Natural Gas Discovery in Northern Zimbabwe: A Potential Game-Changer for Energy Independence

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -Energy companies have struck a significant natural gas deposit in northern Zimbabwe, near the country’s border with Mozambique and Zambia. The Zimbabwean government anticipates that the discovery, if effectively harnessed, could alleviate the nation’s dependence on costly imported energy.

Zhemu Soda, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development, heralded the breakthrough in the Cabora Bassa Basin, situated approximately 300 kilometers north of Harare, as “one of the most significant developments in the onshore oil and gas sector in the southern African region.”

Invictus Energy, an Australia-based company, played a pivotal role in the discovery. Scott Macmillan, the Managing Director of Invictus Energy, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It’s obviously a significant development in the company’s history…the first Triassic discovery in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the significant developments in the onshore oil and gas industry for many decades.”

The company holds approximately 360,000 hectares in the Cabora Bassa Basin for oil and gas exploration, utilizing equipment and data left by Mobil in the 1990s. With a contracted rig for the next two years, Invictus is optimistic about the future.

Macmillan remarked, “It’s obviously a fantastic start,” referring to the confirmation of the discovery at Mukuyu 2, an area in the Cabora Bassa Basin. The Mukuyu region has proven promising, despite setbacks like the collapse of Mukuya 1 before the confirmation of gas presence.

However, not everyone welcomes the $20 million gas and oil exploration project. Farai Maguwu, the founding director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, expresses concerns about potential displacement of local communities, environmental destruction, and underground water contamination.

Maguwu advocates for renewable energy as a viable solution, emphasizing its business sense and ability to provide clean and affordable electricity, especially in rural areas. He points out that those in rural areas already benefit from renewable energy, which offers greater energy sufficiency compared to urban areas.

Zimbabwe, grappling with persistent energy shortages, primarily relies on thermal and hydro equipment that falls short of meeting domestic demands. The government pins its hopes on the gas discovery in the Cabora Bassa Basin to usher in a new era of energy stability and independence.

Maurel & Prom Strengthening Partnership with Wentworth Resources in Tanzania

Maurel & Prom provided a market update on Thursday regarding its recommended cash acquisition of Wentworth Resources, solidifying its long-term collaboration with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

The agreement, structured as a call option for TPDC, allows TPDC to increase its ownership by up to 20% in the production interest—a pivotal development in the acquisition process. Maurel & Prom secured the necessary pre-emption waiver from TPDC and obtained Tanzanian government approval, leaving only the final consent from Tanzania’s Fair Competition Commission (FCC) pending.

The acquisition, progressing under the Jersey Companies Law, anticipates the FCC’s approval before the scheduled court sanction hearing on December 19. Post-hearing, Maurel & Prom will officially assume ownership of Wentworth, acquiring its 31.94% direct and indirect interest in Mnazi Bay.

Upon closing, TPDC is expected to exercise the call option, securing a 20% production interest in Mnazi Bay. This arrangement would allocate 60% ownership to Maurel & Prom and 40% to TPDC. The joint operating agreement will be amended to accommodate new partnership conditions, enabling TPDC to appoint secondees for Mnazi Bay field operations.

The acquisition’s funding, supported by £63m in escrow, will see TPDC contributing its portion of the acquisition consideration. Wentworth’s cash balance and winding-down costs will be shared between Maurel & Prom and TPDC.

Olivier de Langavant, CEO of Maurel & Prom, expressed satisfaction with the partnership, emphasizing its role in advancing the development of Tanzania’s natural gas sector. He thanked TPDC and Tanzanian government stakeholders for collaborative efforts in achieving a successful outcome.

As of 1244 GMT, Wentworth Resources shares rose 3.33% to 31p in London, while Etablissements Maurel & Prom shares were up 0.26% in Paris at €5.88.

Assessing Regulatory Requirements For Lubricant Oils Business In Kenya

In recent times, the East African region has become a key export destination for lubricants and petroleum products, thanks to increased industrial activities and a growing middle class.

The surge demand has led to the need for healthy competition and quality assurance.

Establishing Standards and Policies

To ensure fair competition in the importation of base oils, additives, and finished lubricants, Standards Bureaus in East African countries have played a crucial role. Kenya, for instance, established the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) in 1974.

KEBS has been at the forefront, certifying all goods entering the country and contributing to the region’s standards.

Divisions Within KEBS

KEBS operates with various divisions, including Standards Development, Quality Assurance, Testing and Metrology Services, and Finance and Administration. These divisions work together to uphold standards in the industry.

Policy Formulation and Oversight

The National Standards Council, responsible for policy formulation, oversees the daily administration and financial management of KEBS.

Minimum quality standards are set in collaboration with industry stakeholders such as the Energy Regulatory Commission, Petroleum Institute of East Africa, National Environmental Management Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, and Oil Marketing Companies.

