Côte d’Ivoire Announces New Oil, Gas Discovery

Policemen are seen in front of the Sapet Gas, an LPG Tanker built in 2022 and currently sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands, as it’s moored at the port of Abidjan on July 26, 2022. The vessel is the first Ivorian vessel used to import butane gas by Pertroci Holding and Sahara Group. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

 

Côte d’Ivoire reported a fresh discovery of offshore oil and natural gas by Italian firm Eni on Thursday, expanding the potential of reserves found last year by 25 percent.

In September 2021, the country had announced a find of deposits estimated at between 1.5 and 2 billion barrels of oil and around 1.8-2.4 trillion cubic feet (51-68 million cubic metres) of gas.

The latest discovery off the eastern coast “increases by about 25 percent” the previously announced deposits, the ministry for mines, oil and energy said in a statement, with extraction due to start in early 2023.

President Alassane Ouattara has said he wants Côte d’Ivoire to become a major oil producer. The West African nation’s current output is modest, at around 30,000 barrels per day.

International companies including French giant Total and Britain’s Tullow Oil have also announced significant discoveries of Ivorian offshore oil reserves in recent years.

Ivory Coast Denies Plan To Destabilise Mali After Soldiers Held

Alassane Ouattara Photographer: Michael Nagle/

 

Ivory Coast’s president on Friday dismissed any suggestion that his country sought to destabilise Mali after a group of Ivorian soldiers were detained there and accused of being mercenaries.

Speaking during an official visit to South Africa, President Alassane Ouattara also voiced hopes for a rapid solution to the dispute, which has strained relations between the two West African countries.

“Ivory Coast cannot get involved in any attempt to destabilise any country and especially a neighbouring country,” he told a press briefing in Pretoria.

“For us, there is no question of getting involved in any attempt at destabilisation,” he reiterated, adding, “Everyone regrets this situation.”

Forty-nine Ivorian soldiers were detained after their arrival at Bamako airport on July 10.

Mali has labelled them “mercenaries,” but Ivory Coast says they were sent to provide backup duties for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

A UN spokesman has said that while they were not UN peacekeeping troops as such, they were part of “national support elements” routinely deployed by contributing countries.

Mali is struggling with a long-running jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

It is also in the grip of political turbulence after colonels angry at the government’s handling of the insurgency seized power in August 2020.

Their takeover triggered a long standoff with the regional bloc ECOWAS, of which Ivory Coast is a member, over a timetable for restoring civilian rule.

-AFP

Ivory Coast To Spend $430m In Anti-Jihadism Campaign

Ivory Coast Map

 

Ivory Coast said Monday it would spend around $430 million in a three-year campaign to support young people in border regions at risk from Sahel jihadists.

“As part of the fight against vulnerability in northern areas, particularly the six regions bordering Burkina Faso and Mali, the government has launched an ambitious programme of integration and infrastructure for education and health,” Youth Minister Mamadou Toure told AFP.

The cost amounts to “405 million euros,” he said.

The Gulf of Guinea country has suffered sporadic cross-border attacks over the past two years.

Armed incursions have also affected neighbouring Ghana, Togo, and Benin, strengthening fears of a southward push from the Sahel towards the coast.

Under the new plan, the government will earmark 33 billion CFA francs ($53 million) to provide 60,000 young people with professional training, apprenticeships, and startup financing.

READ ALSO: Health Workers, Teachers Strike In Zimbabwe

“Along with the military response, we want… to develop an ambitious social programme to… give young people prospects to prevent them from becoming easy targets for jihadist movements,” Toure said.

“Many young people sometimes have difficulty integrating after attending madrassas,” or Koranic schools, he added.

AFP

Ivory Coast Arrests 30 In Cocaine Swoop

Ivory Coast Map

 

 

Police in Ivory Coast have arrested around 30 people after making a massive cocaine haul in two port cities, the public prosecutor said on Thursday.

Police made the arrests after seizing more than two tonnes of the drug in Abidjan and San Pedro in April, prosecutor Richard Adou told AFP.

“This is an international inquiry which involves South America, Africa, Europe,” he said, adding that further details would be given at a press conference at a later date.

The street value of the haul is put at 41 billion CFA francs ($67 million).

Ivory Coast has become a reputed transit hub for South American cocaine heading for Europe.

Last year, police seized a 1.56-tonne consignment and in 2020, more than 400 kilos (880 pounds) were found aboard a freighter that had sailed from Brazil.

