappearing rapidly, and families strong enough to flee for survival must travel up to a hundred miles, often on foot, hoping to make it to a refugee center, seeking food and aid. Many do not survive the trip. Officials warn that 800,000 children could die of malnutrition across the East African nations of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Kenya...

Africa as a whole has done better in the last decade or so, then it often has in the past. Economic growth has generally been stronger, more people have joined the (vaguely and variously defined) middle class, and Africans have had more access to better technology and infrastructure. But Africa is a big place with a lot of diverse people's and climates and political and economic situations, and even parts that have been doing better, don't for the most part have the type of developed infrastructure, accumulated financial reserves, that richer countries have, and they may be less politically stable as well, so you still can have horrible things like massive famines.

Too many people outside of Africa have the image of the country as being nothing but an endless series of such famines, and in my posts here I've often tried to play out the bright side, but its not like everything is perfect as the link above shows.

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To: TimF who wrote (1091)7/29/2011 3:10:46 PM
From: Stephen O
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Good Africa news

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To: Stephen O who wrote (1092)11/12/2011 3:52:32 AM
From: Stephen O
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Canada not ignoring Africa

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From: Brumar8912/3/2011 4:12:12 PM
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Africa Unleashed

Explaining the Secret of a Belated Boom

By Edward Miguel

November/December 2011

Steven Radelet’s accessible new book argues that much of the credit for Africa’s recent economic boom goes to its increasingly open political systems. But Radelet fails to answer the deeper question: why some countries have managed to develop successful democracies while others have tried but failed.

EDWARD MIGUEL is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center of Evaluation for Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Africa’s Turn?

Author Steven Radelet
Publisher Center for Global Development
Year 2010
Pages 169 pp.
ISBN 9781933286518
Price $18.95

It is well known that the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s were a disaster for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In a period when other underdeveloped regions, especially Asia, were experiencing steady economic growth, Africa as a whole saw its living standards plummet. Nearly all Africans lived under dictatorships, and millions suffered through brutal civil wars. Then, in the 1990s, the HIV/AIDS epidemic exploded, slashing life expectancy and heightening the sense that the region had reached rock bottom. It was no surprise when an intellectual cottage industry of Afro-pessimists emerged, churning out a stream of plausible-sounding explanations for Africa's stunning decline. The verdict was simple: Africa equaled failure.

What is less well known is that Africa's prospects have changed radically over the past decade or so. Across the continent, economic growth rates (in per capita terms) have been positive since the late 1990s. And it is not just the economy that has seen rapid improvement: in the 1990s, the majority of African countries held multiparty elections for the first time since the heady postindependence 1960s, and the extent of civic and media freedom on the continent today is unprecedented. Even though Africa's economic growth rates still fall far short of Asia's stratospheric levels, the steady progress that most African countries have experienced has come as welcome news after decades of despair. But that progress raises a critical question: what happened?

Steven Radelet's accessible and insightful new book, Emerging Africa, joins a growing chorus of voices explaining how and why Africa has turned the corner. Radelet, who joined the U.S. State Department to work on international development issues last year, was a fellow at the Center for Global Development and has served as a policymaker in both the United States and Liberia, where he advised President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. He does a remarkable job of weaving together hard statistical patterns, case studies, and a coherent narrative that explains both Africa's decline and its recent rebound. The book is useful reading both for specialists in the field, who will gain from its detailed description of the experiences of numerous countries, and for those newly interested in Africa, including non-economists, who will find their preexisting notions about the continent overturned. Emerging Africa crystallizes the new conventional wisdom on Africa's recovery. But it also highlights gaps in experts' understanding about its underlying causes.


In Radelet's view, five main factors have conspired to turn Africa around. Expanding democratization has opened up governments, bolstering popular accountability. Improved economic policies have curbed the worst tax and regulatory policies that had plagued African households and investors. Debt reduction has freed up resources for education and health care. New technologies (most notably the ubiquitous cell phone) have boosted Africans' access to markets. And the rise of a new generation of energetic leaders, the so-called cheetah generation (in the evocative terminology of the Ghanaian scholar George Ayittey), has brought new ideas and attitudes to the fore.

