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In Africa's battle for the skies, an east African carrier is stepping up its game in an effort to dominate the market. The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest carrier by number of passengers, according to FlightGlobal, has taken stakes in a raft of carriers across Africa and opened routes to new destinations, like Manchester, UK.
 
The expansion is part of the airline's 2025 Vision to become the leading aviation group in Africa, and increase the share of the market occupied by African airlines.
 
"Twenty percent of the market is carried by African airlines and 80% of the market is carried by non-African airlines," said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "The market share has been declining for the last 20 years."
 
Taking off
 
Ethiopian Airlines is looking to fend off competition from South African Airways, the largest carrier by number of flights, according to FlightGlobal, EgyptAir, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways.
 
Tewolde told CNN that Ethiopian Airlines are expanding into West Africa with Togolese airline ASKY Airlines. They're also doing business with Air Cote d'Ivoire, Congo Airways and have taken management of CEIBA International in Equatorial Guinea.
 
The airline has ambitious plans; Ethiopia is working with the Zambian government to relaunch their national carrier with a 45% stake, it also plans to establish a wholly-owned airline in Mozambique and has signed a contract to start an airline in Guinea. Ethiopian has also taken stakes in a Chadian airline.
"Typically, they're taking a minority stake or around 50%. They tend to go into these joint ventures with local partners," said Oliver Clark, senior reporter at FlightGlobal.
 
New routes
 
Ethiopian Airlines is launching new routes from Addis Ababa to Jakarta, Chicago and Geneva in the coming months. The airline is looking to make the Ethiopian capital a transport hub, connecting other African countries without long-haul capacity with continents around the world.
"It's trying to feed traffic from other African countries through Addis to then give them the connectivity to travel on to other continents, US, Europe and Asia in particular," Clark said.
 
In 2015, Africa accounted for only 3% of air passenger traffic, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. The growth of African airlines worldwide will seek to expand the number of travelers.
 
South: CNN
The United States’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that Brent crude oil prices will average $71 per barrel in 2018 and $68 a barrel in 2019. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil has maintain an international price of $73.44 per barrel, higher than the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket price of $73.35 per barrel.
The price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light is higher than the Nigeria’s $51 per barrel benchmark for 2018 budget.EIA in its Monthly Oil Market report for May, expects oil prices to decline in the coming months because global oil inventories are expected to rise slightly during the second half of 2018 and in 2019.The updated 2019 forecast price is $2 a barrel is higher than in the May forecast, which sold for an average price of $77 a barrel, an increase of $5 per barrel from April and the highest monthly average price since November 2014.
 
Even though the 2019 oil price forecast is higher than it was in the May monthly report, EIA expects oil prices to decline in the coming months because global oil inventories are expected to rise slightly during the second half of 2018 and in 2019.According to EIA, expected inventory growth results from forecast oil supply growth outpacing forecast oil demand growth in 2019.
 
EIA currently forecasts global petroleum and other liquids inventories will increase by 210,000 barrels per day (b/d) next year, a factor that, all else being equal, typically puts downward pressure on oil prices.Most of the growth in global oil production in the coming months is expected to come from the United States.
 
EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.8 million barrels per day for full-year 2018, up from 9.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, and will average 11.8 million bpd in 2019.
 
The agency noted that if the 2018 and 2019 forecast annual averages materialize, they would be the highest levels of production on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1970.EIA expects that OPEC crude oil production will average 32.0 million b/d in 2018, a decrease of about 0.4 million bpd from the 2017 level.
 
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, expressed optimism that the price of crude oil would rise to a level that is neither too high nor too low.The Minister said though crude oil appears to have fallen into bad times because of prevailing low price and the campaign against the use of fossil fuels for environmental reasons, the product would soon rise up to take its place as the prime global energy source.
 
Waxing poetic message on the current crude oil prices recently, Kachikwu stated: “My name is oil, those who are kind to me call me black gold. Those who hate me call me crude.“I worry for my future; everyone now talks down on me. Even farmers who trembled at the sight of my name are now strategizing against me.“And all my beneficiaries, me have they abandoned, all because producers have lost their tracks. But I will rise again, and when I do, I will take no prisoners.
 
“I will new technologies control; I will my supremacy confirm; I will my respect regain.“And my pricing, not too low, not too high; but I will not allow prices to humiliate me. All of you in OPEC, APPA, GCEF and all such bodies who have shown me no respect recently, soon, you’ll eat your words.”
 
Source: The Guardian
Inflation eased to 4.4% for May compared to 4.5% in April, despite the implementation of a VAT hike implemented in April.
 
This is according to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), which on Wednesday released the consumer price index figures for May. The index increased 0.2% month-on-month.
 
The market consensus was for CPI to accelerate to 4.6%, and in a market update on Wednesday RMB economist Isaah Mhlanga had projected an increase to 4.8% having considered the VAT pass-through.
 
