News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Government & Islands

In Cape Verde on January 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

ELECTIONS

MpD leader Carlos Veiga has promised to double the number of tourists coming to Cape Verde before the end of 2011 if he is elected prime minister on February 6. He made the announcement during an MpD rally that drew thousands of people to Liberdade Square in Espargos, on the island of Sal (A Semana).

The head of the list of the candidacy of PAICV for the constituency of Sal, Basílio Ramos, promised that Palmeira must be a port and tourism centre on the East coast of the island (AW).

The ruling PAICV is leading in Atlantico Weekly’s election poll, two weeks ahead of the real thing.

BOA VISTA

The rupture of a mid-tension cable left the island of Boa Vista in the dark beginning at 8:30 pm Tuesday, January 25, according to water and electricity utility Electra’s director of production for northern Cape Verde, Hipólito Gomes (A Semana).

SAL

Installation work of the new diesel power station in Palmeira, on the island of Sal, has been concluded. The new infrastructure will work as a reserve for the new photovoltaic plant located in the same village (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

São Vicente municipal councilman Benvindo Cruz was officially named as a suspect by the Public Ministry this week in the case of the alleged illegal sale of lands from inside the São Vicente municipal chamber, according to various A Semana sources.

Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on January 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

ECONOMY

Cape Verde had an average economic growth of 7.3 percent and 5.8 percent, over each of the past two decades, which placed its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita twice above the average of West Africa (AW).

EDUCATION

The donation of the first lot of Gota d’Água computers to elementary schools took place at the National Library in Praia. The event was organized by the Ministry of Education and Sports as a part of the Mundu Novu program, and attended by Prime Minister José Maria Neves (A Semana).

INVESTMENT

Cape Verdean businesses in the sectors of air transportation, tourism and real-estate are looking for investment on the part of Chinese business partners in order to finance their expansion through the Macau Forum. In the case of TACV Cabo Verde Airlines, for example, the phased investment currently being negotiated is being promoted with the support of state investment and tourism promotion agency Cabo Verde Investimentos and of the Cape Verdean Embassy in Beijing (A Semana).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

The Riu hotel chain is preparing for the grand opening of the Hotel Touareg, slated to take place May 6 on the island of Boa Vista. The new 5-star hotel, with 785 rooms, will have an area reserved only for adults, with its own swimming pool and service staff (A Semana).

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BANKING

The CEO of Brazilian bank Banco do Brasil, Aldenir Bendine, said this week that an accord will be signed within the next 60 days with Portuguese bank Banco Espírito Santo, with which it will begin a joint venture in Africa. Operations will begin in Cape Verde and Angola (A Semana).

Angola Business News

In Angola on January 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

ECONOMY

Angola’s economy will expand 6.9 percent this year, driven by a recovery in non-oil industries, Banco BPI SA, Portugal’s fifth biggest bank, estimated (Bloomberg).

Angola’s Oil Ministry is preparing the liberalisation of the oil derivative fuel market, a project that has already received government approval, oil minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos said (Macauhub).

OIL

Italy’s oil and gas major Eni has won an international tender to operate block 35 in deepwater offshore Angola as it pushes to expand on its core African market and boost deepwater development (Reuters).

BP, Total, Eni and other international majors were awarded concessions to explore in Angola’s ultra-deep water blocks known as pre-salt blocks, Angola’s state-owned oil firm Sonangol said (Reuters).

Sonangol has publicly announced that the Angolan jury of the bid rounds has elected Statoil ASA for operatorship and participation in several pre-salt blocks offshore Angola (Bloomberg).

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BANKING

Banco BPI,  Portugal’s third-largest listed bank, reported a near 6 percent rise in 2010 net profit, slightly beating the market’s consensus thanks to a strong performance at its Angola unit BFA (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Installation of an undersea cable between Brazil and Angola could cost up to US$200 million, the Angolan deputy minister for Telecommunications and Information Technology said (Macauhub).

RETAIL

South African retail group Shoprite has invested US$12 million in construction of a supermarket, in the Angolan city of Lubango, which is expected to open this year (Macauhub).

CONSTRUCTION

An Angolan consortium led by state company Sonangol has acquired a stake in Portuguese engineering company Coba – Consultores de Engenharia e Ambiente (Macauhub).

Politics & Islands

In Cape Verde on January 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

ELECTIONS

Thousands of people made their way to Praia’s Gamboa beach last night for the event “Cape Verde is Music,” which opened opposition party MpD’s election campaign for the February 6 legislative vote (A Semana).