Radelet assembles chronological graphs for dozens of key measures, such as income levels, foreign trade, political freedom, schooling, and cell-phone penetration. He then ties the data together with fresh accounts of how the process of transformation has actually occurred on the ground. Tanzania, for example, boosted primary school enrollment by abolishing school fees in 2000. In Mozambique, the liberalization of agricultural markets has allowed farmers to keep more of what they sell. Mali's mango exports have soared since the adoption of improved supply-chain management practices. In Rwanda, incentive payments for doctors have strengthened the health-care system, as has the use of daily text messages to remind HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients to take their pills. These and other smart public policies are revolutionizing African economies.

Radelet also looks beyond government decisions, describing how individual Africans have accelerated these transformations, often at great personal risk. He profiles such visionaries as John Githongo, Kenya's fearless anticorruption crusader, and Patrick Awuah, a Swarthmore College graduate who left a lucrative career at Microsoft to return to his native Ghana, where he founded Ashesi University, a liberal arts college that aspires to educate a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial African leaders. There is finally enough oxygen in these increasingly free countries for talented Africans to reimagine and rebuild their societies.

Although all five of the factors Radelet describes have plausibly played a role in Africa's nascent transformation, the essential question, of course, is, which one has contributed the most? Radelet's answer is democratization. The relationship between democracy and economic growth in Africa, he writes, "is crystal clear: democratic governments . . . have been successful, while authoritarian governments have by and large been failures." He goes on to note that 13 of the 17 countries he singles out as emerging success stories have made the transition to more or less full-fledged democracies since the 1990s, whereas the pace of democratic reform has been far slower in both oil-producing countries and economic "laggards."

Radelet argues that Africa's political opening in the early to mid-1990s had a number of positive side effects. Competitive elections promoted public accountability, which led to better economic policies and governance. Politicians rightly perceived that competent macroeconomic management and fiscal policies would benefit them at the polls, and so they began to give up their kleptocratic ways. Increasingly open political systems created new opportunities for well-educated "cheetahs," energetic political newcomers who were often trained abroad, to outcompete the slow-moving "hippo" holdovers from the anticolonial struggle. Newly democratic regimes have also been more eager to embrace, rather than suppress, new information technologies that can make markets more efficient and grass-roots political organizations easier to form. Although social scientists are still debating the relationship between democracy and economic performance, Radelet makes a robust case that democratic reform was a necessary precondition for many of Africa's other recent advances.

But in identifying democratization as the leading cause of Africa's recent economic turnaround, especially in the countries he labels as emerging, Radelet simply pushes the question of causality back another step. Left unanswered is why some African countries, such as Ghana, developed successful democracies in the 1990s, whereas others, such as Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana's neighbor, tried and failed. And why did democracy take root only then, whereas earlier democratic experiments in the 1960s (in Ghana, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, to name a few) collapsed within an election cycle or two? Radelet highlights the role that the end of the Cold War played in creating more breathing room for real political competition in the 1990s. No longer did intervening superpowers distort the political process either directly, as the United States did when it backed the assassination of Congo's first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, or indirectly, through arms sales and diplomatic pressure. But that is only part of the story. After all, democracy was reestablished in much of Latin America in the 1980s, when the Cold War was in full swing.


What, then, is left to account for Africa's impressive economic and political recovery? The answer might lie in education. More "human capital," in economics jargon, directly boosts labor productivity, but it can also benefit society in many other ways. It appears to go a long way in explaining why some African democracies were able to survive (and sometimes thrive) in the 1990s: unlike in the 1960s, education was widespread. The rapid expansion of schooling in Africa -- a remarkable social improvement that took place during the otherwise lost decades of the 1970s and 1980s -- helped lay the foundation for political reform, which then enabled the economic policy changes that have since contributed to faster economic growth. Whereas at the time of independence, few Africans had had any formal education, today the vast majority of them have attended some school. Kenya illustrates the broader trend: adult literacy rates there have risen from a mere 32 percent in 1970 to nearly 90 percent today.