Mhlanga also expected the fuel price and weak rand to impact inflation. “The oil price and a weak rand have had a huge impact (on inflation), but the second-round effects will only be visible in the months to come and they are difficult to quantify and separate from the first-round effects,” said Mhlanga.
 
He expects the current account deficit data due on Thursday to be a “shock to the currency”, RMB projects it to be 5% of GDP.
 
By 10:23 the rand was trading 0.44% firmer from the previous close at R13.68/$. 
 
Contributors to May's inflation include food and non-alcoholic beverages which increased 3.4% year-on-year. Inflation for restaurants and hotels increased by 5% year-on-year.
 
Transport contributed to the month-on-month inflation, the index increased 1.2%.
 
In May the CPI for goods increased by 3.5% year-on-year, unchanged from April. The CPI for services increased by 5.3% year-on-year, also unchanged from April
 
South: Fin24
The mines minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo has disclosed the country’s prime minister has sign into law the regulations to immediately implement a new mining code without any concessions to industry demands that key provisions be amended.
 
The move could set off a legal battle between the government and major mining companies operating in Congo, including Glencore and Randgold, which threatened legal action against the government last week if their concerns about tax hikes and the elimination of exemptions were not addressed.
 
“The code will be applied as it was promulgated!” Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu told Reuters in a text message.
 
A spokeswoman for Randgold, who has been handling media queries on behalf of seven of the largest foreign companies operating in Congo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
Kabwelulu said the regulations would first be adopted at a cabinet meeting on Friday and then signed by Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala in the evening, adding that “the application of the code will be immediate!”
 
The new code scraps 10-year protections for existing projects against changes to the fiscal regime, imposes a windfall profits tax and increases royalties. Congo is Africa’s top copper producer and the world’s leading miner of cobalt.
 
Source: African News
Norwegian-based oil exploration and production firm, Aker Energy AS, believes its successful entry into Ghana’s upstream petroleum business is a timeous opportunity to transfer Norway’s decades of technical expertise and vast experience in the oil and gas industry to the country and the sub-region as a whole.
The transfer will be achieved through conscious mentoring and subcontracting to local staff and firms, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aker Energy, Mr Jan Arve Haugan, told journalists in Accra.
 
In his first interaction with journalists in Accra after Aker Energy successfully replaced Hess Ghana Limited as the operator and 50 per cent owner of the Deep-Water Tano Cape Three Points (DWTCTP) block, Mr Haugan said the company’s contribution to the country and its domestic stakeholders “will be beyond the local content” requirements captured under the Local Content and Local Participation Policy.
 
“We want to contribute to the local economy beyond the requirements of the local content. We know that the oil and gas sector has some sort of minimum requirements on local content and that is a good picture of good governance.
 
“But sometimes, that is also a system that does not really build the industry in the country. So we have communicated very clearly that the Aker family, which I am the representative here today, has an obligation from the owners of the company to contribute to competence beyond local content,” he stated.
 
Aker Energy, the energy wing of Norwegian billionaire, Mr Kjell Inge Rokke, entered Ghana’s nascent upstream petroleum subsector in February this year through a US$100 million share purchase agreement with Hess Ghana for its stake in the DWTCTP block.
 
A financial closure of the transaction was reached last month, paving the way for Aker Energy to pay US$25 million to Hess Ghana. The remaining US$75 million is to be paid after the plan of development (PoD) has been approved by the government, according to the requirements of the transaction.
 
Following the sale, Aker Energy will now lead Lukoil (38 per cent), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10 per cent) and Fuel Trade (two per cent) to develop and produce oil in the block, which has proven reserves of about 550 million barrels of oil equivalent with additional potential of 400 million barrels.
 
Mr Haugan said Aker Energy was working hard to ensure that the PoD was submitted to the government in July to pave the way for its approval by December this year.
 
“We have clearly communicated that the critical activities need to be triggered by the end of the year. So currently, we are preparing the application for the development and that has to be submitted for approval to be given before the end of the year,” he noted.
 
He added that the approval would be followed by an ‘order to proceed’ in 2019, enabling the various actors to start development works.
 
“In 2020, it will be the year of assembling, where we will start to manufacture in various locations, then we put the pieces together and divide our pieces into three major blocks – the subsea production system (SPS), the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and then the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel,” the CEO mentioned.
 
He explained that although the company had “framed agreements to be copied from Aker BP,” our sister company in Norway, for the SPS and the SURF, that of the FPSO was different, given that it would be a purpose-built vessel.
 
“For the FPSO, we took the work that was done by Hess and we started. All the technical considerations have been completed and closed, and then we started the commercial process,” he said.
 
He explained that the bid for the FPSO was opened in early April, with the evaluation currently ongoing; with the hope that it would be completed by the end of the year.
 
Credit: AfricanNews.Com
Ethiopia said on Tuesday it would open its state-run telecoms monopoly and state-owned Ethiopian Airlines to private domestic and foreign investment, a major policy shift that will loosen the state’s grip on the economy.
 
The East African nation of 100 million people has one of the most closed and controlled economies in Africa. The ruling EPRDF coalition, in power since 1991, has long supported deep state involvement in the economy.
 
