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South African court impounds Tanzanian plane in compensation case

According to Wakefield, the only way Tanzania could secure the release of the plane is if it put up security or paid the debt.

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South African court impounds Tanzanian plane in compensation case

South African authorities have impounded an Airbus 220-300 aircraft leased by Tanzania’s national flag carrier, following a court application by a retired farmer who is owed compensation by the Tanzanian government.

The plane had been scheduled to fly from the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania but was seized on an order issued by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Tanzania’s transport ministry said in a statement. 

Roger Wakefield, of Werksmans Attorneys, said his client, an elderly farmer who asked not to be named, was owed $33 million, including interest, in compensation from the Tanzanian government after his land in the country was expropriated several decades ago. The farmer was subsequently awarded the compensation in arbitration, he said. 

According to Wakefield, the only way Tanzania could secure the release of the plane is if it put up security or paid the debt. 

“The plane was impounded in line with South African and international laws allowing for an asset owned by a foreign entity to be attached to a case related to a foreign arbitration award and was chosen because there is evidence it is owned directly by the Tanzanian government and its value is commensurate with the amount owed”, Wakefield adds.

The plane is leased by the state carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL). President John Magufuli has personally taken charge of the airline’s revival and has purchased eight new planes since 2016. 

The airline’s existing fleet, which is leased from the state-run Tanzania Government Flight Agency (TGFA), includes one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, two Airbus A220-300 jets and three DHC Dash 8-400 aircraft, formerly known as the Bombardier Q400 turboprop. 

Tanzania has pinned hopes on the revival of the national airline to turn the country into a regional transport hub and boost the tourism sector, its biggest foreign exchange earner. 

In 2017, a Canadian construction firm seized one of Tanzania’s new Q400 turboprop planes in Canada over a $38 million lawsuit related to a compensation ruling by the International Court of Arbitration. 

The Q400 was released in March 2018 after Magufuli sent the country’s prime minister and attorney general to Canada to negotiate its release. Aviation sources said the government reached a financial settlement to secure the aircraft. 

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Nigeria to sign military cooperation deal with Russia

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is due to meet Putin on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in Sochi

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Nigeria to sign military cooperation deal with Russia

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari hopes to sign a military-technical cooperation deal with Russia at talks with President Vladimir Putin this month that will help it fight Boko Haram militants.

The Nigerian leader is due to meet Putin on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea city of Sochi amid a push by Moscow to expand its influence in Africa.

“We’re sure that with Russian help we’ll manage to crush Boko Haram, given Russia’s experience combating Islamic State in Syria,” Nigerian envoy, Steve Ugbah said in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency, adding that Nigeria was interested in purchasing Russian helicopters, planes, tanks and other military equipment.

Ugbah says a military-technical cooperation deal between Russia and Nigeria had already been drafted and that it is awaiting finalisation. 

“We hope President Buhari can take the talks to their logical end. The agreement will open new possibilities in such areas as the supply of military equipment and training for specialists,” he adds.

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Nigeria, Cameroon to plan Cocoa price cartel

The plan suggested by Nigeria is part of a trend by cocoa growers in West Africa and Latin America

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Nigeria, Cameroon to plan Cocoa price cartel

Nigeria aims to team up with Cameroon to agree on a premium for its cocoa with buyers, after the world’s top growers, Ivory Coast and Ghana set a price floor for the crop.

The plan suggested by Nigeria, the world’s fourth-largest cocoa producer, is part of a trend which has seen growers in West Africa and Latin America seek to influence prices in the global market.

The move follows Ghana and Ivory Coast’s union in July, which set the price for a ton of cocoa from their countries at $2,600 plus a $400 premium described as “living income differential”.

READ: Cocoa industry stakeholders accept Ghana, Ivory Coast price

Both countries produced 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa in 2018.

Vice President of the World Cocoa Producers Organisation, Sayina Riman says discussions will be held with the private sector and the Nigerian Government before formal talks are held with Cameroon.  

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Exxon to invest $500 million in Mozambique LNG project

Construction of onshore facilities has been awarded to a consortium led by Japan’s JGC, U.K firm TechnipFMC and U.S. company, Fluor Corp

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Exxon to invest $500 million in Mozambique LNG project

Exxon Mobil plans to invest more than $500 million in the initial construction phase of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique.

The U.S. oil company’s $30 billion Rovuma LNG project, jointly operated with Italy’s Eni, has a capacity of more than 15 million tonnes a year (mtpa) and is set to pump much-needed cash into the country’s ailing economy. 

“The Area 4 partners will advance midstream and upstream area project activities of more than $500 million as initial investments,” Exxon head of power and gas marketing, Peter Clarke told a ceremony in Mozambique’s capital Maputo on Tuesday.

Construction of onshore facilities has been awarded to a consortium led by Japan’s JGC, U.K firm TechnipFMC and U.S. company, Fluor Corp.

“These EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts cover the construction of two natural gas production trains with a total capacity of 15.2 million tons per annum, as well as associated onshore facilities,” Clarke adds.

Final investment decisions, a term used by the oil industry to mean the commercial and regulatory aspects of a project are finalised, will be made in 2020.

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