As always, the most interesting links from around the 'net:
Fishing over drilling in Namibia
Namibia is planning to halt oil and gas companies from carrying out off-shore exploration for part of the year to protect the fishing industry.
This comes on the heels of an earlier memorandum on off-shore mineral exploration. Namibia makes an interesting contrast to other African countries, where the promise of oil often trumps all other concerns.
Why Namibia's off-shore is under threat | African Mining Brief
GMOs in Africa
IRIN details a new report on the adoption of genetically modified organisms in African agriculture. The report is very positive, as is the article, and gives little consideration to the drawbacks of a GMO-reliant agribusiness:
A recent study published in the journal Food Policy, titled Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa, shows that heated debates over safety concerns continue to plague efforts to use GM crop technology to tackle food security problems and poverty.
Is Africa ready for GM? | IRIN
The need for good governance
Since African extractive industries are often shrouded in secrecy and lack clear revenue management and accountability mechanisms, good governance is essential for African countries to properly harness their natural resources for development.
UNCTAD African Oil and Gas Conference Focus on Governance is Spot On | Africa in Focus
Drilling in Western Sahara
Plans by Kosmos Energy and partner Cairn Energy to drill a well next year in a Moroccan-licensed block in the Western Sahara continue to provoke intense interest among oil companies excited by the disputed territory’s offshore potential, as well as political debate among the traditional protagonists.
Oil drilling plan stirs hornets' nest in Western Sahara | African Arguments
As always, the best reads from around the 'net:
Zambian copper project results in many disputes
An excellent article looks at the many controversies surrounding the Sentinel copper project in Zambia. Owner First Quantum Minerals is embroiled in land disputes, competing interpretation of mining and compensation law, as well as a governmental approach swaying between support and condemnation. Think Africa Press
A rare look at illegal oil refineries in Nigeria
The British Guardian provides insights into illegal refineries in the Niger Delta, where stolen crude oil is converted into Diesel under incredibly dangerous conditions for workers, communities and environment (including video). The Guardian
Detailed look at the future of East African oil
Many issues and challenges mentioned in this piece will sound familiar to observers of the East African oil business, but the article offers a nice and in-depth summary. Voice of America
Angola ends tax exemption of oil companies
The government has gazetted a law that applies consumption tax rates ranging from 5 to 10 per cent on activities of companies working in the oil sector. These were so far completely exempt from the tax that reaches rates of up to 30 per cent on luxury goods. This is Africa | Mining Review
Gold and violence in Darfur
A look at how government-supported gold mining activities contribute to increasing violence and a change of conflict dynamics in Darfur. The Guardian
- Study forecasts continuing stagnation of the South African mining sector: African Mining Brief
- The European Parliament has accepted a new Fishery treaty with Mauritania: Jeune Afrique
- Uganda is looking to import Coal from Mozambique to develop local iron ore reserves: AllAfrica/New Vision
- The European Union has lifted sanctions against Zimbabwe, allowing for diamond exports from its controversial Marange mine to resume: Mining Review
- Thousands of people demonstrated against French mining giant Areva in the town of Arli, Niger: Jeune Afrique
- Mozambique plans to finish its new natural gas legislation at the end of this year: Mining Review
- Namibia plans to start exporting large quantities of cattle on the hoof to neighbour Angola: AllAfrica/New Era
Some worthwhile reading from around the web:
Namibia bans phosphate mining
The Namibian government has declared a moratorium on phosphate mining in coastal waters. This is a reaction to ongoing protests from the fishing industry. The government and mining companies had plans to start exploiting the underwater reserves of phosphate, but mining phosphate at sea has never been done before. Fishermen and their employers -- fish is one of Namibia's most important exports -- are afraid of possible negative environmental consequences of the mining endeavour. Mining Review
No gas for Ghana
The gas pipeline delivering natural liquified gas from the Jubilee oil field to several gas power stations in Ghana won't be ready until 2014. The pipeline was due to go online at the beginning of this year, but the sinking of a ship with supplies and financing problems delayed are delaying completion. Ghana experiences severe power outages since a shipping accident made gas supply from Nigeria unreliable and solving the energy crisis has been a main campaign issue in the recent elections. AllAfrica/The Cronicle
Oil flows again in Libya
About thirty per cent of Libya's oil production capacity has come back online, after militias opened the valves on an important pipeline in the west of the country. Several militias and regional groups are using oil flows to put the Libyan government under pressure in negotiations over jobs, payment and decentralisation of political power. Libyan oil is mostly exported to southern Europe and the row has led to rising prices on world markets. New York Times