Africa This Week 102222: Somalia’s Petroleum Exploration Agreement, South Africa’s Crypto Regulations, Nigeria’s #EndSARS Remembrance, And More

Coastline Exploration, based in the United States, announced on Friday that Somalia has inked a petroleum exploration agreement for seven offshore blocks. Investor interest in the hydrocarbon potential of other regions of East Africa has been sparked by hydrocarbon discoveries in Uganda and Kenya, as well as enormous gas discoveries in Mozambique and Tanzania. Reports revealed that Abdirizak Omar Mohamed,added that the agreement with Coastline was the culmination of a pre-agreement that was initially signed in February. The East African-focused upstream oil and gas business announced in a statement on Friday that it had given the government a $7 million signing bonus and would now move forward with exploration. In 2019, Somalia established a law governing the petroleum industry, opening the door for exploration, particularly near the coast.

According to a notice published in the government gazette on Wednesday, South Africa’s financial authorities have categorised cryptocurrency assets as financial products, making them subject to regulation. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) stated in the brief notice that as of the date of publication, a crypto asset, which it referred to as “a digital representation of value,” must be regulated in South Africa. The government had earlier stated that it intends to enact regulations that cover licensing cryptocurrency trading firms and implementing foreign exchange controls. Financial regulators are debating how to control new digital currencies and tokens, whose prices have declined since November of last year. Cryptocurrency is a type of asset that can be exchanged, transferred, or kept electronically but is not created by a central bank.

According to Namibia’s mining and energy minister, Tom Alweendo, the country has tentatively agreed to a contract with the European Union to export its rare earth minerals, which are essential to the renewable energy industry. In an effort to lessen the EU’s reliance on Russian energy, officials from Namibia and the EU told Reuters in July that they were negotiating an agreement on minerals and hydrogen. Rare earth minerals like dysprosium and terbium, which are required for permanent magnets in the batteries of electric vehicles and wind turbines, are abundant in Namibia. According to a statement released by EU officials in July, the EU wants to make it easier for people to access minerals in Namibia and is planning geological projects to explore the country’s resources. Namibia is almost as big as the combined territory of France and Germany.

In the Mubende district of central Uganda, 24 people have passed away in the thirty days since Uganda proclaimed an Ebola outbreak. The government claims to have placed more than 80 people in various isolation facilities under obligatory quarantine while being monitored for 21 days. The incubation period for Ebola is thought to be 21 days starting on the day of contact. In a broadcast public address, Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, has issued a 21-day travel restriction in the two districts of Mubende and Kassanda. The purpose of the lockdown, which has turned the villagers and police against one another, is to stop the Ebola virus from spreading outside of the two districts. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister of health, claims that the limitations are limiting the spread and enabling health officials to control contact tracing. Doctors have been searching for a vaccine ever since the Sudan variant, which was first discovered in Uganda in the early 2000s, made a comeback. According to Aceng, two vaccines from the U.K. and the U.S. are prepared for testing in the nation.

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The African Union (AU) is hosting talks in South Africa on Monday to try to put an end to the two-year conflict in the nation’s north. The rebel authorities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have confirmed their participation in those talks. The Ethiopian federal government, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, declared on Thursday that it would participate in the negotiations. However, neither the AU, which is based in Addis Ababa, nor Pretoria have formally confirmed this. Ethiopia has been at war with the rebel authorities in Tigray since November 2020. Previous negotiations, which the AU had called for early in October in South Africa, had collapsed due to organizational issues before they had even started. Olusegun Obasanjo is serving as the AU’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa and is in charge of the mediation efforts. On Friday, he gave a report to the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the pan-African organization “on the peace process for Ethiopia. The PSC, the organization within the pan-African organization responsible for handling conflicts and security-related issues, met behind closed doors for the first time since fighting resumed in northern Ethiopia on August 24. This conflict ended a five-month cease-fire and the tenuous prospects for negotiations that it had raised.

On Thursday, Nigerian police dispersed a gathering in Lagos commemorating the second anniversary of the nation’s #EndSARS protests against police brutality and poor administration by using water cannons and tear gas. Before security forces put an end to them with a crackdown, the youth-led rallies in Lagos and other cities in October 2020 grew to be the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Nigeria’s modern history. The government and the army have continually refuted the claims made by rights groups that at least 10 people were killed by security personnel on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, the scene of the protests. A group of protestors with banners and flags demonstrated Thursday along the main motorway close to Lekki before police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse them as cars drove past, according to an AFP correspondent who was on the scene. Benjamin Hundeyin, a spokesman for the Lagos State Police, said that some protesters were kicked out of the event on Thursday for being unruly.

Following Thursday’s tragic protests, Chad is slowly regaining normalcy. On Thursday, the government of Chad declared a nighttime curfew after 50 people died in brutal clashes between police and protesters who were opposing the military’s hold on power. On Thursday, hundreds of people demonstrated in the nation’s capital, N’Djamena, and other locations to commemorate the day that the military had initially pledged to relinquish control, a period that has now been extended for an additional two years. The official death toll in Chad, according to Prime Minister Saleh Kebzabo, was updated to around 50 on Thursday night. He added that more than 300 people were injured. The majority of the fatalities were reported in N’Djamena, as well as the cities of Moundou and Koumra. He said in a press conference that a curfew would be in effect between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am (1700 GMT and 0500 GMT) until the “complete restoration of order” in the troubled areas. Kebzabo said that other important opposition groups like the Transformers party and the civil society coalition Wakit Tamma have also stopped “all public activity.”

Before an immersive exhibition at the Paris Philharmonic opened on Thursday, the son of Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti spoke of his father’s courage in using “music as a weapon.” By emulating the ambiance of Fela Kuti’s sweaty, politically charged nightclub in Nigeria, The Shrine, which became a mecca for international performers in the 1970s, including Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, the Paris Philharmonic is paying tribute to Fela Kuti. The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and Beyonce and Jay-Z, who sampled Kuti’s hit song “Zombie” on “Homecoming Live,” both frequently mention his groundbreaking work. Kuti passed away in 1997 from complications related to AIDS, but his groundbreaking work is still as powerful as ever.

The new strongman in Burkina Faso will take office as president on Friday. Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba’s resignation was officially noted by the constitutional council on Wednesday, October 19. Captain Traoré, the mastermind of the coup, has led the junta since removing Damiba on September 30. According to the transition charter, which the national forum approved on October 14, the 34-year-old will take over as Burkina Faso’s new president. About 300 individuals tasked with overseeing the transition unanimously elected Traoré to be “president of the transition, head of state, and supreme chief of the national armed forces.” The charter states that once the president chosen during the 2024 presidential election is sworn in, “the tenure of the president of the transition will terminate.” It is also stated that the president of the transition is not qualified to run in future elections. Insurgency has been a devastating problem for Burkina Faso.

The percentage of female pilots in Uganda is among the lowest, but these trailblazing enthusiasts are changing that. One person who is altering the narrative is Monica Nabakooza, who recently earned her wings in aviation and is now giving them to females who want to be pilots. Inspiring young women who want to pursue careers in the male-dominated business world, Monica is learning to fly a multi-engine aircraft while feeling more secure with greater speed and space. Cecilliah Kayesu, 10, is taking her first flight in what she thinks will be the beginning of a career exploring the skies. Despite an increasing need, data reveals that just 9% of pilots worldwide are female. Monica’s goal is to work for the police air wing despite having more than 250 hours under her belt. Young Cecilliah will have to wait until she is 17 to participate in pilot training, as that age is the minimum requirement in Uganda.

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