Although the connection between education and social and political reform might seem intuitive, scholars have had a hard time establishing a causal link. They have proposed a number of disparate theories. Some argue that education empowers the disadvantaged, pushing them toward greater political activism; others contend that it promotes modern pro-democratic and secular attitudes and weakens ethnic attachments. Still others have suggested that education, designed to instill an acceptance of existing authority in youth, in fact bolsters autocratic regimes.

Through research on Kenyan youth, Willa Friedman, Michael Kremer, Rebecca Thornton, and I have attempted to disentangle the causal relationship between education and political attitudes to better understand the improvements Radelet discusses. We looked at a girls' scholarship program conducted in Kenyan primary schools during 2001 and 2002 and structured our study as a randomized experiment. Designed like medical trials, with both treatment and control groups, randomized experiments have become an indispensible tool for development economists seeking to lend more scientific rigor to their research on social programs. For our study, in 34 randomly chosen schools, adolescent girls who scored in the top 15 percent on standardized tests received generous scholarship awards, cash prizes, and public recognition. Girls at a different set of 35 schools -- the control group -- received no such incentives.

What did we find? In the schools with the incentives, students and teachers had higher attendance rates and the students scored much better on standardized reading and math tests. Five years after the program had begun, with the girls now in their late teens and early 20s, those at the scholarship schools continued to do much better on standardized tests. We also conducted detailed opinion surveys to estimate the effect that this improved education had had on their political attitudes and behaviors. There was no evidence that the students who had received the scholarship incentives held views that were more pro-democratic or secular than the control group or saw their ethnic identities as any less important. They were, however, much more likely to read newspapers and identify a favorite one. They were also more politically informed and more critical of Kenya's rulers and its current economic conditions. Yet this awareness did not translate into action: they were no more likely to say they intended to vote in the next election, nor were they more likely to participate in community groups.

Instead, the young women who had received the incentives were more likely to report that they found the use of violence in politics acceptable. Perhaps this finding should not be too shocking given the participants' persistently strong ethnic identities, their dissatisfaction with Kenya's fledgling democracy, and the limited avenues for peaceful political participation in the country. (Indeed, due to its uneven economic and political record, Kenya does not qualify as one of Radelet's "emerging" countries, although it comes close.) For decades now, violence has been a central feature of political change in Kenya, from the anti-British Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s to the contested presidential election of 2007. The declining satisfaction with the status quo that the young women we studied expressed, as well as their growing acceptance of political violence, may in fact reflect their heightened awareness of the true nature of political power and change in Kenya, an awareness that grew as they received more education.

Some caution is always required in interpreting results based on data from one country or region. But the results of our Kenyan study are consistent with the view among some social scientists that education empowers students rather than, for example, causing them to acquiesce to authority. In other words, if education does make societies more democratic, it does not necessarily do so by making people hold more pro-democratic views. Rather, it makes them more politically knowledgeable and more willing to challenge the authorities. In Kenya, this might mean being willing to use violence. But in countries with more opportunities for democratic participation, the heightened political consciousness and reduced acceptance of authority might lead to greater civic involvement, contributing to a more vibrant democracy. As Radelet notes, competitive democracies in Africa are more inclined to adopt pro-growth economic policies.

Radelet convincingly describes another way in which education promotes economic progress, beyond its impact through politics. He notes that there are simply many more skilled economists and policy experts in Africa today than there were in the 1970s and 1980s, as the more educated, younger cheetah generation takes center stage. This sharp improvement in technical capacity is reflected in the academic credentials of many recent African central bankers. Benno Ndulu, the current governor of the Bank of Tanzania, has a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University, is an internationally respected researcher, and has held high-level posts at the World Bank. Officials like him are willing to engage in more rigorous, independent, and creative policymaking than their predecessors; Tanzania's macroeconomic management during the recent global economic crisis was particularly sound.


Increasingly educated populations, democratic politics, spreading technologies, and improved economic policymaking have combined to create a new Africa that bears little resemblance to the caricature of a "dark continent" that still rears its head in the media. Instead of being known for "blood diamonds," Sierra Leone has gained attention for improving access to electricity in its capital and expanding its rural road network. Instead of serving as the inspiration for food-aid concerts, Ethiopia today flies millions of dollars' worth of fresh flowers overnight to Europe. Even in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a civil war still lingers, army officers are finally being brought to trial for civilian abuses. Radelet is right that it is time to turn the page on the lost postindependence decades and stop treating Africa like an exotic economic basket case.