Salah And Haller Go Head To Head As African Heavyweights Clash

A photo collage of Egypt’s forward Mohamed Salah and Ivory Coast’s forward Sebastien Haller at a press conference at the Japoma Stadium in Douala at the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN). PHOTO: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations last-16 tie between Egypt and the Ivory Coast brings together two of the continent’s heavyweight teams who have plenty of history as well as two of the most exciting attacking players in the world just now.

Mohamed Salah leads an Egypt side looking to add to their record haul of seven AFCON titles, while the Ivorians — with Sebastien Haller leading the line — are chasing a third crown.

Not everyone in Cameroon will have the appetite for the competition to continue after the tragic events of Monday in Yaounde, but there will be a big, expectant crowd at the Japoma Stadium in economic capital Douala, where the majority of supporters will likely be backing the Elephants.

READ ALSO: Hakimi Fires Morocco Into Quarter-Finals After Malawi Scare

They must find a way of stopping Salah without neglecting the rest of Carlos Queiroz’s team, even if Egypt hardly set the tournament alight in the group stage, losing 1-0 to Nigeria before beating Guinea-Bissau and Sudan by the same scoreline.

“We always seem to face big teams with great experience in the competition,” said Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle, whose side beat Algeria 3-1 in their last outing to eliminate the reigning champions.

“They are a very experienced team whose players almost all play in Egypt and so I suppose they are used to African conditions.

“They always turn up in big games, even if they are not playing brilliantly.”

Beaumelle, who has twice won the Cup of Nations as an assistant coach, said he was preparing for a “tight, tactical battle but an exciting game.”

 

– History favours Egypt –

For obvious reasons the focus is drawn to Salah and Haller, even if each has only scored once so far in Cameroon.

The Liverpool forward has 54 goals for his club since the start of last season, including seven this campaign in the UEFA Champions League.

He has won the Premier League and Champions League in recent years but is desperate for international glory with his country.

“It is my country, what I love the most. This trophy for me would be completely different. It would be the closest one to my heart,” Salah said.

Salah’s Champions League tally this season has been bettered only by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, with nine, and by Ajax striker Haller, who netted 10 times in the group stage and became just the second player to score in all six group games, following Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017.

But while Salah has been playing for Egypt for a decade and is at his third Cup of Nations, this is French-born Haller’s first major international tournament.

“In certain aspects the AFCON is more difficult than the Champions League,” Haller admitted on Tuesday.

“Sometimes the conditions are maybe less favourable. We obviously do less work together on the training ground than we do with our clubs, so that all makes it harder.”

As the teams target a place in the quarter-finals and a tie against Morocco, history is certainly on Egypt’s side.

They notably beat the Elephants on the way to winning the trophy in 1986, and then won on penalties in the 2006 final in Cairo, with Didier Drogba one of those to miss from the spot.

Two years later the Pharaohs crushed the Ivorians 4-1 in the semi-finals en route to retaining their crown.

“What matters to us as a team is to live in the present. It is two different teams, different players, different coaches, and the past doesn’t help us to win games,” warned Queiroz.

AFP

Curse Of The Holders Strikes Again As AFCON Heads Into Knockout Phase

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez reacts after Ivory Coast scored their fourth goal that did not count during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 20, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez reacts after Ivory Coast scored their fourth goal that did not count during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 20, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

As the Africa Cup of Nations heads into the knockout stages, the reigning champions are heading home early to follow a pattern set at recent editions of the tournament.

Algeria were unceremoniously dumped out on Thursday, Riyad Mahrez missing a penalty in a 3-1 defeat against the Ivory Coast before a delirious crowd in Douala as they finished bottom of their group with one point.

Djamel Belmadi’s team arrived in Cameroon on a 34-game unbeaten run and were naturally one of the favourites to win the title. Instead, the Fennec Foxes depart with their tails between their legs.

It has been notoriously difficult for teams to retain major international titles. No side has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, while Spain in 2012 are the only nation to have retained the European Championship.

In Africa, the Cup of Nations might be held more often and now features 24 teams after its expansion for the 2019 edition, but the reigning champions have a habit of stumbling at the finals.

Since Egypt won a third consecutive AFCON in 2010, only once have the titleholders made the knockout phase of the following edition.

That was Cameroon in 2019, but they were eliminated in the last 16. Egypt did not even qualify for the tournament in 2012, nor did Nigeria in 2015 after they won the previous edition.