Governing PAICV leader José Maria Neves and opposition leader Carlos Veiga wrapped up the series of debates promoted by Cape Verdean national radio and television. The duel between the two political leaders had its hotter moments, with Veiga interrupting Neves on several occasions (A Semana).

Regardless of whom wins the next legislative on February 6th, Cape Verde will witness continuity in government policies, Portuguese researcher Victor Reis said (Inforpress).

Cape Verde continues to be a totally free country, in which political and civil rights remain respected, says Freedom House in its report on the political and civil situation in the world in 2010 (A Semana).

The opposition MpD considers the position that Cape Verde occupies in the ranking of economic freedom as “median” and “incompatible” with the requirements of the Cape Verdean economy (Inforpress).

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INTERNATIONAL

The number of requests from immigrants residing in Portugal and who intend to return to their countries of origin following unsuccessful ventures in the Western European country has tripled over the past two years. Among those wishing to leave Portugal are Cape Verdeans and Brazilians (A Semana).

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) promoted two seminars last week on its Private Sector Investment financial instrument (PSI) and its Funding Mechanism of Economic Development Projects (ORIO) (Inforpress).

BRAVA

Portuguese tourist agency Solférias is developing a program to promote trips to the island of Brava, taking advantage of the inauguration of connections operated by the hydrofoil Kriola between Santiago and “one of the most enchanting islands in the archipelago of Cape Verde,” Brava (A Semana).

SANTIAGO

The fishing dock in the Cape Verdean capital of Praia is to undergo refurbishment work as part of the Regional Fishing Project for West Africa, which covers nine states in the sub-region (Macauhub).

SAO VICENTE

The government plans to launch a new tender for bids for the construction of the São Vicente cold storage depository, now that the investment for the execution of the project has been secured from Spain. The new international tender, which is in the process of being prepared, will be launched soon after next month’s legislative elections (A Semana).

Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on January 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Chaves resort for Boa Vista Island (source).

ECONOMY

Cape Verde’s next government, to come out of the February 6 legislative elections, should adopt measures able to provide stability to the economy and financial sector, according to a lecture given in Praia by Portuguese economist António Rebelo de Sousa (A Semana).

Cape Verde’s rate of economic growth accelerated in the fourth trimester of 2010, according to data of the National Statistics Institute (INE) (Inforpress).

BANKING

The Financial Society for Development (known by acronym SOFID) and commercial bank Banco Interatlântico will make a total of five million Euros available to spur the creation of mixed capital companies by Portuguese and Cape Verdean investors (A Semana).

AVIATION

Passenger traffic in Cape Verde’s airports grew 11% in 2010, rising from 1,445,535 passengers in 2009 to 1,604,607 last year. The international airports of Sal, Praia and Boa Vista were those that registered the busiest traffic (A Semana).

Cape Verdean companies in the transport sector, such as airline TACV, as well as in the tourism and real estate sectors are seeking investment from Chinese partners, via Forum Macau, to fund their expansion (Macauhub).

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TRANSPORT

A multi-sector delegation that includes Qatar’s Air Transportation Department director Saleh Abdulah Saleh and Qatar Navigation Corporation director Najeed Khanisa Ansada, as well as three specialists from the Societé d’Investissement Fonciers EL DIAR, visited Cape Verde this week (A Semana).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

ENERGY

Professor and engineer Mira Amaral emphasized Cape Verde’s great energy potential, particularly in the realm of wind and solar energy. In his opinion, the archipelago has the potential to operate 100% of the time using these energy sources, as opposed to Portugal, which has a restricted capacity due to its relatively unfavorable climate. However, the high overhead costs and distribution-related difficulties are factors to be taken in to account before dipping into state pockets (A Semana).

Angola Business News

In Angola on January 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm

INTERNATIONAL

Angola’s president says the United Nations misled the international community when it validated Electoral Commission results that gave Alassane Ouattara victory in Ivory Coast’s presidential election, according to a speech broadcast on Radio Nacional de Angola (Bloomberg).

BANKING & FINANCE

The Capital Markets Structural and Management Commission in Angola will be charged with presenting the short and medium term strategy for the country’s capital market, according to a statement issued by the Angolan presidency (Macauhub).

The Bank of Portugal has allowed Angolan state-controlled oil company Sonangol to increase its holding in Portuguese lender Banco Comercial Portugues SA to as much as 20 percent (Bloomberg).

AVIATION

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has canceled plans to launch a new route from Atlanta to Luanda, Angola next week, due to weak customer demand (AJC).

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OIL & GAS

Angolan Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said talks are continuing to allow India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. to buy Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 25 percent stake in the country’s Block 31 (Bloomberg).

