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Ivory Coast anticipates a tripling of oil production by 2027

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President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast stated on Tuesday that the country anticipated a more than threefold rise in oil production by 2027, driven by new oil and gas finds at its offshore areas in Calao and Baleine, West Africa.

The top producer of cocoa in the world aspires to become a significant regional producer of gas and oil as well as a hub for energy in the region.

More than $15 billion is anticipated to be invested in the nation’s oil industry, Ouattara informed a joint session of parliament, adding that by 2027, output will increase from 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) to almost 200,000 bpd.

“It will be a spectacular leap,” Ouattara said.

The Baleine field will be developed in three phases between 2023 and 2027, with an investment of $10 billion from Italy’s Eni.

The Italian energy group found the Baleine field in 2021. Its certified reserves are anticipated to be 2.5 billion oil barrels and 3.3 trillion natural gas cubic feet.

Preliminary estimates of the group’s Calao discovery, which it reported in March, suggest potential resources of between one and 1.5 billion barrels of oil.

Ivory Coast is predicted to continue being the economic leader of the French-speaking West African region, with President Alassane Ouattara stating that the country’s growth is estimated to reach roughly 7% between 2024 and 2027.

 

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As inflation slows down, Angolan central bank maintains stable interest rate

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The central bank of Angola maintained its main interest rate at 19.5% on Friday, noting a possible short-term improvement in the supply of necessities and a possible decrease in inflation.

To contain growing inflation, which has reached 30%, the Bank of Angola hiked its main rate by 50 basis points at its most recent monetary policy meeting in May after raising it by 100 basis points in March.

The annual inflation rate increased last month, from 30.16% in May to 31.00%, although at a slower rate than in prior months.

“The decision (on Friday) was motivated by the prospect of a slowdown in the rate of price growth and an improvement in the supply of essential goods,” said Central Bank Governor Manuel Tiago Dias.

“If current conditions prevail from August onwards, we predict a slowdown in year-on-year inflation,” Tiago Dias added.

Since the middle of last year, inflation has been increasing in the nation that produces oil in Africa.

By September, the central bank will make its next move on monetary policy.

 

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Bean disease affects 81% of major cocoa region in Ghana

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The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) reports that 81% of a significant cocoa-producing region in Ghana, the second-largest cocoa grower in the world, is affected by swollen shoot disease.

Due to unfavourable weather and disease in leading cocoa-producing countries, Ghana and Ivory Coast, prices for the ingredient used in chocolate have nearly doubled this year.

However, expectations are growing for better production the following season. About 60% of the cocoa produced worldwide is produced by the two nations combined.

 

The data on bean disease in Ghana’s Western North, the country’s third-largest cocoa-producing region by output, cast doubt on hopes for a production rebound partly because they show how severe the outbreak is still.

Usually, within a few years, the swollen shoot virus first lowers yields before killing trees. Cocoa cannot be replanted until the sick trees are removed and the soil is treated.

The ICCO reports that 330,456 hectares of Ghana’s 410,229-hectare Western North region are contaminated. The intergovernmental agency was using information from Ghana’s cocoa sector regulator, Cocobod, through its Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED).

 

At an industry gathering in April, Joseph Aidoo, the chief executive of that industry regulator, said Reuters that 500,000 hectares nationwide—or 25.7% of Ghana’s 1.94 million hectares of cocoa-growing land—were afflicted.

He claimed that an additional 100,000 hectares are unproductive because of old trees and that the nation has already treated an additional 100,000 hectares, opening a new tab for swollen shoot. Replanted trees require two to four years to reach maturity and yield beans following rehabilitation.

 

“Swollen shoot is a serious problem that’s not improved in the last 12 months and is not going away,” said Steve Wateridge, a veteran world expert on cocoa and head of research at Tropical Research Services by Expana.

The Ivory Coast’s authorities have been more cautious about disclosing the full scope of the outbreak to the public, but the ICCO said that swollen shoot is also spreading there. Wateridge previously informed Reuters that the infection probably affected up to 30% of Ivorian cocoa plants.

Ghana usually produces more than 800,000 tons of cocoa annually, but due to smuggling, disease, aged trees, illegal gold mining, and climate change, it is predicted to produce just over half that amount this season.

 

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