Fans Show Up At Last 

Mali’s forward Ibrahima Kone (2L) celebrates with teammates and supporters after scoring a goal during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Gambia and Mali at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 16, 2022. Issouf SANOGO / AFP

 

Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle was the assistant to Herve Renard when Zambia won the title in 2012 and he believes that has shown national teams across Africa what is possible.

“It is always difficult to successfully defend the title because it is a coveted trophy and when we won it with Zambia in 2012 that inspired a lot of teams as well,” Beaumelle said.

“Zambia was a great team but not one you would say would-be contenders to win every time. Everyone wants to go far and we don’t know who is going to win it.”

Since the tournament’s initial expansion to 16 teams a quarter of a century ago, whenever the AFCON has been held in North Africa it has been won by a North African team.

However, North African sides have often struggled elsewhere on the continent, with the obvious exception of the Egyptians who notably won in Ghana in 2008 and Angola in 2010.

Belmadi regularly cited the challenging conditions as a reason for his team’s struggles during their games in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala, where temperatures are high and humidity extreme.

After a disappointing start as fans stayed away in droves due to the coronavirus rules in place to attend games in football-mad Cameroon, crowds have increased markedly, with 30,000 in Douala to see Algeria go out.

 Minnows Enjoy Their Moment 

Ghana's goalkeeper Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (R) fights for the ball with Comoros' forward Said Bakari (2L) during the Group C Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ghana and Comoros at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua on January 18, 2022. Daniel BELOUMOU OLOMO / AFP
Ghana’s Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (R) fights for the ball with Comoros’ forward Said Bakari (2L) during the Group C Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ghana and Comoros at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua on January 18, 2022. Daniel BELOUMOU OLOMO / AFP

 

 

The knockout stages begin on Sunday with Nigeria — the only side to win all three group games — playing Tunisia in one of the ties of the last 16.

Cameroon, Morocco, the Ivory Coast, Mohamed Salah’s Egypt, and Sadio Mane’s Senegal are through too, but the expanded format has also allowed two minnows to make their mark.

In their first AFCON, the tiny Indian Ocean island nation of the Comoros beat Ghana and qualified for the last 16 as a best third-placed side.

Ranked 132nd in the world and with a majority of players hailing from the Comorian community in France, they play the hosts next.

Gambia are the lowest-ranked national team at the finals, sitting 150th in the world, and yet they qualified from their group with seven points.

“When I arrived in July 2018, Gambia had not won a competitive match in five years,” their Belgian coach, Tom Saintfiet, told AFP this week.

“There was no hope, the team was 172nd in the world. I said I was here to qualify Gambia and everyone thought I was mad.”

Now they face west African rivals Guinea, and their Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, for a place in the quarter-finals.

AFP

Ivory Coast Send Reigning Champions Algeria Crashing Out Of AFCON

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez reacts after Ivory Coast scored their fourth goal that did not count during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 20, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez reacts after Ivory Coast scored their fourth goal that did not count during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 20, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

The Ivory Coast crushed an abject Algeria 3-1 on Thursday with Nicolas Pepe among the scorers as the reigning champions crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the group stage.

Franck Kessie and Ibrahim Sangare scored in the first half for the Elephants in Douala, while Pepe added another goal after the break as the Ivorians finished top of Group E.

Riyad Mahrez hit the post with a second-half penalty before Sofiane Bendebka pulled one back for Algeria with their first goal since arriving in Cameroon, but by then it was too late.

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It is the fifth time in the last six Cups of Nations that the reigning champions have failed to make the AFCON knockout phase, but there has arguably never been a worse title defence.

“A failure, simple as that,” was how Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi summed it up.

“We never managed to take our chances, right from the start of the competition. Even penalties we had difficulty with. We just weren’t good enough.”

Algeria came to the tournament on an unbeaten run stretching back over three years but they were held by Sierra Leone in their opening match and then lost to Equatorial Guinea to suffer a first defeat in 36 matches.

They would have gone through with a win against an Ivory Coast side already guaranteed their place in the knockout rounds, but that never looked likely.

Their demise was lapped up by the fans at the Japoma Stadium in Cameroon’s economic capital, with the 50,000-capacity ground filling up as the game went on.

By the time the match was over it looked like fans had taken up more seats than the 60 percent capacity limit imposed as part of coronavirus restrictions, and many invaded the pitch in chaotic scenes of celebration.

The Ivory Coast clearly had the backing of the crowd and they will stay in Douala for a heavyweight last-16 tie against Mohamed Salah’s Egypt.

