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Published 15th February 2013

Vol 54 No 4


Mali

Crisis in the command

MALI Bamako: Children playing on a wall. Pascal Deloche/Godong / Panos
MALI Bamako: Children playing on a wall. Pascal Deloche/Godong / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Secret deals between army putschists and the jihadists threaten the military campaign as Bamako politicians demand retribution

The strange pact under which President Dioncounda Traoré appointed the serial putschist Captain Amadou Sanogo as head of the military reform committee in a grand ceremony in Bamako on 13 February exposes the contradictions at the heart of the government. It also raises questions about the fractured command of the national army and its willingness to fight alongside French and West African forces in northern Mali. These doubts will probably speed up the timetable for the United Nations’ involvement, as requested by France and now discreetly backed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).


Rocky road in the north

The war against the jihadists is winding into the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains on the Malian-Algerian border. Last week, French and Chadian forces retook Tessalit, some 90 kilometre...


Nairobi’s governing passions

The race to be governor of the capital is tense, filled with drama and defying the expectations of the experts

The Nairobi gubernatorial race – part of the 4 March general elections – is turning into one of the most fascinating political battles of recent times. The city’s economy is worth...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The African conference season started early this year. First out of the blocks was the London-based Economist, which held its ‘Africa summit’ on 5 February: next comes the Times ‘Africa CEO summit’. Dubai hosts a Gulf States Invest in Africa conference just before the World Economic Forum on Africa meets in Cape Town in May.

At times, this first ‘Africa summit’ pulled in contrary directi...

The African conference season started early this year. First out of the blocks was the London-based Economist, which held its ‘Africa summit’ on 5 February: next comes the Times ‘Africa CEO summit’. Dubai hosts a Gulf States Invest in Africa conference just before the World Economic Forum on Africa meets in Cape Town in May.

At times, this first ‘Africa summit’ pulled in contrary directions. Young hedge-fund and private-equity analysts stood keenly by, ever alert for the 30% ‘absolute return’. The man from the Diageo drinks conglomerate could barely conceal his delight at supplanting the unlicensed and uncontrolled ‘concoction’ pedlars of Kenya with his competitively-priced Senator Keg beer. Dissenters at the back quietly pointed out that the grain that is fermented to befuddle the Kenyan poor is at least locally sourced. Might we see a multinational variant of changaa next? More substantial dissenters at the summit such as Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf questioned the distribution of the benefits of Africa’s much trumpeted growth. ‘We have to change the paradigm,’ she pleaded. ‘We have growth without development.’

The suits looked at the ceiling as she argued that perhaps protectionism and industrial policy could help Liberia break out of its economic cul de sac. Similarly, Oby Ezekwesili’s plea for foreign companies to be more socially responsible and accountable fell a little flat among some of the frontier market pioneers.

Read more

By Skype from The Hague

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Issayas staggers a little

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Jobs on the roads

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The new poor give less

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Jihadists from Mali in Darfur

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Qatar's cold shoulder

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Banda takes on her deputy

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British military aid for Sudan

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Kabimba looks ahead

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Zambia’s next elections are not until 2016 but Wynter Kabimba, the Justice Minister and Secretary General of the governing Patriotic Front, is positioning himself to succeed Presid...


Spring in opposition’s step

New opposition leader and liberation fighter Mugisha Muntu tries to galvanise the ranks as he senses growing disarray in the ruling party

A tough police and military crackdown is stifling attempts to reproduce the success of the Walk to Work street protests led by Kizza Besigye, the then leader of the Forum for Demo...



Pointers

Loyalty rewarded

Only several months after President Ernest Bai Koroma’s re-election are the winners and losers in the post-electoral division of spoils becoming clear. Most prominent among them is...


Swearing deputies

Cyril Ramaphosa, the African National Congress’s new Deputy President, is finding that the smooth path to power that was promised him may be strewn with boulders. He agreed to beco...


Daily pressure

Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera is complaining about what he calls ‘harassment’ of his elderly parents by the country’s immigration and security officials. In November, he ga...


Answers needed

When opposition leader Chokri Belaïd was shot dead by three masked men in a black car on 6 February, the secular opposition, the mainstream Islamist Hizb Ennahda and much of the...