How can Africa's great recovery be sustained, or even accelerated? The gains made so far -- moving from war to peace, establishing democratic footholds in the face of entrenched dictatorships, and doing away with the worst forms of economic mismanagement -- were the hardest part, and these improvements will continue to yield economic payoffs. Faster growth may also require sub-Saharan African countries to siphon off some of the foreign investment in the labor-intensive sectors of manufacturing and services that has traditionally gone to Asian countries. This idea is not so far-fetched, since wages in Asian countries are ballooning and their populations are aging (especially China's). Will Africa someday have more textile factories than China or more call centers than India? It may only be a matter of time. Of course, that outcome, as Emerging Africa demonstrates, will require more than just outside interest; it will require competent leaders pursuing sound economic policies.

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From: Brumar8912/10/2011 5:21:58 PM
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The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela The antiapartheid hero refused to launch a personality cult. Why have other African leaders failed to follow suit?


Saba/Corbis Mr. Mandela, pictured in 1990, is more than a symbol of forgiveness.

A frail Nelson Mandela, now 93, has gone back to Qunu, his ancestral home in rural Transkei, and his handlers have announced his withdrawal from public view. Even while he lives, unseemly squabbles have flared over the TV rights to his funeral.

Since he officially retired in 2004, Mr. Mandela has concentrated on his foundation, the charity that is already his earthly embodiment. It owns his archives and mementos and controls his endorsements, which it uses to raise money for social-justice projects. There is even brand Mandela—a fashion line called 46664 after his prisoner number. The clothes feature an embroidered outline of his palm. Meanwhile, his grandchildren are launching "Being Mandela," a TV reality show that is being pitched in the U.S. as a "docu-soap" with an anti-Kardashian philanthropic twist.

Globally, Mr. Mandela, who emerged from 28 years in apartheid prisons to vanquish any thought of racial revenge, is already iconic—a symbol of our better nature, the personification of forgiveness and nonracialism. But this legacy, which is championed primarily by earnest foreigners and white South Africans, is not the only one.

Mr. Mandela's lasting political bequest to his own people and to the rest of Africa is more nuanced. What was crucial to South Africa's chances of a functional future was not so much anything he did in his short presidency, from 1994 to 1999, but rather his decision, like George Washington in the early days of the American republic, to step down. He easily could have stayed for a second term and then have ventriloquized his rule through some pliant placeholder.

If anyone was well positioned to launch a political personality cult it was Mr. Mandela. His refusal to do so is probably his greatest legacy to his homeland. It set South Africa on a course different from most other African nations. Seventeen years into its post-apartheid incarnation, South Africa is already on its fourth president. This has radically reduced the danger of a single leader dominating the state.

But has Mr. Mandela's short walk as president been an exportable political precedent?

Certainly not to neighboring Zimbabwe, where a malevolent, increasingly sclerotic but politically priapic Robert Mugabe remains, at age 87, the only president that country has ever known—still in power, 31 years after independence, and still throttling the dreams of democracy there.

Other African leaders also have resisted Mr. Mandela's example, especially those who found power after a struggle, like Yoweri Museveni in Uganda and Paul Kagame in Rwanda, men who were initially hailed as shining hopes for African leadership but are now showing authoritarian traits.

Mr. Mandela is an honorary laureate of the $5 million Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, founded by a Sudanese telecom billionaire to reward good governance, especially the democratic transfer of power. But since it was established in 2007, the prize hasn't exactly been jostled with contenders. In 2009 and 2010 it failed to find a single deserving candidate, and in 2011 it did so only by venturing offshore to award it to Pedro Pires, the outgoing president of the pinhead-size islands of Cape Verde.

Yet the continent is becoming more democratic. When the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, a few months before Mr. Mandela's release from jail, only three of sub-Saharan Africa's 48 countries were democratic. Now, Freedom House classifies 21 as functioning democracies—crucially bookended by the continent's two giants, Nigeria and South Africa—with another six regarded as "semi-democratic." But the definition of democracy is somewhat elastic. Holding elections does not alone a democracy make. Many African leaders only tolerate elections so long as they don't risk the real threat of losing power. Only when elections serve up defeat for incumbents do we discover if a country is really a democracy.