“I am very, very satisfied about what my team has done tonight,” said the Ivory Coast’s French coach, Patrice Beaumelle, who has twice won the AFCON as an assistant coach and had some sympathy for Algeria and their failed attempt to retain the title.

“It is always difficult because it is a coveted trophy and when we won it with Zambia in 2012 that inspired a lot of teams as well.”

Equatorial Guinea through

Equatorial Guinea go through in second place in Group E after defeating Sierra Leone 1-0 in Limbe thanks to a superb first-half strike from Pablo Ganet.

Kei Kamara missed a penalty for Sierra Leone as they go out while Equatorial Guinea will stay in Limbe for a last-16 tie against whoever wins Group F between Gambia, Tunisia and Mali.

The Group E results also ensured that debutants the Comoros go through and play hosts Cameroon next.

The Ivorians conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in their last game to draw 2-2 with Sierra Leone following a comical mistake by goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare.

He then learned of the death of his father later that night, but he kept his place in the Elephants line-up.

They went ahead midway through the first half at the end of a great move as Pepe cut the ball back for Kessie to finish.

It was 2-0 six minutes before the interval as the unmarked Sangare headed in Serge Aurier’s free-kick.

Algeria did not come out fighting after the restart and they might have fallen further behind before Pepe finished superbly in the 54th minute to make it 3-0.

Mahrez then hit the upright on the hour mark from a spot-kick awarded for a soft foul on Youcef Belaili.

They did get a first goal in over four hours of football when Aissa Mandi turned the ball back across goal for substitute Bendebka to score in the 73rd minute, but were spared extra misery when Sebastien Haller’s late header was disallowed for offside.

 

AFP

AFCON 2021: Gradel Stunner Gives Cote d’Ivoire Victory Over Equatorial Guinea


Ivory Coast’s forward Max-Alain Gradel (R) celebrates with teammate after scoring a goal during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 12, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

A stunning early strike by Max-Alain Gradel gave Cote d’Ivoire a 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in their opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations in Douala on Wednesday.

Gradel, the former Bournemouth and Saint-Etienne winger who now plays club football in Turkey, fired home an unstoppable shot from 20 metres in the fifth minute at the Japoma Stadium that proved enough for the Elephants.


An Ivory Coast supporter cheers prior to the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 12, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

The 34-year-old, whose father died shortly before the start of the tournament, appeared to be in tears as his teammates came across to celebrate the goal.

It is the ideal start for the 2015 African champions in Group E after reigning champions Algeria were held to a 0-0 draw by Sierra Leone at the same venue on Tuesday.

The Ivorians play Sierra Leone in their next match on Sunday, before Algeria take on Equatorial Guinea.

READ ALSO: Jallow Strike Gives Gambia Winning AFCON Debut


An Ivory Coast supporter cheers prior to the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 12, 2022. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

The result also maintains the average of just one goal per game across the tournament with every side now having played once.

Since hosts Cameroon beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match on Sunday, there have been two goalless draws and the remaining nine encounters have all been decided by a single goal.

AFP

Twin Towns At Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Border Clamour For Reopening

Street vendors in Noe, a border town between Ivory Coast and Ghana where residents have not been able to cross due to the COVID-19 pandemic on September 22, 2021.  (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

 

“Noe looks like a ghost town,” says Eloukou Yapo, a youth leader in the Ivorian town near the border with Ghana. “Nothing moves. Everything has stopped.”

Life here has been in limbo for the past year and a half, since the authorities sealed off the border to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But the measure also killed off thriving trade and exchanges with Noe’s sister town Elubo, which lies across the Tanoe River marking the frontier.

In Noe, 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan, many shops are shuttered and the streets are deserted, with trucks and buses standing idle.

A grey gate, the point of access to the bridge spanning the Tanoe, is firmly closed.

Nanan Assi Atchan II, a traditional chief and former policeman in his seventies, adds: “People are suffering greatly from the closure.

“There are Ivorians who farmland in Ghanaian territory and vice versa… They can’t get to their plantation, which could fall into ruin.”

Several hundred Ghanaian traders demonstrated in Elubo on September 2, lobbying unsuccessfully for Ivory Coast to reopen the border.

 

Truck are seen stationary at the customs in Noe, a border town between Ivory Coast and Ghana where residents have not been able to cross due to the COVID-19 pandemic on September 22, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

Stealthy trade

But people in the twin towns have also quietly organised themselves to defy the ban.

They have cut many tracks through the bush to the river, which people cross with makeshift canoes to keep business going.

