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Niger Beefs Up Border Watch After “Refugee Influx” From Nigeria

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Niger Beefs Up Border Watch

The Sahel state of Niger said on Thursday it had sent security reinforcements to part of its border struggling with an influx of displaced people and criminals from neighbouring Nigeria.

The measures have been taken in the Maradi area on the southern-central part of the border, which abuts the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara.

“We are currently registering many refugees, whole families who are coming over,” Maradi Governor Zakari Oumarou told state television.

“We are (also) facing a new situation, of kidnappings for ransom.”

The “refugees” were mainly coming from Zamfara, he said, but did not give numbers or say why they were fleeing to Niger.

“We are in the process of focussing on security on our border. We have deployed plenty of units on the border and we will continue to do so.”

Oumara added: “We are going to continue to receive refugees, but there are bad people among them. So we will have to filter them, and we are doing that.”

Local communities should “take extreme care… and be vigilant,” he said.

Northeastern Nigeria is in the grip of a jihadist insurgency that has also spread into Niger, but cross-border problems from Zamfara, in the northwest, have typically been rare.

A Maradi resident told AFP that regions all along the border with Nigeria were now prone to cross-frontier crime, particular cattle theft by “armed Nigerian gangs.”

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African News

Ghana Opens First Round Of Bidding For Exploratory Licenses

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Ghana Opens First Round Of Bidding For Exploratory Licenses

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the opening of the country’s first open and competitive round of bidding for energy exploration licenses, with three offshore blocks being offered. Previously, Ghana had awarded leases through a closed negotiation process.

All of the blocks are located in ghana’s central basin. To undertake the exploration and extraction.

Bidders have to show financial capacity and technical expertise and present a timetable for their exploration and development program.

President Akufo-Addo also announced a review of all licensing agreements covering blocks that were inactive, where concession holders had not undertaken the required exploratory or development work.

This move could see a number of blocks re-enter the market, either through competitive bidding or direct negotiations, generating further interest in the upstream component of the industry from both independent operators and major players.

Although the development of these offshore sites will require significant investment, rising international oil prices could well justify the expense.

Development of major offshore oilfields is set to boost export earnings and stimulate investment inflows.

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Namibia National Council Chairperson Tasks MPs On Safe Driving

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Namibia National Council Chairperson Tasks MPs On Safe Driving

As the Namibian National Council adjourned for the holidays on Thursday, chairperson margaret mensah-williams gave an unusual advise to members of parliament. She asked them to take the lead by being safe drivers and obey traffic rules.  She especially harped on obeying speed limits.

She referred to some highways in the country that have historically recorded high numbers of accidents, some of which had involved members of parliament.  One of such fatal accidents recently occurred on the country’s b-one highway.

Mensah-williams advised everyone to be responsible drivers this holiday season, asking drivers to be more patient on the roads.  She said it is unacceptable that road accidents have become the leading causes of death in the country.

She warns against drinking and driving and gender-based violence, appealing to namibians not to rape, kill or abuse their partners and children in anyway whatsoever.

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Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

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Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

Angola has been admitted into the Gas Exporting Countries Forum as an observer member. GECF is an international governmental organization based in Doha, Qatar.

The group brings together the world’s leading gas producers and supports the sovereign rights of member countries over their gas resources.  It also helps them with their rights and capability to manage, develop, use and conserve those resources in a way that is sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Executive Chairman of African Energy Chamber, N.J. Ayuk said this is a step in the right direction for Namibia, and it’s in line wth the country’s  economic goals and projects.  He also said this would help in expanding economic diversification.

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