The Angola LNG company expects to start exporting liquid natural gas (LNG) in the first quarter of 2012, oil minister José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said (Macauhub).

Grupo Espirito Santo has agreed to sell its 67 percent stake in Escom to Angolan state-controlled oil company Sonangol (Bloomberg).

Angolan state oil company Sonangol EP and Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos want to have a direct stake in Galp Energia SGPS SA of between 8 percent and 16 percent and are willing to reduce their holding in Amorim Energia BV (Bloomberg).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

INFRA

Work to rebuild Angola’s Moçâmedes railroad is due to end in December of this year, the chairman of the company responsible for the project Caminho-de-Ferro de Moçâmedes, Daniel Quipaxe said (Macauhub).

Politics & Regional

In Cape Verde on January 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

ELECTIONS

Cape Verde commemorates the 20th anniversary of the first multi-party elections in the country. The celebrations come as Cape Verde prepares for the legislative elections to take place on February 6. Even though pre-campaign activities are in full swing, a number of activities will be carried out to remember the historic date (A Semana).

The directorship of A Semana says it will appeal – to the Constitutional Court, if necessary – the 100,000-escudo fine the National Elections Commission (CNE) applied to the newspaper, without specifying “any concrete case of violation of the Electoral Code.” The fine, the result of a complaint from opposition party MpD, comes due to the “unequal treatment in the journalistic treatment” [sic] of the different political parties, according to the CNE.

The major structural projects currently planned for Cape Verde all have their financing guaranteed as far as 2013, and end-of-year bonuses will become a reality for public employees in 2012, promised the leader of the governing PAICV and Prime Minister José Maria Neves during the presentation of the party’s electoral platform. With the motto “Mais Cabo Verde” (“More Cape Verde”), Neves said that, if re-elected, his next government’s main priority would be employment (A Semana).

Beginning at 9:00 pm January 14, Cape Verdeans will be able to watch and listen to a series of three debates among the main candidates in the February 6 legislative elections (A Semana).

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INTERNATIONAL

The office of the Cape Verdean Presidency denies that President Pedro Pires has been excluded from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediation mission to Ivory Coast. The statement from the President’s office comes following a news item claiming Pedro Pires was replaced by Olesegum Obasanjo in the trio of heads of state the ECOWAS has sent to Ivory Coast to convince Laurent Gbagbo to leave power peacefully (A Semana).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) held a workshop on “Restitution of the Economic Impact Studies of Cape Verdean Economic Partnership Agreement “between ECOWAS and the European Union (Inforpress).

SAO VICENTE

The second generator at the Lazareto power station on São Vicente has broken down, resulting in generalized power outages throughout the island. The information was confirmed by the director of production of water and electricity utility Electra, Hipólito Gomes (A Semana).

The investigation into the alleged “scam” in the sale of municipal lands is still under Court of São Vicente, with no foreseeable date for production of a closing instruction dispatch, a source from the Prosecutor of the Republic said (InforPress).

Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on January 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

BUILDING PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Praia Towers is located in the heart of the capital city, overlooking Praia harbour. The 20 storey duplicate towers of office space will stand on a 5 storey podium of office, commercial and parking space as well as a 100 bedroom business hotel (Source).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

EDUCATION

The Cape Verdean government and the United Nations system will sign an accord Friday, January 14, for more than five million US dollars in financing for the country’s school cafeteria program (A Semana).

The African Development Bank will finance the Praia Technological Center to the tune of 342,000 Euros, part of which will be used for consulting services for the project. Applications for those wishing to serve as technical assistant will be accepted until the end of January (A Semana).

FAST FERRY

The hydrofoil Kriola began its first commercial trips January 10. The Cabo Verde Fast Ferry ship was baptized by Bishop Arlindo Furtado in Furna sea port, on the island of Brava, in a ceremony that mobilized hundreds of the island’s residents. In his speech, Prime Minister José Maria Neves pointed to this investment as symbolizing the “limitless and borderless” Cape Verde he envisions for the country (A Semana).

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TOURISM

Portuguese tourism company Soltrópico brought a total of 18,662 tourists to Cape Verde in 2010, a figure that surpassed the expectations of the company’s owners (A Semana).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Angola Business News

In Angola on January 13, 2011 at 10:11 pm

SPLIT SECOND POLL

ECONOMY

Angola’s central bank cut its overnighter lending rate by half a percentage point to 17 percent, according to a statement on its website today. It didn’t give a reason for the reduction (Bloomberg).

The Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) has asked Angola to host the All-Africa Games in 2015. The SCSA invitation is being considered by authorities (Afrique en Ligne).