Recently such a result in Ivory Coast led to a civil war before Laurent Gbagbo could be winkled out of the presidential palace at the end of a gun barrel. And in Kenya and Zimbabwe, electoral defeats of incumbents resulted in political violence on such a level that the contests were, in effect, declared a draw, and uneasy coalition governments of rivals were engineered. Recent Zambian elections teetered on a knife-edge when the opposition won there, before President Rupiah Banda gracefully accepted defeat rather than cry foul.

Mr. Mandela's legacy of a short presidential tenure does little to ward off the threat of South Africa becoming a one-party state, even if under successive African National Congress leaders. The ANC is a political behemoth, regularly attracting over 60% of votes at election time, and its DNA continues to be that of a liberation party, the oldest one in Africa, celebrating its centenary next year.

The postcolonial history of Africa has shown that liberation parties harvest a potent crop of "struggle" legitimacy that generally neutralizes opposition for a generation or so. During that time, the countervailing institutions of the new state tend to wither in their infancy, constitutions are swept aside and the civil service is politicized as lines blur between government and party.

Indeed, not a single one of the "liberation" parties in southern Africa—in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique—has allowed power to slip from its grip. It seems that they have learned how to change leaders but not how to relinquish power.

Under Mr. Mandela's watch, the ANC dropped its more radical economic policies and engaged with South Africa's private sector, the biggest in Africa. Long after his retirement, Mr. Mandela's continued imprimatur as a sort of father-of-the-nation helps to bind his increasingly fractious party, especially from challenges from its left wing, as the country's socioeconomic inequality rises.

Most recently, President Jacob Zuma has struggled to control the ANC's militant Youth League leader, Julius Malema, who plays to the gallery of poor and marginalized black South Africans. Last month, the party suspended Mr. Malema (who favors radical wealth redistribution and the seizure of white-owned farms) for five years. In his belligerent promise to appeal the ruling, he attempted to invoke Mr. Mandela by comparing his own struggle to the fight against apartheid.

South Africa's poor, whose affection for "Madiba" (as they call Mr. Mandela) keeps them from voting against the ANC while he lives, may be tempted to support other parties once he is gone. Certainly there is no one in the current ANC leadership who commands anything close to the kind of respect that Mr. Mandela does, or who casts his unifying aura.

—Mr. Godwin is the author of "The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe."

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From: Glenn Petersen1/5/2012 8:45:09 PM
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Nigeria Running on Empty

By Walter Russell Mead
Via Meadia
January 5, 2012

Christmas was hot in Nigeria last month, when the country was ablaze with church bombings, terrorism and sectarian tension. The heat will only intensify in the New Year, as oil prices spike with an end to nearly four decades of fuel subsidies. From the WSJ:

Nigeria had been spending 1.2 trillion naira ($7.3 billion) a year—about a quarter of all government spending in the 2012 budget—to keep petroleum products within reach of its deeply poor population of 167 million people. […]

Many of the 70% of Nigerians who live on less than $2 a day, however, view the subsidy as the only windfall the nation’s poor have enjoyed from the more-than-two-million barrels of oil the nation exports daily.

Nigeria’s top two labor unions called for “strikes, street demonstrations and mass protests across the country,” starting Tuesday, according to a statement quoted by Vanguard, a newspaper based in the commercial capital, Lagos.

Nigeria may be one of Goldman Sach’s “ Next Eleven” developing economies, but it remains a laggard. It lacks the consistent stability, good governance and civic infrastructure to maximize its potential. It suffers from a combustible mixture of youth (the median age is 19.2), endemic poverty, acrimonious (recent) history, rapid population growth, ethnic rivalries, linguistic divides, limited education and hot religion. Throwing fuel on the fire, so to speak, is dangerous.

Sporadic but fierce violence is a staple of Nigerian society. The oil-rich Niger Delta is infamous for kidnappings, militancy and human rights violations. Even more worrying is Nigeria’s religious violence. Annual death tolls are in the low thousands, and incitements and reprisals are common among Muslims and Christians alike. Boko Haram, a pseudo-Islamic sect, may be the most fearsome combatant, charged with church bombings, mass prison breaks and indiscriminate slaughter.

