The Independent, 24 November 2015
Diamond mining company Octea facing claims it owes money to Sierra Leone town and New York jeweller Tiffany
By David Connett
'With the tiny West African country already reeling from the effects of the Ebola outbreak as well as a collapse in commodity prices, Mines Minister Mikailu Mansaray was eager to discover whether Octea is going to continue mining. He has complained the company is no longer paying the government statutory social security payments for its employees, according to the newsletter Africa Confidential. In a letter quoted by the newsletter, Mr Mansaray warned he would take "necessary action within our legal rights… to cancel or not renew the existing [licence] and/or secure Octea’s assets in lieu of the company’s outstanding obligations".'
IOL, 22 November 2015
Mad man of Mali
By Peter Fabricius
'According to the journal Africa Confidential, the army has sub-contracted most of the fighting in the north to state-backed militias and French special forces which remain in the country. This is not a recipe for stability.
Zounmenou's pointed questions about whether Keita's government has learned any lessons from previous terrorist attacks are also pertinent in the light of growing doubt about the government’s overall competence and integrity. Africa Confidential wrote last month that: "Donors have already expressed concern about the state's ability properly to manage and use e3.3 billion in aid that was pledged in 2013 in the aftermath of the French-African military intervention."
It added that the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development had begun scrutinising the Mali government's finances. "The scrutiny does not appear to be deterring influence-peddlers and corrupt officials, especially some close to the president."'
Foreign Affairs, 18 October 2015
Tunisia's Flawed Bank Bailout
By Nizar Manek
'Tunisian banking sector insiders calculate that the total bad loan portfolio for the three state banks (one state bank was not up for a bailout, and remains unaudited) is about 6.7 billion dinars ($3.4 billion). Meanwhile, then Finance Minister Hakim Ben Hammouda and other banking sources told the journal Africa Confidential late last year that these banks hold almost 5 billion dinars ($2.64 billion) in deposits.'
Al Jazeera, The Stream, 5 October 2015
CAR's forgotten crisis
BBC World Service World Business Report, 29 September 2015
Fears Over China Growth Weigh on Glencore
'We try to find out why shares of mining giant Glencore have been experiencing volatility. Investigative journalist Ken Silverstein, of Vice Magazine and Byline fills us in. And we assess the impact of Glencore's decision to shut down mines at some African sites, with analysis from Africa Confidential's Andrew Weir.'
Independent Online, 17 September 2015
Who is behind Burkina Faso coup?
By Peter Fabricius
'The journal Africa Confidential had warned in July that "the RSP’s reluctance to accommodate itself to service without elite status or the privileged access to luxuries that characterised its life under Compaoré is causing deep concern. The Regiment sees itself as a legitimate protector of Burkina’s political institutions but it is fuelling fear of a comeback by Compaoré or people very much like him."'
BBC Radio Scotland 17 September 2015
Bill Whiteford talks to Africa Confidential's Deputy Editor, Andrew Weir, about the coup in Burkina Faso. (Starting at 02:12:06)
Institute of Security Studies, 10 September 2015
MPLA rattled as Angola's oil price plummets
By Peter Fabricius, ISS Consultant
"[Journalist and activest Rafael Marques de Morais] said the UNITA leadership was not capitalising fully on the growing support for the party in Luanda, or on the rising popular discontent in the country. The journal Africa Confidential agreed, in a recent article, noting that UNITA’s parliamentary team might at most move a motion of censure in the assembly against the arrest of the 15 youths, ‘but it doesn’t try to fuel mass protest. This caution, and sometimes co-option, has left space for a third force in which a younger generation makes the running.'"
Council on Foreign Relations, 9 September 2015
South Africa’s Possible Presidential Successors
By John Campbell
'The view is widespread that Zuma’s primary succession concern is to protect himself against prosecution for alleged corruption and to protect the wealth he has accumulated for the benefit of his children. According to Africa Confidential (August 28, 2015, vol. 56, no. 17), Zuma has concluded that Ramaphosa cannot or will not do this. Accordingly, Zuma is behind the recent ANC Women’s League declaration that the next president of South Africa should be a woman.'
