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TotalEnergies ready to invest $6 billion in Nigeria



French energy giant TotalEnergies is ready to invest $6 billion (around €5.5 billion) over several years in Nigeria’s energy industry, particularly in gas and offshore projects, the Nigerian presidency has said.

« We are ready to invest $6 billion over the next few years. We are looking in depth at more opportunities for deepwater and gas production, » said TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné, according to a presidential statement.

On Monday, Head of State Bola Ahmed Tinubu held talks with Mr Pouyanné in Abuja, the capital.

« Everything is in place. We just need to finalise the adjustments and changes needed to unlock the exceptional potential in oil and gas », continued Mr Pouyanné, according to the Presidency.

Nigeria is « very important » for TotalEnergies, which accounts for between 8% and 10% of the group’s total oil production, according to the CEO quoted in the press release.

For his part, the Nigerian president pledged to « remove all obstacles in the oil and gas industry ». « We are ready to work with you », he said.

The oil and gas major indicated that it « has a substantial portfolio of projects that could represent 6 billion dollars of investment over the next few years ».

Ten days ago, the Nigerian president’s office announced similar commitments from British oil and gas giant Shell, for USD 6 billion in offshore, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

Since his inauguration at the end of May, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken a series of economic measures aimed at attracting more foreign investment to this oil-producing country and member of OPEC.

A law, the Petroleum Industry Bill, adopted in 2021 after years of debate and delays, was already aimed at attracting more foreign investment in the oil sector through changes to regulations, royalties and taxes.

Nigeria has seen its oil production decline in recent years due to widespread pipeline theft, attacks, high operating costs and red tape, which have deterred investors.

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Ethiopia defaults on $33 Million bond payment



Ethiopia officially entered default territory on Tuesday, becoming Africa’s third nation to do so within a span of three years. The failure to make a $33 million « coupon » payment on its sole international government bond underscores the country’s severe financial challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a recently concluded two-year civil war in November 2022.

Ethiopia had previously announced its intention to formally default earlier this month. The payment, originally due on December 11, had a technical grace period extending until Tuesday, thanks to a 14-day clause in the $1 billion bond agreement.

Sources familiar with the situation reported that, as of the close of business on Friday, December 22, the last international banking working day before the grace period ended, bondholders had not received the expected coupon payment. Despite requests for comments, Ethiopian government officials remained silent on Friday and throughout the weekend.

This anticipated default aligns Ethiopia with two other African nations, Zambia and Ghana, which are currently undergoing a comprehensive restructuring process under the « Common Framework. »

Ethiopia initially sought debt relief under the G20-led initiative in early 2021. The civil war delayed progress, but in November, facing depleted foreign exchange reserves and surging inflation, Ethiopia’s official sector government creditors, including China, agreed to a debt service suspension deal.

Parallel negotiations with pension funds and other private sector creditors, who hold Ethiopia’s bond, collapsed on December 8. Subsequently, credit ratings agency S&P Global downgraded the bond to « Default » on December 15, based on the assumption that the coupon payment would not be fulfilled. The default places Ethiopia in a challenging economic position, requiring strategic measures to address its financial instability and navigate the complexities of debt restructuring.


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Nigeria, Cameroon missing in top 10 best international airports in Africa



Africa is emerging as a preferred global destination for travellers, driven by a thriving tourism and business sector. The continent’s aviation landscape is now a formidable force, fostering crucial connections between Africa and the global community.

Recently, Skytrax, a renowned international airline assessment organization, revealed its 2023 report on the Best Airports in Africa. South Africa dominated the regional ranking, with additional entries from Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, and Mauritius.

1. Cape Town International Airport, South Africa

This is a premier international hub with modern infrastructure and a commitment to eco-friendly practices. The airport hosts 4.13 passengers per 10 square meters daily, catering to a discerning crowd.

2. King Shaka International Airport, South Africa

Located in Durban, it stands as a beacon of excellence among Africa’s best international airports. The terminal, covering 102,000 m2, can handle 7.5 million passengers annually.

3. Johannesburg International Airport, South Africa

Serving as the primary hub for domestic and international travel in South Africa. Since 2020, Africa’s fifth busiest airport with a capacity for 28 million passengers per year.

4. Casablanca International Airport, Morocco

Handled about 7.6 million passengers in 2022, ranking among the top 10 busiest airports in Africa. A hub for Royal Air Maroc, Royal Air Maroc Express, and Air Arabia Maroc.

5. Mauritius International Airport

A strategic gateway with direct flights to Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Renowned for its commitment to passenger satisfaction and prime location.

6. Marrakech International Airport, Morocco

An international facility connecting Europe, the Arab world, and soon North America. Terminals designed to handle 2,500,000 passengers annually.