Technical Committee’s Role

A technical committee, composed of industry stakeholders, aids in standards development. KEBS reviews these standards, turning them into policies that guide inspections.

PVoC Program and Certification

Exporters and importers must ensure their products comply with set standards. The Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards Programme (PVoC) in Kenya mandates obtaining a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to maintain acceptable standards.

Inspection Process

Importers submit products to KEBS-appointed inspection agents. Successful verification results in a CoC. Consignments shipped without prior inspection may undergo destination inspection, subject to penalties and bonds.

Verification Agents

KEBS collaborates with verification agents like Intertek, SGS Kenya, and Bureau Veritas to ensure compliance. These agents operate the PVoC program in various regions, extending KEBS’ reach globally.

Import Standardization Mark (ISM)

Since 2015, KEBS introduced an additional regulation requiring imported finished products to bear the Import Standardization Mark (ISM) sticker. This sticker, issued by KEBS, is crucial for customs clearance.

Random Inspections

To ensure adherence to established rules, KEBS conducts random inspections, even after initial clearance. Suspected counterfeit products may lead to raids on warehouses.

In summary, KEBS plays a pivotal role in regulating the lubricants industry in Kenya, ensuring that products meet established standards and promoting fair competition. The certification process and collaboration with verification agents contribute to a robust system that safeguards the interests of consumers and the industry as a whole.

Importers submit products to KEBS-appointed inspection agents. Successful verification results in a CoC. Consignments shipped without prior inspection may undergo destination inspection, subject to penalties and bonds.


Navigating the Pitfalls of Overly Optimistic Sales Forecasts: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, by nature, possess an optimistic outlook, a necessary trait in the business world.

However, recent research sheds light on a significant challenge – sales and financial predictions are accurate only 28% of the time.

In this article, we explore the reasons behind this dilemma and provide practical insights on using this information for improved budgeting and business decision-making.

Why Sales Forecasting Matters:

Let’s start with the basics – why should entrepreneurs care about sales forecasts?


The answer is simple: planning. Accurate predictions allow you to plan ahead, ensuring you have the budget, supply, and team necessary to close and service new sales.

On the flip side, it helps you identify when it’s time to explore new sources of revenue for your business.

If your forecasts look low, it’s a clear signal that change is needed.

The Impact on Business Decisions:

Business decisions rely on historical results and upcoming projections. However, if your forecasts are wildly inaccurate, it hampers your ability to make sound decisions moving forward.

A solid understanding of future sales activities is crucial for informed and effective decision-making.

Understanding Sales Forecasting:

Let’s simplify the concept. Sales forecasting is predicting how future sales activities will unfold.

It’s like foreseeing how many customers will close deals in a given time period. Sounds straightforward, right? It’s a critical aspect for any entrepreneur or business owner to grasp because it gives you an idea of the revenue you can expect from your business opportunities.

The 28% Accuracy Challenge:

Here’s the eye-opener – only 28% of sales are forecasted accurately. So, why does this happen? The culprits include overly optimistic entrepreneurs and business owners, often influenced by consultants.


The confidence and optimism about future sales performance can lead to neglecting proper sales projections or relying on inaccurate information.

This, in turn, results in misguided budgeting and business decisions, ultimately leading to underperforming businesses and projects.

Practical Steps for Improvement:

To enhance the accuracy of sales forecasts, entrepreneurs need to acknowledge and address their inherent optimism. Conducting thorough sales projections and avoiding reliance on inaccurate information is key. Regularly reassess and adjust forecasts based on real data to align projections with actual outcomes.


In the dynamic world of business, acknowledging the challenges of sales forecasting is the first step toward improvement. By understanding the importance of accurate predictions, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and pave the way for the success and sustainability of their businesses. Embracing a realistic approach to sales forecasting is not just a choice; it’s a practical necessity for navigating the complexities of the business landscape.

The Rise and Challenges of African Natural Gas: A Closer Look at IEA’s Insights.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has some eye-opening news about African natural gas – it’s about to experience a significant growth spurt.

The IEA’s recent report predicts an annual acceleration of 10% in gas production from 2022 to 2026, a stark contrast to the 2.5% average growth seen between 2011 and 2021.

This surge is fueled by a wave of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects outlined in the IEA’s medium-term gas outlook report.

But, before we get too excited, there’s a catch. The demand for this increased gas production might not keep up. Why? Well, it turns out that some of this newfound growth is geared towards potential new markets.

These markets, although full of potential, face challenges such as high prices and a focus on exporting gas. This adds a layer of complexity, especially in countries with under-developed gas markets.

The report also points out that the demand for gas is not as optimistic as the production outlook.

