Spring is in the air and a well earned Easter break is beckoning, so welcome to this month's AG Africa Newsletter.

Our well established Africa Business Group represents AG's operations across the African continent and our commitment to an extremely vibrant region which is full of opportunities for our clients.  Our experience spans both the traditional sectors related to energy and resources as well as the rapidly growing middle-class consumer related markets such as food and drink, retail, financial services and telecoms. 

Introduction

Our Finance Disputes team act for a number of Global Banks and financial institutions in respect of a wide range of financial disputes so for this month's Africa Newsletter we have cast a spotlight on some finance-related news and issues coming out of Africa. 

And special thanks is reserved for this month's external contributor Korieh Duodu, principle and founder of pre-eminent Ghanaian law firm Egality Law, who provides an insight into how Ghana has made huge strides towards digitalisation of its justice system.  

Guest Editorials

E-Justice: Ghana makes confident strides towards digitalisation

Korieh Duodu, Principal, Egality Law

It would have perhaps been inevitable to approach this event with preconceptions about Ghana’s court system being a ‘Bleak House’ of painfully slow case progress, paper files at risk of being lost and clients frustrated by years of procedural skirmishes and appeals, with the end result of justice being delayed at every turn. 

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Nigeria: AMCON Takes Possession of Centage's Assets Over N3.5bn Debt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over 13 assets linked to Centage Savings and Loans Limited and its Chief Promoter, Mr. Johnson Gabriel Ndukwe, over indebtedness of over N3.5 billion.

This followed the order of Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court Lagos Division.

The development in the court case between AMCON and Centage Savings and Loans Limited was disclosed in a statement from the Head of Corporate Communications Department of the government recovery agency, Jude Nwauzor, obtained at the weekend

To read this article please click here

Gabonese gas field project leads to claim

A subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has launched a US$43 million arbitration against Gabon’s national oil company over a gas field project.

Maurel & Prom – a French oil and gas producer majority-owned by Pertamina – is bringing the claim against the Gabon Oil Company (GOC) over the Ezanga gas field, according to a report by Africa Intelligence last week.

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Sekunjalo group asks parliament's finance committee to probe disputes with PIC, other institutions

The Sekunjalo group has turned to parliament to intervene in a dispute between itself and associated companies and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), accusing the corporation's new leadership of being hostile towards the group.

Senior leaders of Ayo Technology Solutions and the Independent Media Consortium called on parliament's standing committee on finance to investigate the conduct of institutions which they claimed were undermining democracy and business confidence in SA by actively engaging in destroying their businesses and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) value, as it relates to Ayo.

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Reps intervene in USSD N42bn dispute between telecom, banks

The House of Representatives has urged telecommunication operators to halt the planned withdrawal of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services to financial institutions in the country.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Mr Ossai said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the cashless policy in a bid to realise its statutory mandate of promoting monetary stability and a sound financial system in Nigeria.

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Hearing in the N3.8 billion Obudu Resort contract debt suit moved to June 3

An Abuja appellate court on Tuesday shifted hearing in the appeal filed by a private firm, Zedici Capital Ltd,  against the Cross River State Government over a N3.8 billion contract debt.

The appellant, Zedici Capital Ltd, is the firm which remodelled the Obudu Mountain Resort in Cross River State, now a subject of litigation.

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had in 2019 refused to affirm the arbitral award to Zedici Ltd over its investment of N3.8bn in the resort.

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China could seize Mombasa port over Sh364bn SGR loan

The port of Mombasa could be under the control of the Chinese if the government defaults on the Sh364 billion SGR loan.

The Auditor General reveals that the assets of Kenya Ports Authority were used as collateral for the Sh363.96 billion Standard Gauge Railway loan.

In a report tabled in Parliament, the Auditor General reveals officially for the first time that Kenya waived its immunity in the event of a legal dispute linked to default of servicing the loan.

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Development finance: Funder vs funder in R500m pot factory fiasco

Astonishing sums of public money were poured into a cooking-pot factory project that quickly sank under the weight of mismanagement. Amid the acrimonious fallout, the Industrial Development Corporation – made to look foolish – has blacklisted a fellow development funder while court cases are mounting.

More than half a billion rand, largely from state funders, has been squandered on an ill-conceived project to disassemble a Turkish pot factory, ship the parts to South Africa and rebuild it in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Former Angolan Billionaire Isabel Dos Santos Is Liable For $340 Million Payment After French Court Ruling

Last week —four days after Forbes announced it was dropping Isabel dos Santos, once Africa’s richest woman, from our list of billionaires—a French court dealt another blow to the daughter of Angola’s former president.

On January 26 the Paris Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by Dos Santos to annul a 2019 ruling against her in a dispute brought by Portuguese entity PT Ventures over unpaid dividends and other breaches of the shareholders’ agreement at Unitel S.A., Angola’s largest telecom company. What that means: She is on the hook to pay PT Ventures about $340 million.

To read this article click here

Key Contacts

Harold Brako

Harold Brako

Partner, Head of Manchester Office
Manchester, UK

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Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

Head of UK M&A and Africa
London, UK

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Nick Ashcroft

Nick Ashcroft

Partner, Dispute Resolution
United Kingdom

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