Africa 

Renewables top 90% of Kenyan power with new 50 MW solar plant

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya brought a new 50 megawatt (MW) solar plant online on Friday which it said would mean renewable energy, led by hydroelectricity, now makes up more than 90% of its power mix. The government is increasing electricity generation and investing in Kenya’s power grid to keep up with growing demand and reduce frequent blackouts in the east African country. But Kenya’s solar energy is still small compared to other sources. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office said the new solar plant, which has been built by the state-run Rural…

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Africa 

Namibia rushes to drill boreholes as worst drought in a century bites

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibia’s dam water levels have almost halved from already low levels as the worst drought in more than 100 years pushes the desert nation closer to famine. Dams nationwide were at 19.3% of capacity compared to 35.6% this time last year, water utility Namwater said, a drop officials blame on climate change and a five-year drought ripping through southern Africa. On Thursday, the environment ministry told Reuters drought had caused a third of Namibia’s 2.5 million population to go hungry, and that hundreds of wild animals in…

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Africa 

Unregulated teak trade fuelling South Sudanese violence -report

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Global consumers purchasing teak may be fuelling conflict in South Sudan, a research group said on Tuesday, warning that armed groups are benefiting from an unregulated logging trade worth tens of millions of dollars. Washington-based research group C4ADS, which uses publicly available data to analyse illicit transnational networks, examined trade data to document the export of around 100,000 tons of South Sudanese teak from January 2018 to March 2019. Their report found that corruption and a poorly regulated logging trade mean that the government, the military, and…

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Africa 

U.S. imposes sanctions on Islamist rebels in eastern Congo

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – The United States imposed sanctions on the leader of an Islamist rebel group and five others on Tuesday for perpetrating serious human rights abuses including mass rape, torture and killings in eastern Congo, the U.S. Treasury said. Congolese officials have accused the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who are originally from Uganda, of killing more than 100 people in a series of raids on villages over the last six weeks, hampering efforts to end an Ebola epidemic in the area. The group has…

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Africa 

Madagascar plans higher royalties on nickel, cobalt, at least 20% stake in mining production

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) – Madagascar plans to increase its royalties on nickel and cobalt to 4% from 2% at present, a draft mining law said on Tuesday. The law, presented to reporters by Mines Minister Fidiniavo Ravokatra, showed that Madagascar also proposes to allow the government to take at least a 20% stake in any marketable mining production. Reporting by Lovasoa Rabary; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Helen Reid

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Africa 

Angolan ex-president’s son on trial in rare corruption case

LONDON (Reuters) – The son of Angola’s veteran ex-president faced corruption charges before the country’s supreme court in a trial which opened on Monday, state news agency ANGOP said, the most high-profile case yet under the government’s anti-corruption drive. Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, the former head of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, along with three other defendents including the former governor of the National Bank of Angola, are accused of transferring $500 million from the bank to an account in London. An anti-corruption drive has gathered steam in Africa’s…

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Africa 

Four dead after rock collapse at South African gold mine

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Four mineworkers were killed and one was seriously injured after a rock fall at a South African gold mine on Friday trapped five workers underground, the company and a mining union said on Sunday. The collapse at the Village Main Reef’s Tau Lekoa gold mine in North West province followed at least one earth tremor. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was strongly critical of the mining company, saying in a statement that “there was no escape route in the working area where the four mineworkers were…

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Africa 

Kenya police officers among 10 killed in bus attack

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan police officers were among those killed when gunmen suspected to be from Islamist militant group al Shabaab attacked a bus on Friday near the border with Somalia, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office said on Saturday. The vehicle belonging to the Medina Bus Company was attacked on a lonely stretch of road in the Kotulo area as it travelled between the towns of Wajir and Mandera. “People, among them police officers, were brutally murdered,” Kenyatta’s office said in a statement. Police said 10 people had been killed and…

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Africa 

U.S. says drone shot down by Russian air defenses near Libyan capital

(Reuters) – The U.S. military believes that an unarmed American drone reported lost near Libya’s capital last month was in fact shot down by Russian air defenses and it is demanding the return of the aircraft’s wreckage, U.S. Africa Command says. Such a shootdown would underscore Moscow’s increasingly muscular role in the energy-rich nation, where Russian mercenaries are reportedly intervening on behalf of east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar in Libya’s civil war. Haftar has sought to take the capital Tripoli, now held by Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord…

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Africa 

Nigeria files fraud allegations in bid to overturn $9bln P&ID award

LAGOS (Reuters) – Lawyers for the Nigerian government on Friday filed “new and substantive” allegations of fraud with a British court in its ongoing fight against an arbitration award now worth more than $9 billion, a spokesman for the attorney general said. The government has been fighting efforts by the firm, Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), to enforce the award for a failed gas project, and now is also seeking to overturn the underlying award, the spokesman said. As the window to appeal the arbitration award expired, one of the…

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