7. Addis Ababa International Airport, Ethiopia

Formerly Haile Selassie I International Airport, it’s the main hub for Ethiopian Airlines. Links Ethiopia and Africa to Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

8. Kigali International Airport, Rwanda

Serving Kigali and playing a vital role in connecting Congolese, Burundian, and Ugandan cities. The terminal accommodates 1.5 million passengers annually.

9. Nairobi International Airport, Kenya

A key connection point to East African destinations, quadrupling its capacity to host 26.5 million passengers yearly.

10. Bloemfontein International Airport, South Africa

Formerly Bloemfontein International Airport, now Bram Fischer International Airport. An economic hub hosting over 300,000 passengers and 17,000 air traffic movements annually.

Source: africanews


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$10.1 billion net: Aliko Dangote retains Africa’s richest slot on Forbes list



Earlier in January 2023, Forbes reported that Africa’s 19 billionaires had a combined wealth of $81.8 billion, with Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote as the richest for the 12th consecutive year. South Africa led with five billionaires, followed by Egypt and Nigeria.

The ranking of the African continent’s 11 richest people as per real-time net worth figures from Forbes as of November 22 2023 puts Nigerian billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote on top.

Earlier in January 2023, Forbes reported that Africa’s 19 billionaires had a combined wealth of $81.8 billion, with Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote as the richest for the 12th consecutive year. South Africa led with five billionaires, followed by Egypt and Nigeria.

As of November 22, 2023, the ranking of Africa’s richest includes Aliko Dangote with $10.1 billion, Johann Rupert at $9.7 billion, and Nicky Oppenheimer with $8.3 billion, highlighting their diverse sources of wealth ranging from cement to luxury goods and diamonds, as published by CNBC Africa.

Other notable billionaires include Nassef Sawiris from Egypt with $6.9 billion, Nigeria’s Abdulsamad Rabiu at $6.4 billion, and Issad Rebrab from Algeria worth $4.6 billion, each contributing significantly to sectors like sportswear, cement, sugar, and food processing in the continent.

There are no female billionaires on the list of Africa’s richest.

Aliko Dangote’s real-time net worth is $10.1 billion. The 66-year-old self-made billionaire in cement and sugar founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer, which has the capacity to produce 48.6 million metric tons annually and has operations across Africa.

After many years in development, Dangote’s fertilizer plant in Nigeria began operations in March 2022. Dangote told Forbes that when he was young, he bought sweets, gave them to others to sell, and he kept the profits.

Johann Rupert and family is worth $9.7 billion as of November 22 2023. The 73-year-old South African luxury business magnate residing in Cape Town is chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont that’s best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc. He is Africa’s second richest man and is married with three children.

Nicky Oppenheimer and family, with a net worth of $8.3 billion, is at number three on the African continent. The South Africa-based Oppenheimer, 77, heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune, sold his 40% of the firm to mining group Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012. For 85 years until 2012, the Oppenheimer family occupied a controlling spot in the world’s diamond trade.

Nassef Sawiris is the Cairo resident, with a real-time net worth of $6.9 billion. An investor and a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, his most valuable asset is a nearly 6% stake in sportswear maker Adidas. The 62-year-old in construction and investments also runs OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa.

Also from Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy, is Abdulsamad Rabiu with a real-time net worth of $6.4 billion. The 63-year-old’s origin of wealth is cement and sugar. He is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate. In early January 2020, Rabiu merged his privately-owned Obu Cement company with listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled.

Issad Rebrab and family have a net worth of $4.6 billion. The 79-year-old Algerian founded Cevital and served as its CEO for more than 50 years. He named his son, Malik, CEO in July 2022. Cevital, Algeria’s biggest privately-held company, owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world, with the capacity to produce 2 million tons a year.

Mohamed Mansour’s net worth is at $3.6 billion. The self-made 75-year-old Egyptian businessman oversees family conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d. 1976) in 1952 and has 60,000 employees. Mansour established General Motors dealerships in Egypt in 1975, later becoming one of GM’s biggest distributors worldwide.

Naguib Sawiris with a real-time net worth of $3.3 billion is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Nassef is also a billionaire. He built a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction.

Yet another notable businessman from Nigeria is the 70-year-old Mike Adenuga, whose real-time net worth is $3.1 billion as per Forbes. He built his fortune in telecom and oil production.

The self-made Lagosianis known for having made his first million at age 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks.

Cape Town-based Koos Bekker, 70, was worth $2.4 bililon as of November 22, and is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an e-commerce investor and cable TV powerhouse. His Babylonstoren estate, nearly 600 acres in South Africa’s Western Cape region, features architecture dating back to 1690, a farm, orchard and vineyard and more.

Patrice Motsepe has a net worth today of $2.3 billion. The mining tycoon is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. He became a billionaire in 2008 – the first black African on the Forbes list. In 2016, he launched a private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa. Motsepe is also the president and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, one of the most valuable clubs in Africa. In March 2021, he was elected president of the Confederation of African Football.


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