Mail & Guardian, 30 July 2015
Leading historian of Africa, Stephen Ellis, dies
'As editor of the subscription journal Africa Confidential in the late 1980s, [Stephen Ellis] reported the first account of the Umhonto weSizwe (MK) mutiny in Angola in 1984, based on inside information. He was subsequently editor of the British journal, African Affairs.'
African Arguments, 30 July 2015
By Richard Dowden
'We first met when he waited to be interviewed for the editorship of the journal, Africa Confidential. I was disappointed not to get the job but when I realised who I had been up against I realised why. We became good friends and colleagues and worked on several stories together.'
Mail & Guardian, 19 June 2015
Al-Bashir's British spin doctor
By Sarah Evans
'[Eric] Reeves, on the other hand, has publicly questioned [David] Hoile and his council’s funding. "Hoile has used a variety of organisations to give apparent substance to his interminable propaganda efforts," he wrote in 2001.
"In addition to the Espac, he also uses the name British-Sudanese Public Affairs Council and Westminster Associates. The latter is important because, as the authoritative Africa Confidential has revealed, the parliamentary register of interest lists the client of Westminster Associates as the Sudan government."'
Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2015
Sudan president flouts arrest warrant, returns home from South Africa
By Robyn Dixon
'…Patrick Smith, editor of the analytical journal Africa Confidential, said that although South Africa's position has changed, the [International Criminal Court] still has plenty of support in Africa from those who had witnessed abuses in Sudan, Congo, Kenya and other countries.
"I think that these farcical developments, with Omar al-Bashir putting in cameo appearances and then having to flee like a fugitive, don't do the court an awful lot of harm," he said. However, he added, "Why does South Africa remain a member of the court if it is not prepared to abide by its treaty obligations?"'
Egypt Independent, 28 May 2015
Report: Govt officials using state coffers as 'private piggy bank'
'A group of army generals and senior government officials are using almost 7,000 unaudited accounts in the Central Bank of Egypt and the country’s state banks to stash at least US$9.4 billion in state funds to spend at their personal discretion, according to a lengthy exposé published in Africa Confidential with US-based foundation Angaza File.'
Private Eye, 1 May 2015
Letter from Freetown
From Our Own Correspondent
'More recently Africa Confidential published details of bank tranfers of $430,000 to Sam-Sumana's accounts by another US businessman over logging concessions that were never awarded. Sam-Sumana did not bother to comment.'
The Guardian, 29 April 2015
Sudan repression continues after Omar al-Bashir election win, says rights group
By Mark Anderson
'"By saying the elections weren’t free and fair, [western governments] are actually saying the government is no longer legitimate by implication, which is very strong stuff in their terms," said Gillian Lusk, associate editor of Africa Confidential.'
The Guardian Nigeria, 20 April 2015
MD Yusufu: The courage to be
By Patrick Wilmot
'On his visits [to London], we checked bookshops, sometimes rare ones, not Harrods for designer gear. I always saved him copies of Africa Confidential and Private Eye, and bought him fresh dates when these were in season.'
LA Times, 1 April 2015
Nigeria president-elect's stern side now an asset, not a liability
By Robyn Dixon
'But the reason he personified hope for many Nigerians, said Patrick Smith, editor of the authoritative journal Africa Confidential, was that his ascetic, strict persona stood in stark contrast to Jonathan's.
The administration of Jonathan, the first president from the southeast, was all about favors and contracts for the "home boys" from his region, Smith said.
"I think this is one of the more promising aspects to [Buhari's] government. He's more than anything a nationalist. I don't think he's going to say all the contracts are going to Katsina," said Smith, referring to Buhari's home state. "He's not going to let these people run all over him."'
VICE News, 1 April 2015
Can a 72-Year-Old Former Military Dictator Bring Nigerians the Change They Have Voted For?
By Oscar Rickett
'Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential and an experienced Nigeria analyst, told VICE News that the current mood of jubilation in the country was redolent of that night: "People were shaking hands and saying 'Happy new year, happy new government'".'
