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About us

Africa Intelligence has been present on the web since 1996 and is the leading African news site for professionals.

The Africa Intelligence editorial team produces five confidential newsletters: West Africa Newsletter, The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Maghreb Confidential, Africa Energy Intelligence and Africa Mining Intelligence. Headed by Executive Director Philippe Vasset, it has been chronicling the activities of African decision-makers for more than 20 years, paying particular attention to relations between the political authorities and business world.

Africa Intelligence is published in Paris by an independent press group called Indigo Publications which depends entirely on revenues from subscriptions and the sale of individual articles. As an advocate of total editorial independence, it accepts no advertising, carries out no consulting work,receives no subsidies and has no external shareholders

Editorial director: Philippe Vasset

Investigative journalist Philippe Vasset joined Indigo Publications in 1999, working as correspondent in the United States, editor of Africa Energy Intelligence and, then from 2007 to 2014, as editor of Intelligence Online. He was promoted to editorial director in 2015, after a one-year sabbatical.

He has masters’ degrees in philosophy and geography from Paris IV University and studied in at the John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC. He is also the author of six novels.

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West Africa Newsletter was founded in 1985 and is the publication of reference on power circles in West and Central Africa. For more than 30 years, it has been reporting in detail on political life in each country in the region, its interaction with the business world and the special relationship between the political leadership in these counties and France. West Africa Newsletter goes well beyond the official news, pinpointing the men and women who exercise power and influence behind the scenes, outside the official circuits, and describing their contact networks in close detail.

The team

Frederic Lejeal joined Indigo Publications in November 2009 as deputy editor of West Africa Newsletter and then, from September 2010 on, as editor. He graduated from Pantheon-Sorbonne University in 1995 and wrote a thesis on Burkina Faso. Next, he worked for Marches Tropicaux & Mediterraneens, where he become deputy editor. In 2006, he joined the editorial team of Jeune Afrique.
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Justine Spiegel has been a journalist at West Africa Newsletter since March 2015. She holds a master’s degree in public law from the Université de Droit in Rheims, where she specialized in private and public administration in Africa, and graduated from the Centre de Formation des Journalistes (CFJ) in Paris in 2011. In 2014, she covered the Biennal of Contemporary African Art in Dakar for Intense Art Magazine. She also worked for Jeune Afrique, where she notably covered Mauritania.
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The Indian Ocean Newsletter was set up in 1981 and was Indigo Publications’ first newsletter. It covers politics and business in African countries bordering on the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, from Sudan down to Mozambique. It follows political life in the individual countries of the region and its relationship with the business world. It goes beyond the official news to identify the men and women behind the political and business news in their respective countries and details their contact networks. The Indian Ocean Newsletter is published fortnightly.

The team

Tristan Coloma joined Indigo Publications in 2014 as deputy editor of The Indian Ocean Newsletter before going on to become editor. Before that, he had worked for Le Monde Diplomatique and Le Monde. He has carried out numerous reporting missions and investigations in sub-Saharan Africa. He also writes scientific articles on Asian commercial ventures in Africa, notably for the International Institute of Social Studies (IISS) in The Hague.
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Leslie Fauvel began working for Indigo Publications as a specialist writer in June 2012 before becoming a section head in 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut and has a certificate attesting to her ability to speak basic Arabic from the Institut Nationale des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris. She has a solid video culture and has notably realized a 26-minute documentary on India entitled “Chandigarth, planifier le Bonheur?”.
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Founded in 1990, Maghreb Confidential covers the power structures in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. A weekly publication, it follows the activities of the leading families which hold power in the different countries in the region, explains what is happening behind the scenes in the diplomatic and major contract negotiations and analyses the key issues in the region.

The team

Lazare Beullac joined Indigo Publications in October 2008. He has a master’s degree in international relations from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Paris and has worked in Tunis and Dubai. He became editor of Maghreb Confidential in June 2012. He is also in charge of the Surveillance and Interception section at Intelligence Online, which covers the communications and satellite imagery sector.
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Sarah Vernhes has been a specialist writer at Indigo Publications since December 2016. She graduated from the Ecole de Journalisme de Nice in 2011. She has carried out reporting missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for Le Point, L’Express and Le Point Afrique.
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Africa Energy Intelligence was founded in 1983 and is a publication of reference for all involved in the African oil and gas and electricity sectors. Over 35 years, it has reported on the behind the scenes side of the negotiations for exploration and production permits and oil trading. It keeps a detailed log of the activities of local lobbies and the diplomatic manoeuvring of of oil majors. It identifies the men and women who exercise their power out of the public eye and reveals the details of their contact networks. Africa Energy Intelligence appears every two weeks.

The team

Benjamin Auge joined Indigo Publications in August 2008. He is a doctor of geography from the Institut Francais de Geopolitique (Universite Paris 8) and, since June 2010, has been a researcher partner at the sub-Saharan African department of the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI). He lectures regularly at the Ecole de Guerre, HEC, Sciences Po Paris, ENA and different engineering schools. His research work focuses on governance in the oil, gas and electricity sectors in African countries.
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Louise Margolin and Leslie Fauvel are section heads at Africa Energy Intelligence. Louise Margolin also works for Africa Mining Intelligence and Leslie Fauvel for The Indian ocean Newsletter.
Africa Mining Intelligence was set up in 2000 and is the youngest of Africa Intelligence’s range of publications. Published fortnightly, it quickly established itself as required reading for mining sector professionals, including brokers financiers, geologists and senior civil servants. It explains the political and economic strategies of the different players in the African mining sector, covering the whole range of mining activities, taking in project financing and logistics, as well as negotiations with governments and local populations. Africa Mining Intelligence also offers specific coverage of the West African gold mining industry and the Copperbelt.

The team

Louise Margolin joined Indigo Publications in March 2015. She is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and the University of California and has worked in French embassies in Eritrea and Mali. She is a former country risk analyst, covering West Africa and the Sahel for a security company. She also spent time in Cairo, where she carried out a study on Egyptian energy. She is also a section head at Africa Energy Intelligence.
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Penelope Bacle joined Indigo Publications in August 2014. She spent her entire university cursus in London, first at Kingston University and then at Westminster University. She began her professional career in the United Kingdom, working notably for The Economist and the BBC. She worked first as a freelance contributor to La Lettre A before joining the editorial team at Maghreb Confidential and then Africa Mining Intelligence. Since early 2017, she has been writing mainly for Intelligence Online.
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