Recent Africa InDepth

The African Year in 2018

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As the global economy begins to advance on surer footing, Africa’s economies face an important test. Some will be buoyed by the creeping rise in commodity prices. But this could be partially offset by rising interest rates in Western economies. These will both increase the cost of foreign currency debt-servicing for African governments and corporates, …   Read more

South Africa: the ANC’s elective conference 2017

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With just under three weeks to go until the African National Congress’s (ANC) elective conference, the race to succeed President Jacob Zuma is entering its most critical phase. The conference occurs against a backdrop of prolonged controversy around the country’s leadership, prompted by scandals in government and widening divisions within the heart of the ruling …   Read more

Ethiopia: Africa’s great enigma

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For many businesses scanning Africa for the next opportunity, Ethiopia is the continent’s great enigma. It is a country that has experienced near double-digit growth for the best part of a decade, is rich in land and resources, and has a growing population of over 100 million people; second only to Nigeria on the continent. …   Read more

All eyes on the kingmakers: Liberia’s presidential election

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Next month, Liberians will go to the polls to vote in a new government and leader. The election will mark the end of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s 12 years in office. In 2005, Sirleaf became the first elected female African leader, as Liberia transitioned back to democracy from its devastating civil conflict. Sirleaf has played a …   Read more


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ECOWAS accession and other challenges to a highly prospective relationship Morocco was readmitted into the African Union in January 2017, concluding an almost two-decade long diplomatic struggle. With only a simple majority required, their application was all but certain to be accepted. This contrasts with the unanimity required to welcome a new member into the …   Read more

DRC’s brewing political storm creating risks for the mining sector

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With the government of President Joseph Kabila showing no interest in relinquishing power, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) looks set to be entering a period of deepening political crisis. Kabila will exploit the weakness and disunity of the opposition, while the international community will struggle to impose a solution in the absence of compliance …   Read more

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Recent Blog Posts

Ethiopia: Changing of the guard

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After weeks of speculation, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn today submitted his resignation both as Prime Minister and as head of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition. Hailemariam indicated that he would stay on in a caretaker capacity until  his party and parliament accepted his resignation and appointed a successor. The move …   Read more

The future of mining

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Without innovation, the mining industry risks being taken over by conglomerates who can innovate. The impact of innovations on unemployment will depend on government policies. To date, we have witnessed a tendency on the part of African governments to bury their heads in the sand when confronted with the reality of innovation and its effect on unemployment.   Read more

South Africa: Lost in Transition

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On Tuesday, the Speaker of the National Assembly announced the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (SONA), which was due to take place this Thursday. This is a first for the country – an unprecedented move for a major calendar event, with no exact date of when it will be held as of …   Read more

South Africa: Ramaphosa takes over a house divided

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The African National Congress (ANC) on 18 December selected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to become its leader for the next five years. Ramaphosa secured 2,440 votes against the 2,261 won by his opponent, former AU Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. It was hoped that Ramaphosa’s win would reflect a sharp rejection and move away from President Jacob …   Read more

Zimbabwe: the crocodile bites back

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Yesterday’s military intervention in Zimbabwe looks set to bring a climatic end to President Robert Mugabe’s three decades of iron-fisted rule. While the army is insisting this is not a coup d’état, it certainly bears all the trappings of one. Regional and international governments have called for a restoration of elected rule but have been …   Read more

Oil & Gas in Senegal: highly prospective, highly contentious

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Two months after ruling coalition Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) retained power through a landslide victory at the parliamentary elections in July 2017, President Macky Sall conducted a cabinet reshuffle that unveiled a new Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Having formerly served as Director General of the national oil company Petrosen, Sall is determined to position …   Read more

Kenya’s disputed elections: into the unknown

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In an unprecedented ruling, the Kenyan Supreme Court today annulled the outcome of the 8 August presidential election following a petition by the losing opposition National Super Alliance (NASA). The landmark ruling invalidates incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory and will force a re-run of the election within 60 days. The Supreme Court’s decision is both …   Read more

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