“My three children go to the English-speaking school (in Elubo) and take the risk of crossing the river, at a cost of 2,000 CFA francs (three euros / $3.50) a day,” says Valerie Botche, a shopkeeper in Noe.

West of Noe, similar problems are being voiced in Adiake, a town on the Aby Lagoon, a key transit point for trade with Ghana.

There, local people say the border closure has been massively disruptive to their lives, but a blessing for traffickers of all stripes.

“The biggest drug seizures have been made in this area,” says Adiake resident Anvoh Bie.

The Ivorian authorities imposed drastic measures as the first COVID-19 cases began to appear in March 2020.

In addition to border closures, there was a state of emergency, a curfew, the shuttering of schools and places of worship, and the isolation of Abidjan, the epicentre of the epidemic.

Some of the measures have been gradually lifted, but land and sea borders remain closed.

 

 Life here has been in limbo for the past year and a half, since the authorities sealed off the border to help prevent the spread of Covid. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

Interwoven economies

Côte d’Ivoire shares borders with four other neighbours — Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Liberia — but its economic, social and cultural ties with Ghana are especially strong.

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are “twin nations” in terms of geography, population, agriculture and, more recently, oil. They are also the two largest cocoa producers on the planet, accounting for two-thirds of world production.

Côte d’Ivoire, with a population of around 25 million, has been relatively unscathed by COVID-19, but the epidemic has worsened in the past two months with 224 deaths since the beginning of August for a total of 600.

“The closure of the border with Ghana has played a part in the resurgence of a third wave,” said a local official who wished to remain anonymous.

 

Truck are seen stationary at the customs in Noe, a border town between Ivory Coast and Ghana where residents have not been able to cross due to the COVID-19 pandemic on September 22, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

He argues that if authorities “open the border, require the vaccine and a PCR test, there will be fewer cases.”

But Noe’s deputy prefect, Losseny Dosso, insisted: “As long as there is an increase in cases, it would be irresponsible for the state to reopen the borders.”

Ex-West Ham Striker Haller Stars As Côte d’Ivoire Beat Cameroon

Cameroon’s Bangou Tchamba (C) fights for the ball with Ivory Coast’s Serge Aurier (L) and Sebastien Haller (L) during the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Ivory Coast and Cameroon at the Alassane Ouattara Ebimpe stadium Anyama on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

 

Former West Ham attacker Sebastien Haller scored twice in nine minutes to give the Ivory Coast a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over fellow African top-10 nation Cameroon in Abidjan on Monday. 

Haller, who moved to Ajax Amsterdam last January after scoring 14 goals in 54 outings for the Hammers, converted a penalty on 20 minutes and later outpaced a defender and fired into the far corner of the net.

Moumi Ngamaleu pulled one goal back from another penalty, on 61 minutes, to set up a tense finish to the Group D showdown.

Ivory Coast top the table with four points after two rounds, Cameroon have three, and Mozambique one and Malawi none ahead of their match on Tuesday.

 

Ivory Coast’s and Cameroon’s players fight for the ball during the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Ivory Coast and Cameroon at the Alassane Ouattara Ebimpe stadium Anyama on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

Cameroon’s goalkeeper Roger Devis Mboka concedes a goal during the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Ivory Coast and Cameroon at the Alassane Ouattara Ebimpe stadium Anyama on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

Group D is the only section of 10 in Africa featuring two countries among the 10 highest ranked in the continent — the Ivory Coast were 12th when the draw was made two years ago.

Meanwhile, South Africa edged Ghana 1-0 in Johannesburg through a 83rd-minute Bongokuhle Hlongwane goal and replaced them as Group G leaders.

Fielding a young, inexperienced side under recently hired Belgian coach Hugo Broos, the South Africans should have broken the deadlock earlier.

 

Ivory Coast’s Jean Evrard Kouassi (R) runs with ball next to Cameroon’s Nicolas Ngamaleu (L) and Bangou Tchamba (22) during the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Ivory Coast and Cameroon at the Alassane Ouattara Ebimpe stadium Anyama on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

Percy Tau, who has quit English Premier League club Brighton to join Egyptian and African giants Al Ahly, had a first-half headed goal wrongly disallowed for offside.

Evidence Makgopa, one of many new faces after Broos complained about inheriting an “old” squad, missed a sitter just after half-time, poking the ball wide of an unguarded goal.

But with time running out and weakened Ghana looking like taking a point home, Hlongwane connected with a low cross and the ball rolled into the net via the far post.

