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Published 1st May 2015

Vol 56 No 9


Nigeria

Rising hopes, falling revenues

KANO: Jubilant youths celebrate the victory of Muhammadu Buhari. Samuel Aranda / Panos
KANO: Jubilant youths celebrate the victory of Muhammadu Buhari. Samuel Aranda / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

The list of pressing economic problems – oil, power, the naira – is lengthening ahead of Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration on 29 May

It could hardly have been more cordial when a combined team of government and opposition economists from Nigeria arrived in Washington for the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on 17-19 April. In a sign of the country's growing weight among developing economies, the team was quickly wheeled in to meet IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

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APC to lead with a leaner team

Nigeria Macroeconomic Forecasts

At their Spring Meetings in Washington, officials at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank expressed surprise that Nigeria's incoming officials were willing to cooperate w...


Shame about the list

President Kenyatta is gutting the anti-corruption bodies after purging mostly his deputy’s allies from public life

Since early March, the Jubilee government has been riven by charge and counter-charge over corruption. President Uhuru Kenyatta appeared to silence his critics by publishing a 'lis...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The drowning of thousands of people in the Mediterranean shames both the countries they left and those they were heading for. Whether these individuals were fleeing political oppression or poverty, the governments and international organisations were nowhere to be seen. About 40,000 people fleeing Africa, Asia and the Middle East have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy so far this year. At least 2,000 have died at sea, but many more die en route from their countries to the Med...

The drowning of thousands of people in the Mediterranean shames both the countries they left and those they were heading for. Whether these individuals were fleeing political oppression or poverty, the governments and international organisations were nowhere to be seen. About 40,000 people fleeing Africa, Asia and the Middle East have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy so far this year. At least 2,000 have died at sea, but many more die en route from their countries to the Mediterranean ports, mainly in Libya.

The European Union’s new plans for a war on traffickers will do little to staunch the flow of migrants, let alone tackle the root causes of the exodus. The mélange of militias and politicians controlling Libya’s western ports have already threatened to block any European action. For the sake of the migrants and Libyans themselves, international efforts to end the civil war must go into higher gear.

As for the economic causes of the migration, the IMF’s Spring Meeting heard that of the 450 million people working in Africa, fewer than 40 million are on payrolls and paying tax. By 2030, according to projections, the number of people reaching working age in Africa alone will exceed those in the rest of the world. Without far more focused and determined strategies to create sustainable jobs across the continent, there may be ebb and flow, but the tide of migration will not stop rising – Fortress Europe or not.

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EU adopts 'weak' code

The European Parliament is set to ratify a code on conflict minerals, putting it at odds with US legislation and angering campaigners

In the week of 18 May, the European Parliament is set to ratify the European Commission's long-awaited proposal for a system to ensure the responsible supply of 'conflict minerals'...


Pierre nears the precipice

Now that the ruling party has backed the President’s bid for a third term, hopes for a peaceful election are fading fast

The latest attempt by a two-term president to flout the constitution and stay in power got formally under way on 25 April. The congress of the ruling party, the Conseil national po...


Illegal gold exports

Chinese business people are accused of smuggling gold out of the country with the connivance of senior ruling party officials

Securocrats and political bigwigs in President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) are colluding with Asian entrepreneurs, mainly from China, ...


Enhancing elections

The opposition call to stay away worked. The government cannot pretend it won a credible mandate

Long queues of enthusiastic citizens stood patiently in the scorching sun waiting to vote in Sudan's first democratic elections for 18 years. The year was 1986. Fast-forward to 201...


The best man not standing

Moïse Katumbi has said he won’t stand for President but many forces are at work trying to persuade him to change his mind

Supporters of the Katanga Governor, Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, seem unwilling to take no for an answer after his many refusals to stand for the presidency. The calls grow in streng...


So far, so bad

The campaign against Mujuru continues and the opposition remains incapable of capitalising on ZANU-PF's difficulties

As the economy plummets and political infighting reaches fever pitch, Zimbabwe's state media chose to mark the 35th anniversary of the nation's Independence on 18 April, by splashi...


Roots of a governor

Moïse Katumbi Chapwe is the son of Nissim Soriano, a Jew with Italian citizenship from the Greek Mediterranean island of Rhodes, and Virginie Katumbi, a Bemba from Congo-Kinsh...



Pointers

BRICS on the rocks

Designed as a radical alternative to the World Bank by the BRICS group countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the much-vaunted New Development Bank is falling ...


The code breakers

Supporters of the ancien régime are resisting a new electoral code which bans many of them from standing for election. The National Transition Council has excluded from Octo...


LNG plant held up

The immediate future of the liquefied natural gas project may rest with one of Africa's richest people, Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Gulam Dewji, whose fortune is estimated at ov...