But the EPRDF said on Tuesday that Ethiopia needed economic reforms to sustain rapid growth and boost its exports
 
“While majority stakes will be held by the state, shares in Ethio Telecom, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Power, and the Maritime Transport and Logistics Corporation will be sold to both domestic and foreign investors,” it said in a statement.
 
It was referring to the state monopolies in the electricity, telecoms and logistics sectors, as well as the highly profitable national flag carrier.
 
The announcement was the first clear signal that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who came to power in April promising a “new political beginning”, would implement real economic reforms.
 
The 41-year-old former army officer was appointed by the EPRDF after his predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn, resigned in February after three years of unrest in which hundreds of people were killed by security forces.
 
Observers say Abiy is under pressure to meet high public expectations. In the past two months he has traveled around Ethiopia, promising to address grievances and to strengthen a range of political and civil rights.
 
Earlier on Tuesday parliament approved the government’s decision to lift a six-month state of emergency two months earlier than planned.
 
Source: StandardMedia.co.ke
The new Country Director for Great Place To Work Nigeria, an affiliate of Peoples Productivity Solutions (PPS) Africa, the parent company of Great Place to Work UK, Dr. Gonzalo Shoobridge, has pledged the company’s commitment to partnering with Nigerian companies on global best practices.
 
Great Place to Work is a global research, consulting and training firm, which helps organisations identify, create and sustain great workplaces through the development of high trust workplace cultures.
 
Shoobridge, who replaced Michael Thomas as Country Director for Great Place To Work Nigeria, said Great Place to Work UK will bring to bear on Nigerian organisations best global practices that conform to the UK and other European companies where the firm has operations.
 
Speaking at the fifth award ceremony of Great Place to Work Nigeria, recently in Lagos, Shoobridge said: “We are bringing best practices here so we can share them with Nigerian organisations that want to become best work places.”
 
According to him, the objective was to have best workplaces in Nigeria, “because if we improve the workplace, we are going to improve the society as a whole.”
 
Shoobridge, who brings over 20 years experience in diverse international business development and human resource consulting roles, however, pointed out that great work places don’t happen by chance. Rather, organisations work hard to become great work places.
 
“It doesn’t happen in one or two years; it is a continuous improvement process, because the bar is very high. That is why we are going to partner with Nigerian organisations in that journey to becoming best work place,” he said.
 
Forty five companies across Africa were recognised as great places to work in various categories at this year’s award by Great Place to Work Nigeria. It was the fifth in the series.
 
The Group Managing Director (GMD), PPS Africa, Kunle Malomo, said the companies were recognised for demonstrating the main attributes of a great workplace.
 
“These companies have the courage and confidence to build the kind of workplace where you achieve organisational objectives with employees who give their personal best and work together as a team or family-all in an environment of trust,” he said, in his welcome address.
 
Credit: The Guardian
 

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed yesterday that the Federal Government would mobilise more revenues to drive its growth plan for the economy.The Minister made this known in Abuja at a meeting with a World Bank Mission of 10 Executive Directors led by Mr. Patrizio Pagano.

She stated that the government would accelerate Nigeria’s growth level and also improve the Ease of Doing Business.

“The Nigerian government is working towards accelerating the country’s growth level. The growth will be underpinned by stimulating the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and improving our capital expenditure, which we have done in the last two years.

“Nigerians should trust the government to deliver on its promises of improving the economy and providing sustainable infrastructural development. We are very optimistic but we will remain vigilant,” Adeosun said.  The Minister revealed that the country’s taxpayers’ base had risen from 14 million in 2016 to 19 million in 2018, grossing additional five million taxpayers into the system.

“By 2019, the growth will be stronger than the present level in 2018. We are optimistic in sustaining Nigeria’s economic growth. That is why we are driving the mobilisation of more revenues.

“We have been able to grow the taxpayers’ base to 19 million in two years from the 65 million economically active people who are not tax compliant,” she added.

The leader of the World Bank Mission to Nigeria, Patrizio Pagano, explained that the team was in the country to acquaint itself of the government’s growth and power priorities.

“We have met with several Nigerian entrepreneurs and have seen how vibrant the private sector is. We want to understand how the power sector is evolving in Nigeria,” Pagano said.

The World Bank officials had earlier met with the Organised Private Sector (OPS)in Lagos and undertaken a tour of LAPO Microfinance projects in Lagos.

 The 10 World Bank Executive Directors, representing 96 countries, are expected to inspect the Azura Power Plant in Edo State in the course of their three-day visit to Nigeria.

ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Mobil Producing Nigeria Joint Venture, today announced plans to invest up to N13 billion (US$43 million) in three community health, economic empowerment and education projects in Akwa Ibom State in the next 18 months.

These investments amount to one of the largest community investments by any company...

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, says the corporation will prove to Nigerians that it is the most transparent organisation in Nigeria.

Mr Baru said this at a stakeholders’ workshop on validation by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency …

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