Ghana lacked Premier League trio Daniel Amartey, Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp as South Africa is on the British coronavirus “red list”, which requires travellers to isolate for 10 days when they return.

 

Ivorian national football team players celebrate after scoring a goal during the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Ivory Coast and Cameroon at the Alassane Ouattara Ebimpe stadium in Anyama on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

– Goal-shy Uganda –

South Africa have four points and Ghana three from two matches, and Zimbabwe one and Ethiopia none ahead of their meeting in Bahir Dar on Tuesday.

Mali, who are seeking a first World Cup appearance, took a firm grip on Group E by forcing a 0-0 draw away to 10-man Uganda.

Defender Murushid Juuko was shown a straight red card on 65 minutes and Uganda had to settle for another goalless stalemate, after holding Kenya last week.

Benin failed to build on a matchday 1 win in Madagascar and had to come from behind to draw 1-1 with Group J rivals the Democratic Republic of Congo in Cotonou.

Both goals were headed by senior players during the opening half with Dieumerci Mbokani, 35, putting the Congolese in front and Jordan Adeoti, 32, levelling.

Benin have four points and DR Congo two, while Tanzania, who have one, and pointless Madagascar face off in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

Niger equalled their record for the number of goal scored in a World Cup qualifier by coming from behind to trounce Djibouti 4-2 in Group A with Victorien Adebayor bagging a brace.

Djibouti are ranked 182nd in the world, making them the lowest of the 40 African World Cup hopefuls, and have conceded 12 goals in two outings.

 

Ivory Coast’s Cornet Maxwel (L) fights for the ball with Cameroon’s Andre Anguissa (8) during the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Ivory Coast and Cameroon at the Alassane Ouattara Ebimpe stadium Anyama on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

The section is set to be dominated by African champions Algeria and Burkina Faso, both matchday 1 winners who clash on Tuesday in Morocco because the Burkinabe lack an international-standard stadium.

Djibouti, who have also created a base in Morocco, and Burkina Faso are among nine countries forced to use neutral venues either because the stadium facilities or the pitch are not up to scratch.

The Central African Republic and Liberia are other nations forced to play home matches abroad and they met in the Cameroonian port city of Douala, where Liberian Kpah Sherman scored the only goal.

Côte d’Ivoire Hails ‘Major’ Oil Discovery

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara wearing a protective mask attends a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the country Independance from France on August 7, 2020 at the presidential palace in Abidjan. SIA KAMBOU / AFP
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara wearing a protective mask attends a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the country Independence from France on August 7, 2020 at the presidential palace in Abidjan.
SIA KAMBOU / AFP

 

 

Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday reported a “major discovery” of oil and natural gas offshore after deepwater exploration by Italian firm Eni.

Energy minister Thomas Camara said the find was estimated at between 1.5 and 2 billion barrels of oil and around 1.8-2.4 trillion cubic feet (51 million cubic metres) of gas.

He said the development would “greatly increase Côte d’Ivoire’s proven reserves in the coming years”.

The 3,445-metre-deep well was drilled about 60 kilometres (40 miles) off the coast in 30 days, Eni said.

The firm added that it would now carry out a further evaluation of the wider potential of the find.

In a 2019 investment worth $185 million, Ivory Coast signed contracts with Eni and French firm Total to explore the possibility of ramping up Ivorian production.

Côte d’Ivoire to date has 51 identified oilfields with four in production, 26 in exploration and the remaining 21 still up for grabs.

In 2014, Total said exploration had shown “very promising” prospects.

Aside from Total and Eni, Britain’s Tullow Oil has also announced significant discoveries of Ivorian offshore oil reserves in recent years.

Cote d’Ivoire Detects First Bird Flu Cases Since 2015

bird flu
A file photo used to illustrate the story.

 

Ivory Coast has detected its first cases since 2015 of the H5N1 bird flu in poultry farms, the government said Thursday.

“Since July 20, high death rates among poultry were spotted in traditional and modern poultry firms in Mondoukou” east of the country’s economic hub Abidjan, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Sidi Tiemoko Toure said in a statement.

He added that “laboratory analysis confirmed the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu virus”.

The government has ordered all poultry in the affected area slaughtered.


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With memories in mind of past outbreaks in 2006 and 2015, ministers have also blocked poultry imports from infected countries.

A number of west African nations have reported H5N1 outbreaks since January.

The flu virus is transmitted both by poultry and migrating wild birds.

H5N1 and another strain, H7N9, have both made the jump to humans after infecting poultry, although cases of human-to-human transmission remain rare.

AFP