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African press review 14 November 2018

The African oil sector is starting to bubble again, with billion-euro deals signed in Nigeria and Angola. What's wrong with Gabon's sick president, Ali Bongo? How are things for the Egyptian tourist industry?


Two big deals involving African governments and major oil companies dominate the front page of regional paper the East African . . .

According to one story, Nigeria and the ExxonMobil corporation have agreed to invest over one billion dollars in a joint venture to boost electricity output at the Qua Iboe power plant in the southeast of the country.

ExxonMobil is the second largest producer of crude oil in the West African state after Shell.

And there are over 16 billion euros at stake in the latest deal signed between French oil firm Total and the Angolan authorities in Luanda.

The Kaombo field, located in the Atlantic Ocean about 250km from the Angolan coast, is expected to produce 230,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the equivalent of 15 percent of Angola's current production.

Total is the largest producer in Angola, extracting about 700,000 barrels daily, 42 percent of the country’s total output.

How sick is Gabon's Ali Bongo?

An opposition party in Gabon yesterday accused the government of lying over the health of President Ali Bongo, who was admitted to hospital in Saudi Arabia nearly three weeks ago.

The National Union party claims the president's office has opted for evasiveness, duplicity and lies in communicating on the state of the president's health.

Fifty-nine-year-old Bongo was taken to hospital in Riyadh on 24 October after he arrived to attend an economic forum.

Four days later, his spokesman said the president had been admitted for "severe fatigue".

But last Sunday, the same spokesman acknowledged that Bongo had been treated for a serious illness.

Following discomfort and persistent vertigo first tests revealed bleeding which justified medical surgical care, according to an official statement from the team treating Ali Bongo.

A source close to the president's family claims that Bongo has suffered a stroke.

Gigaba goes, Ramaphosa reshuffles?

A cabinet reshuffle is on the cards in South Africa after home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba’s resignation, one day before the deadline set by the Public Protector for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against him for lying under oath.

The Johannesburg-based paper Business Day understands that more changes to the executive are expected, although Ramaphosa has not decided on the timing. General elections, likely to be followed by a wholesale reshuffle, are due in the next six months.

Gigaba is meanwhile adamant that his resignation is not an admission of any wrongdoing. He has already applied for a judicial review of the Public Protector’s finding that he lied in giving evidence and has promised to fight the other cases in which he is accused.

Leave us alone, Sudan tells US

Sudan's president Omar el-Bashir is angry at the way his country is being treated by Washington.

Yesterday, in a speech to mark the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the Sudanese army, the Popular Defence Forces, Bashir told Washington that Sudan wanted no further US aid, and would henceforth "take refuge in Allah alone".

Two decades of US sanctions against Khartoum came to an end in October 2017.

President Omar el-Bashir claims that his government is still targeted because of its adherance to fundamentalist Islamic Sharia Law.

Egypt returns to favour with foreign visitors

The tourism sector is growing once again in Egypt. This is the top story in this morning's Cairo-based Egypt Independent.

Following a sharp decline in visitor numbers after the 2011 uprising that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak, the volume of foreign tourists further plummeted following the ousting of Muhammed Morsi in 2013 that threw the country into turmoil. Several terrorist attacks increased the negative impact, especially the shooting down of a Russian aircraft in Sinai in 2015 which killed 224 people.

The World Tourism Organization recently ranked Egypt as the second fastest growing tourism destination in its global travel report for 2018.

Now the economic analysis organization Bloomberg has supported these findings with a report suggesting that Egyptian tourism has witnessed a 40 percent increase during the first nine months of 2018.

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