Africa and the West – Talking Past Each Other
April 16, 2014 – 11:58 am | No Comment

AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, AU Chairman Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president José Manuel Barroso at the AU – EU summit. PHOTO/Reuters
Brussels, Belgium | On the …

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Ghana Law Requires Locals to Benefit from Oil Production
April 16, 2014 – 2:23 pm | No Comment

A new law in Ghana requires oil and gas companies to make greater use of local products and services.    The broad objective of the new law, known as Petroleum Regulation on Local Content and Participation, is to create jobs and promote business development.  It gives preference to local groups in the granting of licenses for petroleum activities.  The law further gives Ghanaians the opportunity to own up to a five percent stake in any investment by an international company.

Ghana discovered offshore oil deposits in 2007, and commercial production began in 2010.  The country’s Petroleum Commission is convinced the new law will help more oil revenue reach the people.  The chief executive officer of the commission, Theo Ahwireng, said local participation in the oil sector will be a big boost to Ghana’s economy.

“It is through participation that you develop the skills of the people, so that at the end of the day when the oil wealth is gone, you will leave an economy with skilled people and skilled business,” he said.  Ahwireng then added, “We’ve had fantastic response from a great number of the companies.  We have sat with them to help them go through the procurement process and I must say the support has been very good.”

However, it remains unknown whether the law will create more jobs in offshore oil exploration and drilling.  Local companies active in the oil sector mostly offer onshore services such as engineering, construction, security and transport.    Some of the local companies are small and poorly structured.  If they try to compete for lucrative offshore contracts, they stand to face stiff competition from more experienced firms from abroad.

Awhireng hopes a proposed enterprise development center, set up in partnership with international oil companies, would help local workers and businesses gain the skills that oil companies need.  “Nobody wakes up from the beginning and becomes a dynamic gold medallist,” he said.

He pointed out, “You need to go through a development process.  I know that most of the rig workers that we have at the moment are a legacy of the work during the 80’s between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.  Definitely, these gentlemen are advanced in age and there is need for us to get younger people.  Currently, the Petroleum Commission is embarking on an exhaustive human resource mapping to look at the skills that are applicable; those that we have in Ghana and those that we don’t have and find out exactly what we need to do to develop these competencies locally.”

The executive director of Ghana’s Oil and Gas Service Providers Association, Nuertey Adzeman, describes the new law as the best thing ever to happen in the country’s oil industry.   He said its provisions can lead to “winning situations” for both international investors and local companies hoping to profit from Ghana’s growing oil sector.

Source: Voice of America

NamPower in Talks With Neighboring Countries to Prevent Power Outages
April 16, 2014 – 2:13 pm | No Comment
NamPower in Talks With Neighboring Countries to Prevent Power Outages

Namibian Power utility, NamPower, is pursuing extension of Power Purchase Agreements with some neighboring countries in a bid to subvert power outages.  The negotiations with South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are part of efforts to …

Africans Abroad Lose $2 billion Annually in Remittance ‘Supertax’
April 16, 2014 – 1:56 pm | No Comment
Africans Abroad Lose $2 billion Annually in Remittance ‘Supertax’

African living abroad are losing up to $2 billion a year in remittance ‘super tax’ when sending money back to relatives and friends in their home countries for personal use or investment, a London-based think …

Ivory Coast PM say, ‘We Can Astonish the World’
April 16, 2014 – 1:04 pm | No Comment
Ivory Coast PM say, ‘We Can Astonish the World’

Ivory Coast’s prime minister says his country is on track to reach double digit economic growth this year and become an emerging market by 2020.  In an interview with VOA, Daniel Kablan Duncan …

100 Black Men of America Inc., partners with Rent-A-Center to help bridge Digital Divide
April 16, 2014 – 12:59 pm | No Comment
100 Black Men of America Inc., partners with Rent-A-Center to help bridge Digital Divide

Rent-A-Center, Inc. has donated 65 Dell tablet computers to the Atlanta headquarters of 100 Black Men of America, a noted non-profit men’s civic organization dedicated to educating and empowering African American children and teens.
The hardware …

Kenya’s Shift to Green Economy Could Generate $45 Billion by 2030
April 16, 2014 – 12:47 pm | No Comment
Kenya’s Shift to Green Economy Could Generate $45 Billion by 2030

Kenya’s transition to a green economy could generate an estimated 45 billion US dollars by 2030 for the East African country.  A greener economy could also result in greater food security, a cleaner environment and …

Thumbzup Taking a Unique Approach to Innovation in South Africa
April 16, 2014 – 12:31 pm | No Comment
Thumbzup Taking a Unique Approach to Innovation in South Africa

Innovation in South Africa has become the trend, as local intellectuals are making headlines worldwide through technological development.   The latest innovation has been introduced by Stafford Masie, founder of Thumbzup, a South African based IT …

Veronica Campbell-Brown cleared of doping because of testing flaws – CAS
April 16, 2014 – 12:31 pm | No Comment
Veronica Campbell-Brown cleared of doping because of testing flaws – CAS

Veronica Campbell-Brown at the 2012 London Olympic Games. PHOTO/File
Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown was cleared of doping because of blatant flaws in the test collection procedures and possible “environmental contamination” of her urine sample, sport’s highest …

African Union launches Swaziland IXP
April 16, 2014 – 12:04 pm | No Comment
African Union launches Swaziland IXP

The African Union Commission (AUC) has helped launch an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Swaziland.  In a press statement, the AUC says it has partnered with the Kingdom of Swaziland’s ministry of information, communications and …

Ghana has a smaller fistful of dollars
April 16, 2014 – 11:57 am | No Comment
Ghana has a smaller fistful of dollars

You know you are in trouble when pastors are seeking divine intervention for your currency.  On the Sunday that followed the Bank of Ghana’s attempt to halt the flow of dollars out of …

East African nations seek funding adviser for $4 billion railway
April 16, 2014 – 11:32 am | No Comment
East African nations seek funding adviser for $4 billion railway

Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are looking for an adviser to help them secure financing for a $4.13 billion railway project aimed at boosting cross-border trade in the region.  The railway will link Tanzania’s …