A group of junior oil companies are set to apply for an exploration licence in Namibia’s wildlife and ecosystem-rich Caprivi Strip, a move that has the potential to further stoke the fires of the anti-fossil fuel movement in southern Africa.

Upstream activities in the wider region have been recent targets by climate change activists, particularly ReconAfrica’s operations in northern Namibia’s Kavango basin.

In South Africa, meanwhile, campaigners have successfully appealed to the courts to ban — at least temporarily — offshore seismic campaigns planned by oil companies, while in Angola, the government came in for stinging criticism last year for partly opening up national parks to exploration.