The IEA forecasts a modest annual growth of only 3%. Why the caution? High prices play a role, and here’s the twist – a significant chunk of the expected growth in gas production is aimed at exports, mainly to countries still developing their gas markets.

To complicate matters, established markets with mature consumption habits are experiencing a slowdown in gas consumption growth.

This means that while Africa is gearing up for a gas production boom, the demand might face challenges both from the high prices and the export-heavy focus of this growth.

Let’s not forget Africa’s role in all of this. The continent is home to close to one-fifth of the world’s natural gas reserves.

As Africa stands at the crossroads of accelerated production and evolving demand dynamics, the global energy landscape is in for an interesting ride.

IEA’s insights shed light on the delicate balance Africa must strike to harness the opportunities and overcome the challenges, ultimately shaping the future of the global energy market.

Uganda’s Growing Lubricant Market: What You Should Know?

Uganda, a vibrant country in East Africa, has a growing market for lubricants – those essential oils that keep our vehicles and machines running smoothly. Let’s dive into the world of Uganda’s lubricants industry, understanding its size, key players, and the challenges it faces.

 Market Size and Sectors

Every month, Uganda’s lubricants market handles a whopping 2.761 million liters! Imagine that – it’s like having thousands of large bottles of oil used in different areas. These areas, or sectors, include Passenger Car Vehicles, Heavy Duty Commercial Transport, Construction, Mining & Quarrying, Power, Agriculture, and Others.

Driving Forces

Two major types of oils steer Uganda’s lubricants market – Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil (HDDEO) and Passenger Car Motor Oil (PCMO). These oils are like the superheroes, ensuring that both heavy-duty vehicles and regular cars function smoothly.

Industry Players

Uganda’s lubricant production industry is still quite young. Small blending plants create automotive and hydraulic oils in different-sized packs – from small 1-liter bottles to large 208-liter drums. Companies like Potenza Lubricants, Mineral Oil Company, Uganda Lubricants Factory (General Petroleum), and Canadian Oil Company are the heroes behind the scenes.

Future Growth

As Uganda’s economy keeps growing, so does the demand for lubricants. The transport sector, involving motorcycles, cars, and heavy-duty vehicles, will be a big part of this growth. The industrial sector – including construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and power – will also play a significant role. What drives this growth? It’s the reliable and efficient supply of high-quality products at a fair price, along with good business terms.

Challenges Faced

Just like in many other African countries, Uganda faces a challenge with fake products, especially counterfeit automotive engine oils. But fear not – Uganda has its own heroes! The Quality Standards Control and Consumer Protection agencies are working hard, teaming up with other industry experts to tackle this issue. They regularly check the market, conduct tests, and are ready to take legal action against those trying to sell fake products.

In conclusion, Uganda’s lubricants market is like a growing story with heroes and challenges. As the economy expands, the demand for these essential oils will keep rising. And with the vigilant efforts of quality control agencies, Uganda is determined to ensure that only the best oils keep its wheels turning.

The Growing Lubricant Business in Rwanda. What Investors and Entrepreneur Should Know


Rwanda’s lubricant business is getting bigger because the government is helping important areas like industry and construction. Economic zones in cities are also growing, bringing more investments and making the lubricant market go up.

What’s Happening:
The future of the lubricant business looks good because the economy is growing in important ways. The government is also giving benefits to foreign investors to make more things “Made in Rwanda.”

Challenges in Rwanda:
Unlike Kenya, where most lubricants are made locally, Rwanda imports a lot. People in Rwanda need to know more about lubricants, and there are some challenges like higher costs because Rwanda is landlocked.

This means they have to import materials and finished products from nearby countries. People in Rwanda also stick to brands they trust because they had problems with quality before.


Rwanda’s lubricant business is on the rise, and even though there are challenges, the future looks bright with the government’s support and the economy growing stronger.

Five Things To Consider When Buying Fuel Pumps in Tanzania and East Africa

Once upon a time in Iringa, a savvy investor decided to grow their petrol business by opening a new station. Excited about the expansion, they aimed to save money, especially when it came to buying fuel pumps.

The investor’s journey took an unexpected turn when they opted for a company offering pumps at a super low price.

It seemed like a blessing, but within six months, those cheap pumps turned into a nightmare, constantly breaking down and causing headaches.

This story teaches us a valuable lesson about the dangers of a ‘false economy,’ where initial savings lead to huge losses due to ongoing maintenance and replacements.

In the world of fuel stations in East Africa, how can you avoid such a predicament when buying fuel pumps?


Here are six key considerations:

1. Brand and Quality:
Choose a well-known brand that produces reliable and durable equipment. Quality pumps ensure accurate fuel dispensing, reducing errors and customer complaints.

2. After Sales Training:
Ensure the supplier provides comprehensive training for your staff on pump operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Empower your team to handle issues promptly, minimizing downtime.