Nigeria is riven with stark divisions: rich and poor, Christian and Muslim, 250 distinct ethnic groups and double the number of languages. But Nigerians have long been united in their universal dependence on cheap gas. Now that this commonality has become yet another source of conflict, President Goodluck Jonathan will need more than just his first name to navigate Nigeria through the New Year.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1096)1/6/2012 12:11:25 AM
From: Selectric II
3 Recommendations   of 1210
One quarter of the annual budged to fuel subsidies was a recipe for disaster. Whose brilliant idea was that?

How does that compare to expenditures on infrastructure, education, and economic development, among other things?

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From: Brumar891/17/2012 6:58:57 AM
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Big developments for E Africa:

Poorest nations host biggest gas finds

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

One of the world’s poorest regions is also home to the biggest natural-gas discoveries in a decade, luring investors from steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSA)

Eni SpA (ENI) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) found about $800 billion of gas under the Indian Ocean off Mozambique, 36 times more valuable than the nation’s economy, ranked 213 of 227 countries for per capita income. Explorers in neighboring Tanzania have struck gas fields, and drilling will pick up pace in Kenya this year.

The fields are big enough to support exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, opening up a source of energy supply to the world’s fastest-growing major economies, India and China. They are also drawing the interest of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, which prize LNG projects for their decades of generating cash. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Shell and BP Plc are the biggest owners of LNG capacity worldwide.

“East Africa is obviously very exciting after being a backwater for a long time,” said Evan Calio, an oil and gas analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York. LNG plants are “big, capital-intensive projects. All the big ones want these.”

Smaller explorers in the region are ready to do deals. Ophir Energy Plc, (OPHR) a London-based African specialist that counts the Mittal family and New York hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC among its largest investors, says it’s seeking partners to drill off Tanzania. Cove Energy Plc (COV), which holds a stake in Mozambique finds, said Jan. 5 it may sell the company. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is looking to sell assets.

Buying Projects

The world’s largest energy companies have been buying into projects to supply gas to customers in Asia. BP last year completed a $7.2 billion acquisition of a 30 percent stake in 21 Indian gas fields operated by Reliance Industries Ltd. Shell last year agreed to acquire an interest in the Chevron Corp.-led Wheatstone gas project in Western Australia.

LNG prices in the Asian markets averaged between $16 and $17 per million British thermal units at the end of last year. In contrast, U.S. natural gas has dropped 43 percent in the last year and traded today at $2.556 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 7 a.m. local time.

‘More Dominant’

“You’ll see the majors becoming more dominant through acquisitions,” said Stuart Joyner, an oil and gas analyst at Investec Securities in London. “A lot of the independents that really have been the vanguard in terms of opening the new province will sell out as things start to move out of the exploration stage.”

While enough gas has been found to support the region’s first LNG projects, there’ll be no let-up in the hunt for resources in the region, which is under-explored compared with West Africa. Explorers have drilled fewer than 500 wells in East Africa and more than 33,000 through the rest of the continent, according to Afren Plc (AFR) data.

This year, 23 wells will be drilled off Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, almost double the number in 2011, according to research from Morgan Stanley.

“Assuming that the drilling success is continued you would expect to see consolidation around probably one mega-terminal” for Mozambique and one in Tanzania, Ophir Chief Executive Officer Nick Cooper said in an interview. “Obviously the bigger fish tend to eat the smaller fish.”

BP had been in talks on East Africa projects with Ophir, while Shell teamed up with Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) in October to explore off Tanzania.

‘Looking Closely’

“It’s obviously a basin where many people of the world are looking closely,” said Shell’s executive director for exploration and production, Malcolm Brinded.

Tanzania, where Ophir’s Cooper reckons exploration has lagged 18 months behind Mozambique, will be a focus of drilling this year. Ophir and its partner BG Group Plc (BG/) have so far found about 4 trillion cubic feet of gas in the East African country, where a per capita income of $1,400 ranks it 201st in the world, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s fact book.

