Lorne Stockman, Oil Change International:
Rob Parker, Economic and Social Justice Trust of Namibia:

Civil Society groups call on Toronto Stock Exchange to block share listing for Reconnaissance Energy Africa Ltd’s controversial activities in Namibia and Botswana

A coalition of civil society groups from Canada, the USA, and Namibia, has today called on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture Exchange (TSXV) to deny regulatory approval to a new share listing by Reconnaissance Energy Africa Ltd (ReconAfrica).

ReconAfrica is looking to raise $6.5 million from a new share offering in order to continue its exploration for oil and gas in the Okavango Delta in Namibia and Botswana. 

The groups demand that TSXV deny regulatory approval for the share offering due to the ongoing ecological, cultural, human rights, and climatic impact of ReconAfrica’s activities in Namibia and Botswana. 

The company’s drilling threatens the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Okavango Delta, home to some of the world’s most endangered species, as well as the world’s largest protected international wildlife reserve, which covers five nations of Southern Africa. Over one million people also depend on the water within the Delta watershed. 

The shortcomings of the drilling operations are well documented. This includes how the company allegedly didn’t adequately consult with local communities as required by Namibian law; violated its promise to line its drilling waste pits to prevent groundwater pollution; failed to secure legally required water and land permits; drilled inside Kapinga Kamwalye Conservancy without legal rights, bulldozed roads illegally through protected areas and how local activists have been threatened, harassed, had their homes burgled and offered bribes.

Beyond the ecological and human rights impact, the company has been subject to investigations by different regulatory authorities and is the subject of various lawsuits.

Lorne Stockman, Research Co-Director with Oil Change International said:ReconAfrica is seeking capital for a drilling program that simply shouldn’t be happening. It threatens one of the world’s richest ecosystems, and flies in the face of climate science. As the world reels from climate disaster after climate disaster, the last thing we need is oil and gas exploration in a biodiversity hotspot.” 

Rob Parker from the Economic and Social Justice Trust of Namibia said: “ReconAfrica promised development to Namibians and riches to shareholders. The company that claimed to have found 120 billion barrels of oil, as predicted, found nothing and cannot drill, according to their own statement without a JV partner. We don’t think there is any reason for any more shareholders to be deceived.”  


Notes to Editors:

The link to the letter is here.

The letter is signed by Jan Ackert, geologist, South Africa; Niki Christina Ashton MP, Canada; Climate Action Network, Canada; Earthlife Namibia, Namibia; Economic and Social Justice Trust, Namibia; Grandmothers Advocacy Network, Canada; Natural Justice, South Africa; Nutrition and Food Security Alliance of Namibia; Oil Change International, USA; Saving Okavango’s Unique Life, Namibia; Geoff Styles, Carbon Impact Consultants, Canada; Women’s Leadership Centre, Namibia.

For more on Canadian opposition to Recon Africa’s activities in Namibia, go here and here.

From June 26 to June 28, 2023, Recon Africa issued 20 SEDAR filings, related to a new share offering, which is expected to “close on or about July 11, 2023, or such other date as agreed to between the Company and the Underwriters”. It is subject to receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals from the TSX Venture Exchange.