3. Guarantee Period:
Look for suppliers offering a substantial guarantee, preferably six to twelve months. A more extended warranty period shows the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.

4. Compliance with Regulations:

Verify that selected pumps comply with local and regional regulations. East Africa has specific standards for fuel dispensing equipment; ensure your pumps meet or exceed these to avoid legal issues.

5. Maintenance and Service Packages:

Evaluate the availability of maintenance and service packages. Regular upkeep is crucial for optimal pump condition. Choose a supplier offering cost-effective maintenance plans to ensure pump longevity.

6. Latest Technology and Features:
Consider technological features like digital displays, automatic shut-off mechanisms, and connectivity options. These features can enhance efficiency and convenience in your fuel station operations. Ensure they align with your business requirements.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can make informed decisions, avoiding the pitfalls of cheap solutions and setting the stage for a successful petrol station venture in Tanzania and East Africa.

Four Things to Think About Before Starting Your Best Petrol Station Next Year.

You’ve had these ideas for years with not much progress.

But it’s something that keeps you up at night.

For you, running a petrol station and maybe having many across the country isn’t just about vehicles making more money; it’s your lifelong dream.

You’ve seen the cities grow. More vehicles and generators are used, increasing the need for petrol and diesel.

There are also new projects for better roads, transportation, and more farming.

If you look around your neighborhood, other hustlers (like entrepreneurs and companies) run their best petrol stations.

Maybe you want to build a petrol station business you’re proud of.

You want to make a change in your life, family, community, and the whole country.

You imagine a day when you proudly tell your friends, colleagues, and family that after months of hard work, your new petrol station is now serving people.

You imagine a day walking at your gas station and seeing lots of drivers getting fuel with a well-trained team providing good service.

Here are four factors to consider:

1. Choosing the Right Location.

I bet you manage other business projects, but you love to build. You have big dreams. People might call you crazy or not understand, but you love being limitless. You want to beat your personal best in business.

For a change-maker like you, you need a petrol station location that will sell a lot of fuel, giving you a high return on investment. Success depends on the location being easy to reach, see, and close to customers.

So, you need to do good research. Check the local need for fuel and competitors. Look at traffic, highways, and cities. Make sure it’s easy for customers to get in and out.

2. Regulations.

I bet you’re a person of integrity. You’ve come far and built good relationships. So, you don’t want to ruin your reputation or pay big fees for not following rules.

Understanding and following all the rules, safety, and standards is crucial for your business’s success.

3. Pumps, Storage Tanks, and Equipment.

Staying still is for ordinary people. You believe in a modern life with the latest things. For a hustler like you, you need fuel pumps and electronic dispensers that keep up.

The brand and quality can affect the price, but it’s worth it for long-term savings.

While it’s tempting to save money, investing in good dispensers can save you money on repairs later.

4. Buying Fuel.

You’re a risk-taker, but you want to take smart risks. Without knowing much about buying fuel, it’s easy to make mistakes. You need a contract with a fuel supplier. Trends change, and there are many suppliers, so don’t agree to wholesale contracts for more than three years at a time.


If you love to build and are crazy about reaching your goals. Let’s talk.

Tlou Energy Achieves Sustained Gas Flow in Botswana, Paving the Way for CBM Development

Tlou Energy, a natural gas company, has reached a milestone with sustained gas flow rates at the Lesedi 3 and Lesedi 4 production pods in Botswana. Both pods have achieved an initial sustained gas flow of 20,000 Mcfd, steadily progressing towards reaching a commercial flow rate. The company also reported a planned decrease in water rates in both pods, contributing to the successful gas flow.

Lesedi 4, drilled one month after Lesedi 3, followed a similar approach to reduce pressure, facilitating controlled gas flow. Tlou Energy sees potential in pioneering coal bed methane (CBM) development in the region, with aspirations to impact a new CBM basin in Botswana. The company’s statement expressed optimism about the project’s success and hinted at the possibility of supplying power within Botswana and neighboring countries through the Southern African Power Pool.

“The company is very encouraged by production data and well performance to date and looks forward to providing further updates,” stated Tlou Energy. The success of this initiative could not only benefit Tlou but also have broader implications for the entire region.

In February 2017, Tlou Energy announced a significant upgrade of reserves in the Lesedi project, coupled with initial reserves from the Mamba Project in Botswana. The acquisition of a mining license for the Lesedi CBM project from Botswana’s Department of Mines in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology, and Energy Security in the same year marked a crucial step in advancing the company’s initiatives.

As Tlou Energy continues to make strides in sustainable gas flow, the potential impact on Botswana’s energy landscape and its neighboring nations remains a focal point. The success of the Lesedi project could herald a new era in CBM development, offering both economic and energy-related advantages for the company and the broader Southern African region.