Editor’s Note: December 05, 2018

Angola is stirring

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg was in Angola on Monday. It’s the first time a sitting head of government from the Nordic country has visited Africa’s second-biggest oil producer.

This coincided with its state-controlled oil company Equinor marking the milestone of having produced 1bn barrels of crude in Angola.

While important for relations between the two, oil had little to do with the visit.

It’s an endorsement of an unlikely turnaround unfolding under the country’s president João Lourenco. 

He succeeded José Eduardo dos Santos in September 2017 after 38 years in power, inheriting a legacy of nepotism and corruption that had earned Angola one of the worst reputations in Africa.

His first year in office has been defined by unexpected and sweeping changes, including anunprecedented crackdown on corruption.

The goal is to clean up Angola’s image, attract much-needed investment, and end the economy’s debilitating oil dependency.

Steps towards this include privatisation plans, a new investment law and the easing of notoriously onerous visa rules. 

Much remains to be done, with the consensus among observers and investors being to wait and see if reforms can be sustained and consolidated.

But the country is stirring. Solberg’s visit, which included a Norwegian business delegation, is a good illustration of this.

From The Continent

Nigeria has issued an international arrest warrant for it's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, in office from 2010-2015, to face corruption charges in the country. She is currently in the UK, where she is also being investigated after being arrested and released on bail in 2015. More: Africanews


South Africa has exited its first recession in a decade following higher than expected growth of 2.2% in the third quarter, driven by agriculture and manufacturing. The news is a boost to waning efforts by president Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to kick-start a stalling economy after the Jacob Zuma years. More: Reuters

The Daily Stat

28

The number of years the US since had a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia, having re-establishes ties this week. More: CNN

The Global Perspective

Oman-based Raysut Cement is considering acquiring Kenya’s ARM cement, valuing the company at more than $100m. This follows reports in November that Nigeria's Dangote Cement group is also in the running. More: Times of Oman

Norwegian oil company Equinor has said it is ready, with ExxonMobil, to start talks with Tanzania's government to develop a $30bn liquefied natural gas project. The East African country is home to some of the world's biggest untapped gas reserves. More: Reuters

The Daily Follow

@PIDA_Africa: News and updates from the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa