Recent Africa InDepth

South Africa’s 2019 Elections: The Never Ending Struggle

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It is almost 25 years to the day that the world witnessed a remarkable event in South African history as huge snaking queues of voters heralded the end of apartheid and the dawn of a new democratic era. The African National Congress’s (ANC) 1994 election victory was the pinnacle of a decades-long struggle to free South Africa from …   Read more

Sall II: Harder, better, faster, stronger

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President Macky Sall’s first-round victory in the country’s recent presidential election re-asserts his strong position and provides him with a clear mandate to deliver the second phase of his economic plan. Sall now intends to make full use of this renewed mandate to accelerate key reforms. He has already set the tone in the very …   Read more

Ethiopia’s changing of the guard

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda has been both fast-paced and far-reaching. Since coming to office less than a year ago, he has begun a reconciliation process with Eritrea after decades of conflict and cross-border animosity, put in place a young cabinetwith 50% female representation, released up to 60,000 political prisoners, unbanned opposition parties including those which had been designated as terrorist organisations by …   Read more

The African Year in 2019

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As we begin the new year, organisations in Africa are facing a host of strategic risks and uncertainties as well as opportunities. The continent’s two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, will both be embarking on crucial election cycles which will set the tone for government going forward. Beyond politics, reform agendas in Ethiopia, Angola …   Read more

Exploring at the frontier: Africa taking centre stage again

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s frontier exploration acreage is squarely back on the radar of international oil companies as a healthier outlook for oil and gas prices fuels a resurgence in risk appetite. The last three years have seen a collapse in investment in exploration as most companies have sought to cut costs, streamline operations and reduce risk. …   Read more

Reciprocal investment model will be key to winning Africa’s hand

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China’s latest play for greater influence in Africa involves advancing $60 billion in aid and loans to African nations without political conditionality. Announced at the just-concluded Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, which drew the attendance of more than 40 African Heads of State, this move comes hot on the heels of high-profile state …   Read more

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Recent Blog Posts

Failure to address the ‘people’ component of an infrastructure project, leads projects to fail: Four lessons for managing stakeholders

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Infrastructure projects throw up a complex ecosystem of stakeholders that requires proactive management.  Understanding the political economy and the needs and expectations of stakeholders is key to realising a project’s outcomes. Failure to manage contextual risk and subjugation of the ‘people’ component within a project design, leads projects to fail. Our role in supporting some …   Read more

Ethiopia: attempted coup unlikely to reverse reform direction

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Ethiopia’s army chief of staff Seare Mekonen and the regional governor of Amhara state Ambachew Mekonnen were both assassinated on 22 June in two separate but reportedly related incidents which are being described as an attempted coup. According to a government spokesperson, the incidents were reportedly orchestrated by General Asaminew Tsige who is in charge …   Read more

South Africa’s new cabinet

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on 29 May announced a streamlined cabinet of 28 Ministers, down from 36 in the previous government. However, 34 Deputy Ministers were also retained, reflecting the difficulties of slimming a cabinet in a divided political context. As suggested in our previous analysis, Ramaphosa re-appointed technocratic figures in the critical economic …   Read more

Five conclusions from the South African election result

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South Africa’s electoral commission on 11 May announced the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as the winner of the 2019 elections with 57.5% of the vote, equating to 230 seats in the 400-seater parliament. This is the first time since the end of apartheid that the ANC’s vote share has dropped below 60% in a …   Read more

Zambia: Struggling beneath the burden

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The IMF completed its mission to Zambia last week and concluded that growth is expected to slow to 2.3% in 2019 (from 3.7% in 2018) while inflation is set to rise. Reserves are woefully low at less than 1.7 months import cover (as at end of March 2019).   There’s no sign that the IMF …   Read more

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

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Following weeks of escalating protests in Khartoum, the Sudanese military has toppled President Omar al-Bashir in a coup that brings an end to his 30 years in power. But any celebrations that might have been triggered by Bashir’s overthrow have been cut short by the manner of his removal, with huge crowds defying an overnight …   Read more

Sall bets are off

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Senegal will hold the first round of presidential elections on 24 February 2019 followed, if necessary, by a second round as the winning candidate will require an absolute majority of the votes. The constitutional court published the final list of candidates in January, confirming the exclusion of Khalifa Sall, head of the Socialist Party (PS), …   Read more

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