Ophir, which is buying Dominion Petroleum Ltd., will be joined by Mubadala Oil & Gas of Abu Dhabi to explore Block 7 in Tanzania. The company plans to import LNG to meet the Persian Gulf nation’s growing demand for gas.

“Strategically it’s an interesting point,” Cooper said. “It’s the first real evidence of Gulf entities picking up acreage with the intention of taking gas into the Gulf.”

Plans to Drill

Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s largest oil company, plans to drill a well this year at an exploration block in Tanzania where it’s a partner with Exxon Mobil, CEO Helge Lund said. Statoil also has to drill at two exploration license areas in Mozambique before 2015. The “geographic location is almost perfect for LNG” shipments eastbound, Lund said.

Mozambique and Tanzania may eventually rival Qatar and Australia as the world’s biggest suppliers of LNG, Investec’s Joyner said. The East African deposits found so far are large enough to justify construction of at least eight LNG production trains, according to estimates by the companies. Today Qatar has 14 trains operating, while Australia has at least six trains producing and about $250 billion in projects under construction or planned.

Mambo Field

Eni, Italy’s largest producer, will invest $50 billion to develop the 20 trillion-cubic-feet Mambo field off Mozambique’s coast, CEO Paolo Scaroni said in December. “Our feeling is it would be a super-giant gas field and is well-placed to supply Asia by LNG,” he said.

Anadarko is examining the possible sale of at least some of its holdings in the Mozambique discoveries, Chuck Meloy, a senior vice president of worldwide operations, said last month. The Woodlands, Texas-based company holds 36.5 percent of Mozambique’s Area 1, which may yield as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

Cove, Anadarko’s partner in the Rovuma Basin, is looking to sell the whole company. Analysts at UBS AG said Jan. 6 that BP, Statoil and Total SA (FP) are among the likely buyers.

The gas industry development will spur local economies, field and supply services. For example, Irish oil and gas engineering company Kentz Corp. is already pitching its products to East African explorers in anticipation of an LNG construction boom.

“That’s a key opportunity,” Kentz CEO Hugh O’Donnell said, referring to discoveries in Mozambique. “We are making it known to the people that it involves, what we are doing in Mozambique right now.”

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From: TimF3/22/2012 9:33:26 PM
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Mali soldiers loot presidential palace after coup

Renegade soldiers in Mali have looted the presidential palace in the capital, Bamako, after a coup.

The coup leaders went on state TV to announce that they have seized control of the country and closed the borders.

A government official told the BBC that President Amadou Toumani Toure is safe and not in the custody of mutineers.

There has been widespread international condemnation of the coup, with the African Union describing it as a "significant setback for Mali".

The UN Security Council called for the "immediate restoration of constitutional rule and the democratically elected government".

The World Bank and African Development Bank announced they were suspending all aid until the crisis is resolved.

Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula and his delegation are stranded in the country, as Bamako's airport is closed, after attending an AU meeting on peace and security.

The West African regional body Ecowas said the mutinous soldiers' behaviour was "reprehensible" and "misguided".

The soldiers, calling themselves the Committee for the Re-establishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDR), said they would hand over power to an elected government.

"The objective of the CNRDR does not in any way aim to confiscate power, and we solemnly swear to return power to a democratically elected president as soon as national unity and territorial integrity are established," they said in a statement.

The soldiers said they had led Wednesday's mutiny because the government had not giving them enough arms to tackle a rebellion by ethnic Tuareg in the north of Mali.

They attacked the presidential palace, traded gunfire with soldiers loyal to the government and took over the state radio and TV broadcaster in Bamako and took it off air.

After several hours of footage of traditional Malian music and dancing, a group of soldiers appeared on screen early on Thursday morning.

The leader of the mutiny was revealed to be Capt Amadou Sanogo, who appeared briefly to announce the imposition of a national curfew, although he did not specifying the time and said the constitution had been suspended...

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To: TimF who wrote (1099)4/1/2012 10:14:47 AM
From: Stephen O
   of 1210
There appears to be a major oil find in Kenya. Check out Africa Oil listed on TSX Venture. Tullow is their partner. Africa Oil also owns 50% of Horn Petroleum which is drilling now in Puntland.

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