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ATLANTICO

Angolan group Prebuild plans to invest US$400 million in building a factory for pre-fabricated components in the Brazilian state of Alagoas (Macauhub).

AVIATION

The Italian airline company, CargoItalia, has commenced operations to Angola, making its inaugural flight to the African country’s capital city, Luanda, by transporting 70 tonnes of goods from the Malpensa International Airport in Milan (Afrique en Ligne).

INFRA

Eighteen years later, the Luanda-Malanje train service re-started on Thursday, making its first commercial trip with more than 300 passengers. The machine left from Luanda’s Viana District station to Malanje City (allAfrica).

OIL

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), India’s largest oil importer, has restated its interest in increasing imports from Angola, a company official told Indian newspaper, Business Standard (Macauhub).

POWER

Luanda’s electricity distribution company, EDEL plans by 2012 to build 25 sub-stations across several municipal areas in the province (Macauhub).

Politics & Regional

In Cape Verde on January 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm

ELECTIONS

A total of 309,617 Cape Verdians have so far registered for the 2011 general elections, down 4.5 per cent on the 2005 figure, official sources told PANA. In an assessment of the registration process, the minister of Internal Administration, Livio Lopes, said the number represented 62.98% of the population of the archipelago fixed at 491,575 (Afrique en Ligne).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

INTERNATIONAL

The results of the Economic Intelligence unit Democracy Index 2010 put Cape Verde in the 27th position in the ranking of democracy ahead of countries such as Italy (29th), South Africa (30th) and France (31st). Cape Verde climbed 7 places (EIU, pdf).

Three west African presidents — Benin’s Thomas Boni Yayi, Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma and Cape Verde’s Pedro Pires — met defeated Ivory Coast President Gbagbo to deliver an ultimatum from the ECOWAS regional bloc to step down as leader of the world’s top cocoa grower or be removed by force (Reuters).

The board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) said in Washington that Cape Verde would receive a second aid package (compact) from the Millennium Challenge Account. In Praia, Cape Verde’s prime minister, José Maria Neves, said that “the amount received will never be less than the US$110 million of the first compact” (Macauhub).

A deeply-rooted tradition of emigration to achieve personal and social success is appearing to be less marked in Cape Verde, according to IOM’s latest migration profile on this West African nation. The profile shows that despite major gaps and weaknesses in data collection, there has been a steady decrease in emigration from Cape Verde since the 1970s (A Semana).

SAL

A cut in the underwater inter-island cable in the early morning hours of Monday, January 2, isolated the islands of Sal, Boa Vista and São Nicolau in terms of telecommunications. Mobile phone, Internet and cable television services, which had been unavailable for several hours, began to be restored Monday night (A Semana).

Two months after its inauguration on October 30, Sal Hospital finally opened its doors at the end of last year. The emergency room began operating at 2:00 pm Wednesday, December 29, and all of the other services will be fully functional beginning (A Semana).

Santa Maria will soon have its own high school. The government project, which has been presented to the population of the island of Sal, calls for a modern, two-story educational infrastructure with 17 classrooms, laboratories, a cafeteria and a gymnasium, surrounded by gardens and greenery. The new Santa Maria high school will also ease overcrowding at Olavo Moniz high school in nearby Espargos (A Semana).

Spanish hotel chain Sol Meliá is to manage a five star hotel on Sal Island, Cape Verde, and has already signed an agreement with The Resort Group Plc to do so (Macauhub).

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SANTIAGO

The Praia municipal chamber has asked the Praia municipal assembly to hold an emergency session Friday, December 31, in order to try to approve the 2011 municipal budget, which was shot down because of the abstention of José Barbosa, who was elected to represent the MpD, the same party that supports the municipal chamber. Barbosa, however, has now requested a suspension from the municipal assembly (A Semana).

In reaction to the A Semana news item entitled “Armed Forces threaten to halt work on Praia municipal chamber project,” the logistical command of the Armed Forces, making use of its right to respond, would like to provide the following clarifications (A Semana).

SANTO ANTAO

Farmers from the northern zone of the municipality of Porto Novo, on the island of Santo Antão, are having trouble finding a market for their products, especially beans, which are abundant in the region. With such a large supply, prices have seen a considerable drop (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

São Vicente mayor Isaura Gomes is in Portugal for extended treatment of the illness that has plagued her for more than a year (A Semana).

Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on January 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

Calheta Bay Golf & Leisure Resort is to be developed on a 425 hectare coastal site on Sal’s west coast (Source).

FAST FERRY

The cargo ship Panthera, which brought the hydrofoil Kriola from Singapore to Cape Verde, unloaded the high-speed vessel at Mindelo sea port on the island of São Vicente. The Kriola will depart for Praia, from where it will head to Brava on January 9 (A Semana). You can already start booking your trip at the company website.