This Day Live, 10 February 2015
Leaked Files Link Abdulsalami Abubakar, Chris Garba to $182m Halliburton Bribery Scandal
Davidson Iriekpen with agency report
'Africa Confidential magazine previously named a company, Hemisphere Services (Nigeria), as a "recipient of largesse" from [Jeffrey] Tesler after viewing documents disclosed to the magazine during a French corruption investigation.'
Zimbabwe Daily, 9 January 2015
Turncoat Banda upsets Zambian politics
'According to a recent Africa Confidential report, Hichilema, a former managing partner in accounting firm Grant Thornton, is respected by business. He played a key role in the privatisation of the country’s mines. But he is excoriated by the trade unions.'
Washington Post, 30 November 2014
Sudan embraces genocide, terrorism — and Iran
By Eric Reeves
'Though little noticed in the West, the revelation instantly attracted considerable interest in the Arab world, and the evidence that the minutes are authentic is substantial. The highly authoritative Africa Confidential has judged them so, as has former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, who still enjoys extraordinary contacts within the government. Notably, senior regime officials have not denied outright the document’s authenticity.'
iOL, 8 July 2014
Kenyatta’s game a risky one
By Peter Fabricius
'The security services reportedly ignored intelligence warnings of the Mpeketoni attacks and the journal Africa Confidential writes there have been hints of collusion between the intelligence services and al-Shabaab.'
Radio Dabanga, 6 July 2014
'Sudan’s military industry expanding': Small Arms Survey
The Safat Aviation complex, 20 km north of Khartoum in Karari, opened in 2005. It includes centres and factories specialised in aircraft maintenance and the installation of aircraft parts. According to Africa Confidential, Safat also manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles with Iranian assistance.
SW Radio Africa, 18 June 2014
Marange diamond region hit by 'panic and uncertainty'
By Alex Bell
'According to a recent report by Africa Confidential, Mbada is set to be the "last miner standing” and would ultimately be a joint venture with the ZANU PF government.
"But we hear that the biggest private share may already be in the process of transferring to President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace Mugabe," Africa Confidential reported.
Africa Confidential said that "Grace and her three children, rather than the President, are the beneficiaries of a 50% stake in Mbada," according to two independent sources from the financial sector and an airline official who has worked with the President’s new son-in-law, Simba Chikore.
BBC News, 8 May 2014
Have Boko Haram over-reached themselves?
By Frank Gardner
'It is clear then, that unless – and this is extremely unlikely – this is a macabre plan ordered by al-Qaeda's leaders that has backfired spectacularly, Boko Haram are acting independently and following their own local agenda.
But Gill Lusk of the Africa Confidential newsletter argues that it has not necessarily been a disaster for the group.
Although kidnapping innocent schoolgirls might look counter-productive, the aim of al-Qaeda linked movements is not primarily to be popular, she says, "but to further their politico-religious aims through terrorism, as we saw when Boko Haram attacked the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja," in 2011.
"The school attack has given the jihadist militia worldwide publicity and from its point of view, that is a huge success," Ms Lusk told the BBC.'
SW Radio Africa, 2 April 2014
Corruption riddled ZMDC gets new board
By Alex Bell
'[I]n November last year, a report by the news and analysis website Africa Confidential named the former MMCZ board chair, Chris Mutsvangwa, as being a key architect of arms-for-minerals deals with Russia and China. Mutsvangwa, who was the former Zimbabwe ambassador to China, is now the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.'
Pambazuka News, 19 March 2014
Khartoum: Really out of the terrorism business?
By Eric Reeves
"The broadest and most authoritative picture was provided by Africa Confidential, and much of what was said over a decade ago remains true today:
'The N[ational I[slamic] F[ront] political and security apparatus is intact, as are the NIF's and the international Islamists' control of the economy. Many of those running terrorist training are still in security and ministerial jobs. So, well informed Sudanese doubt that the NIF will hand much of value to U.S. investigators. The NIF is as Islamist as its friends Usama and the Taliban. This regime believes in what it does. Any concession is intended only to protect the greater cause. Secondly, any major betrayal would be suicidal, just as dangerous as holding free elections.' (Africa Confidential, Volume 42, No. 19, September 28, 2001)"
BBC Radio 4 – The World Tonight, 20 February 2014
President Goodluck Jonathan suspends Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi
Patrick Smith talks to David Eades:
'Many people see [Lamido Sanusi] in Nigeria as something of a crusader against corruption. so there's a big gap between the perceptions put forward by the Presidency and the perceptions of many people in Nigeria and most of the outside world.' (at 36:05)
Lusomonitor, 17 December 2013
Graça Machel, viúva de Mandela, futura presidente de Moçambique?
