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Chad’s parliament passes bill to nationalise Savannah Energy’s assets. Should investors worry?



The Chadian parliament has passed a bill to nationalise Savannah Energy’s oil assets and rights acquired last year from ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration, and Production Chad.

An overwhelming 172 out of 175 parliament members backed the law to nationalise the assets, but the oil giant plans to explore all legal options to contest the move to nationalise its upstream assets in the country.

Last week, the Chadian energy and hydrocarbons ministry announced that all relevant assets and rights of ExxonMobil subsidiaries would be nationalized.

Nationalisation refers to the action of a government taking control of a company or industry, which generally occurs without compensation for the loss of the net worth of seized assets and potential income.

The Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Djerassem Le Bemadjiel told parliament, “Savannah and Esso – ExxonMobil has taken actions that pose serious and immediate threats to public order in Chad as well as to all actors in this economic sector that is crucial to the stability and development of Chad.”

Recall that the Chadian government had in December challenged an agreement made by ExxonMobil to close the sale of its operations in Chad and Cameroon to Africa-focused oil and gas producer Savannah Energy in a $407 million deal.

London-listed Savannah owns a 40% interest in the Doba Oil Project in Chad, comprising seven producing oilfields with a combined output of 28,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The idea of nationalisation is one of the challenges foreign investors are faced with in doing business in Africa because of the political situation in some of the countries which usually birth state actions leading to attempts to consolidate power, resentment of foreign ownership of industries representing significant importance to local economies, or in a bid to prop up failing industries.

But nationalisation isn’t peculiar to just Africa. Russia, at the height of its ongoing war with Ukraine, also threatened western businesses leaving Russia due to the war that their companies and production facilities might be confiscated by the Russian state.


IMF approves $3 billion credit facility for Ghana



The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved about $3 billion 36-month Extended Credit Facility arrangement for Ghana.

The IMF Executive Board of the lender says the ECF arrangement is built on the government’s Post COVID-19 Program for Economic Growth (PC-PEG), which aims to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability and includes wide-ranging reforms to build resilience and lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.

The body says the decision will enable an immediate disbursement equivalent to SDR 451.4 million (about US$600 million).

In a joint press conference with IMF Mission Chief, Stephane Roudet, Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta stated that there was no urgency to return to the international financial markets.

“Our expectation is that in managing our expenditure and increasing our revenue … we then get our ratings up and make the country more attractive for foreign investors,” Ofori-Atta said.

Ghana is one of many countries that are suffering from previously unheard-of delays in receiving bailouts. China is Ghana’s largest bilateral creditor, owing the country a total of almost $1.7 billion, although Western creditors and China disagree on the most effective means of debt relief.

The Paris Club at the weekend announced that official sector creditors of Ghana had formed a committee co-chaired by China and France for debt restructuring talks.

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Promising Rwandan singer, Kaya Byinshii set for African tour



Upcoming Rwandan singer, Kaya Byanshii, has announced her first-ever African tour dubbed “Tournee Afrique”, scheduled to kick off on May 27.

Byinshii, who is one of the promising female artistes in the Eastern African country and the continent as a whole, in a chat with The New Times, a prominent media platform in Rwanda, said the tour would be a collaborative effort with Nigerian entertainer, Aunty Rayzor, and will take place in 10 cities in six different African countries.

“Honestly, I always wondered how far my music would go. Now that it happened this is the beginning and it says a lot,” she told the news outfit.

“I feel blessed to be able to share my music with other people live. It’s a huge opportunity because I will be representing Rwanda,” she added.

According to her, the concerts would begin on May 27 in Kampala, Uganda, and continue in Algiers, Annaba, Constantine, Tlemcen and Oran, Algeria, Djibouti, Nairobi, Kenya, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before a grand finale in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

Byinshii made history as one of the few African singers who performed at the coronation ceremony of King Charles III of England, where she performed in a joint choir together with other singers from around the world.

She also represented Rwanda in the Prix Découvertes RFI in 2021, where she was selected by the Institut Français du Rwanda to represent the country.

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