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Growth and development in Africa's economies
Growth and development in Africa's economies

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In a much harsher international climate, Africa’s economic managers are promoting regional trade and boosting investment in power and transport

Bankers hosting parties for their government friends were a little more discreet than usual – perhaps in deference to rising political and econo...

MOZAMBIQUE

Frelimo wins, Renamo revives

ZIMBABWE

Doctors at large

BLUE LINES

THE INSIDE VIEW

Africa has lost two strong independent voices in the past week: Efua Dorkenoo, the Ghanaian women’s rights activist, and Ali Mazrui, the Kenyan academic and author.

Dorkenoo left her home in Cape Coast and went to work as a nurse in London, where she saw the agony of a woman who had been infibulated giving birth in the mid-1970s. This prompted her to launch a campaign against Female Genital Mutilation. After she relentlessly petitioned officials, Britain passed The Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act in 1985, and most Western and many other governments followed suit. Although the World Health Organisation hired Dorkenoo as a director of its Women’s Health Department, it was not until 2012 that the United Nations codified FGM as a human rights violation.

Mazrui, a polymath academician with an encyclopaedic knowledge of African politics and culture, also battled entrenched interests. A professor at Uganda’s Makerere University in the early 1970s, he was asked by the military ruler Idi Amin Dada to become his chief advisor on foreign affairs. Mazrui replied publicly with a searing condemnation of Amin’s brutal rule, then left to take up a teaching post at Ann Arbor University, Michigan, United States. His radical, groundbreaking, nine-part television documentary series, 'The Africans', co-funded by the US Public Broadcasting Service and the BBC, sparked criticism and praise for its condemnation of both colonialism and Marxism. More recently, Mazrui remarked to a friend that his life had been 'one long debate'.

KENYA

Bad time for an oil boom

Like its neighbours Tanzania and Uganda, Kenya has found that hydrocarbon discoveries require complicated legal and institutional reforms to manage the resource and deal with investors. The incentives for political malpractice are already high at the centre but now, thanks to the 2010 constitution, decision-makers at the regional level want to get involved as well.

ZAMBIA

Party rivalries grow as Sata ails

Few believe that President Michael Sata would miss such a prestigious event as tomorrow's 50th anniversary of Zambia's Independence. And yet a State House statement said he had left the country on 20 October for a 'medical check-up'. Having made no public appearances since he returned from the United States in September, the fact he has gone abroad at such short notice has been widely taken as a sign that his condition is terminal. A political source in Lusaka said he had gone to London. The Defence Minister and the governing Patriotic Front Secretary General Edgar Lungu was left to run Zambia in his absence.

MALI

Crisis returns as talks falter

Lethal attacks by jihadists on United Nations' forces and armed clashes among Tuareg factions take place against a background of another round of sluggish peace talks in Algiers. No compromise is yet in sight that might satisfy both the government and the three main Tuareg nationalist organisations, let alone other armed groups. Meanwhile, ten UN peacekeepers – nine Nigeriens and one Senegalese – from the UN's Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation au Mali, died in recent Islamist attacks in the north.

UGANDA

Mbabazi on the ropes

President Yoweri Museveni aims to limit possible leadership challenges from within the governing National Resistance Movement through wide-ranging changes to the party’s constitution. Currently, the main objective is to unseat Amama Mbabazi – the former Prime Minister sacked by Museveni on 18 September – from his position as NRM Secretary General and so quash his hopes of standing for President for the party. And, during the weekend of 18-19 October, Museveni scored a decisive victory over his erstwhile ally.

NIGERIA | ITALY

Follow the money

Telephone taps of Italian middlemen in the deal over Oil Prospecting Licence 245 reveal extraordinary detail about the manoeuvring that led to the agreement between the Nigerian government, and ENI SpA and Shell, in April 2011. The leak from an Italian government investigation of ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) reveals that ENI officials made direct contact with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and his then Oil and Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to break the logjam over the contentious OPL 245.

NORTH AFRICA | ARMS

Comrades in arms deals

The global news agenda has moved on since the attack on the Tiguentourine gas plant near In Amenas in Algeria in January 2013 and the ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi this June. The BP-Statoil-Sonatrach facility was supplying 2% of the European Union's natural gas. Meanwhile, armed chaos reigned in Mali, a traditional zone of influence for Algerian military intelligence, the Département du renseignment et de la sécurité (DRS), under the veteran Lieutenant General Mohammed Lamine 'Tewfik' Medienne.

MOZAMBIQUE

Fraud claims taint Frelimo win

Frente de Libertação de Moçambique members in Maputo are already celebrating victory in the general election, even though the formal results are not due for several days. The opposition, however, and several independent local media and non-governmental organisations are already crying 'foul'. Sources close to Frelimo told Africa Confidential that on polling day there was internal disagreement in Frelimo over what percentage the party should 'win' by. Some were pushing for 62%, while others argued this margin would not be believed, and 52% would be more acceptable. Even if this talk was mere bluster, evidence of electoral fraud and obstruction of voters and observers intensified throughout polling day.

BLUE LINES

THE INSIDE VIEW

Africa has lost two strong independent voices in the past week: Efua Dorkenoo, the Ghanaian women’s rights activist, and Ali Mazrui, the Kenyan academic and author.

Dorkenoo left her home in Cape Coast and went to work as a nurse in London, where she saw the agony of a woman who had been infibulated giving birth in the mid-1970s. This prompted her to launch a campaign against Female Genital Mutilation. After she relentlessly petitioned officials, Britain passed The Prohibition of Fem...

MOZAMBIQUE

Frelimo braces for impact

All the signs point to victory for Frente de Libertação de Moçambique presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi in the polls on 15 October, but the outcome of the parliamentary contest is much less certain for the party which has ruled since Independence in 1975. To avoid a tricky second round, Filipe Nyusi must poll more than 50% of the votes: in a run-off, he would face a united anti-Frelimo vote, which is currently split between Afonso Dhlakama's Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo) and Daviz Simango's Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM).

Pointers  

SUDAN | AFRICA

Next stop, Rome

Senior officials from the African Union, European Union and United Nations were at the Police Club House in Khartoum on 13-16 October for the AU's Regional Conference on Human Trafficking and Smuggling in the Horn of Africa. Yet none publicly questioned w...

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