FISHERIES

The European Commission on behalf of the European Union initialled a new three-year protocol under the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with Cape Verde setting fishing possibilities for EU vessels in Cape Verde’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), along with other conditions (FIS).

INFRA

The government of Cape Verde has launched the tenders for construction of three dams, which will be located on the islands Santiago, Santo Antão and São Nicolau (Macauhub).

AVIATION

Portuguese airline TAP will begin direct flights between Portuguese capital Lisbon and the island of São Vicente in 2011. Regularly scheduled flights will begin on June 3, but the inaugural flight is expected to take place during the Easter holiday, when the company will carry out a seasonal operation (A Semana).

More than 130 passengers with tickets purchased from TACV Cabo Verde Airlines, 50 of whom hold tickets to Paris, France, have been stuck on the island of São Vicente since Saturday due to the cancellation of at least two flights. TACV’s São Vicente delegate, Graciete Gomes, explained to A Semana Online that the flights were cancelled for “operational” reasons.

Thousands of passengers brought a different dynamism to São Pedro International Airport, on the island of São Vicente, this holiday season. At least five charter flights from the United States and Europe were scheduled to land at the airport (A Semana).

Halcyonair Cape Verde Airways is making the necessary arrangements along with the Civil Aviation in order to start flights to the island São Nicolau in January 2011.

PORTS

Cape Verde’s Ports Law and Maritime Code are due to come into force in January, the National Ports Administration (Enapor) said in a statement issued in Praia (Macauhub).

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. announced it plans to commence physical supply operations in Cape Verde, an archipelago of 10 islands located off the coast of Western Africa, upon entering into a strategic co-operation with Enacol, a local energy company based in Cape Verde (Prnewswire).

TOURISM

The first edition of the Academy Barometer of Tourism (ABT) concluded that the index of confidence in Cape Verde tourism is “very positive”.

Leading travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet has worked out a list of countries and cities that are worth visiting in 2011. Albania occupies the top position, followed by Brasil and in third place, Cape Verde (Focus).

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UTILITIES

The state of Cape Verde has strengthened its position as the majority shareholder in water and electricity utility Electra, raising its stake in the company’s capital from 63.4% to 77.7% (A Semana).

The Cape Verdean government has approved the proposed law to regulate the services provision sector on the archipelago, the Council of Ministers spokeswoman said in Praia (Macauhub).

Angola Business News

In Angola on January 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm

ECONOMY

Angola, Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, will return to “high” economic growth rates starting next year after coming through the global financial crisis, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said (Bloomberg).

Angola plans to tax informal traders as it seeks to boost income from outside the oil industry, Jornal de Angola reported, citing Finance Minister Carlos Alberto Lopes (Bloomberg).

Angola’s foreign-exchange reserves totaled about $15.8 billion in November, up 27 percent from a year earlier, National Bank of Angola Governor Jose de Lima Massano said (Bloomberg).

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AVIATION

Angolan national airline Taag said Thursday in Luanda that it had suspended its flights to the United Arab Emirates and China for operational reasons until further notice (Macauhub).

The programme to build and modernise Angola’s airports will cover the country’s 18 provinces, the Minister for Transport, Augusto da Silva Tomás said at the inauguration ceremony of the refurbished airport in Malanje province (Macauhub).

BANKING

Isabel dos Santos, an Angolan investor, next year will request permission from the Bank of Portugal to be able to increase her holding in Portuguese lender Banco BPI SA to more than 10 percent, Jornal de Negocios reported (Bloomberg).

Angola’s Banco BIC is to continue to provide and encourage investment in the primary sector in Angola, in order to contribute to the growth of the non-oil sector, the chairman of the bank said in Luanda (Macauhub).

Portuguese group Soares da Costa has sold its 3 percent stake in Angolan bank Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI) for US$27.7 million the group said (Macauhub).

INFRA

Angola reopened a railway between the capital, Luanda, and the northeastern city of Malange 18 years after it was halted by the southern African nation’s civil war (Bloomberg).

MINING

Angola approved seven new diamond- mining projects this year and is satisfied with a rebound in the price of the stones, the chairman of the national gem company said  (Bloomberg).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

OIL

Sonangol P&P, a subsidiary to Angola state-run oil firm Sonangol EP, has taken over from Total SA management of blocks 3-85 and 3-91 in offshore Angola (Bloomberg).

Angola’s national oil company signed a production-sharing contract with Cuban Commercial Cupet SA to operate two blocks off the southwest African country (Bloomberg).

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