NEWS: 4.14.2022

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April 14, 2022

Montero Mining Provides Update on Arbitration Against Tanzania for Expropriation of Wigu Hill

Montero Mining and Exploration provided an update on the arbitration proceedings against the United Republic of Tanzania over the expropriation of the Wigu Hill rare earth element project before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The Toronto-based junior exploration company’s Wigu Hill Rare Earth Element Retention License was expropriated by the Tanzanian government in 2018. The company claims it has expended “significant out of pocket costs” on exploration activities on the project since March 2008. The firm maintains that Montero’s exploration and development of the project has created “considerable value for Tanzania.”

AfCFTA to Significantly Increase Traffic Flows on All Transport Modes

The African Continental Free Trade Area will boost intra-African trade by around 40%, with substantial benefits to the transport sectors, according to the latest estimates by the Economic Commission for Africa. If fully implemented, AfCFTA is expected to significantly increase traffic flows on all transport modes: Road, Rail, Maritime, and Air. It will also increase transport equipment needs significantly for all modes of transport.

New South African Leadership for NRF and CDH

One of Norton Rose Fulbright’s most experienced leaders has taken charge of its South African operations, while Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr appointed its dispute resolution head as its new chair. Andrew Robinson, the current chair of Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) in South Africa is to take over as the local chief executive, following the retirement of Marelise van der Westhuizen. Durban-based Robinson, a shipping and logistics partner, will take up his new role on May 1, 2022.

Nigeria Grants MTN License for Mobile Money Banking

Telecom firm MTN received final approval from Nigerian regulators to run a payment service bank. The approval gives the firm the license to operate virtually all the services offered by conventional commercial banks, except granting credit and processing foreign exchange transactions. MoMO is the acronym for mobile money and is an electronic service that enables users to send and receive money, make payments and perform other transactions using their mobile phones.

Ex-Mauritian AG and Women’s Minister Joins Dentons

A former Mauritian government minister joined Dentons as of the end of March. Shirin Aumeeruddy-Cziffra is a barrister who served as attorney general, minister of justice and minister for women’s rights and family welfare during the 1980s, the first woman to hold those roles. The first Muslim woman to serve in the national assembly, she also worked in the diplomatic service as ambassador to France, Italy, Spain and Portugal in the early 1990s, and has been a mayor and municipal councillor.

Italian Prime Minister Signs Deal for More Gas from Algeria in Effort to Reduce Reliance on Russia

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi secured a deal for more natural gas imports across a Mediterranean pipeline from Algeria. This is the latest push by a European Union nation to reduce dependence on Russian energy following its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is Italy's biggest supplier of natural gas, representing 40 percent of total imports, followed by Algeria, which provides some 21 billion cubic meters of gas via the Trans-Mediterranean pipeline.

Tunisia Presents National Strategy for Implementation of AfCFTA

The Tunisian Ministry of Trade and Export Development will organize a workshop on April 15, 2022 to validate the national strategy for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The meeting will be an opportunity to present the national strategy developed by the Tunisian Ministry of Commerce and Export Development with the support of the Economic Commission for Africa and the European Union. The strategy analyzes the comparative advantages of Tunisia to better promote the diversification of its economy and the development of value chains, with the aim of enabling the country to make the most of opportunities brought by the AfCFTA and bring new dynamism into Tunisia’s economic integration in intra-African trade.

Europe Turns to Nigeria to Fill Gap in Gas Supply

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, together with France, Italy, Portugal and Spain’s ambassador met with the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) on April 11, 2022. The European Union is courting its first African liquified natural gas supplier to replace gas imported from Russia.