By Marta Silva
'A notícia do Africa Confidential de que “aumentam as vozes que pedem que Graça Machel se candidate a presidente” vem no contexto da morte recente do seu marido, Nelson Mandela. Graça Machel, moçambicana, já pertence à Frelimo desde 1969, quando se juntou à luta clandestina contra a ocupação portuguesa. Posteriormente, e a partir do primeiro governo da independência, foi Ministra da Educação durante 14 anos.'
SW Radio Africa, 12 December 2013
Questions surround dissolution of Zim mining boards
By Alex Bell
'...earlier this month, a report by the news and analysis website Africa Confidential named the former MMCZ board chair, Chris Mutsvangwa, as being a key architect of arms-for-minerals deals with Russia and China. Mutsvangwa, who was the former Zimbabwe ambassador to China, is now the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.'
SW Radio Africa, 5 December 2013
ZANU PF accused of trading mineral wealth for arms
By Alex Bell
'A detailed report by the news and analysis website Africa Confidential has claimed that “choice mining concessions,” including concessions rich in platinum and gold, were handed to China and Russia in exchange for weapons.'
BBC Radio 5 live - 5 live Drive, 2 December 2013
France says more than 200 of its troops have arrived in the Central African Republic
Andrew Weir talks to Jonathan Overend
'Central African Republic is not a place that's had a lot of staility for several decades. It is in a very weak state and when the least insurgency or rebellion or separatist movement comes about it tends to fall apart.' (About 48.45 minutes in).
Nyasa Times, 25 November 2013
Malawi to dump the West, head East over aid freeze
By Nyasa Times Reporter
'In a report published by the authoritative Africa Confidential, an aide to President Joyce Banda is quoted saying donors decision to withhold aid does not make sense, accusing the West of acting like social media activists.'
Mail & Guardian, 15 November 2013
Angola: President’s son dips into sovereign fund for ‘trophy’ Savile Row office
By Aristides Cabeche
'Africa Confidential reported that Plaza Global Real Estate had bought the property in question, a 9 570m2 office block at 23 Savile Row. It remarked that the purchase had “caused some surprise, since half of Angola’s population lives below the poverty line and its human development indicators are among the world’s worst”.'
ch-aviation, 29 October 2013
Air Zimbabwe courts Nicholas Van Hoogstraten for $15million
'Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare Int'l) has reportedly approached controversial British property mogul, Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, for USD15million to help boost its coffers. According to Africa Confidential, the funds are to be used to enable the Zimbabwean national carrier to resume its Harare Int'l to London Gatwick route, abandoned in early 2012 after creditors moved to seize the airline's B767-200(ER)s.'
The Independent, 25 October 2013
'Beelzebub' property baron bids to rescue African airline
By Jim Armitage
'Africa Confidential reported last night that he [Nicholas van Hoogstraten] was being courted to lend at least $15m ($9.3m) to Air Zimbabwe for it to fly new routes in an effort to put its mothballed planes back to work. Air Zimbabwe went bust last year but partially resumed flights in the spring of this year.'
ABC News, 8 October 2013
A Look at Eritrea, an Isolated African Nation
By Rodney Muhumuza
'People are "desperate to escape" a military in which conditions are said to be "dreadful," making conscription into the armed forces one of the main reasons young Eritreans flee, said Andrew Weir, deputy editor of a Britain-based publication called Africa Confidential. Eritrea is austere and highly repressive, according to Weir. A well-known route for some migrants from Africa is via the Red Sea and Sinai, where people fall victim to human trafficking, he said.'
Channel 4 News, 3 October 2013
Gambia leaves the Commonwealth. So what?
'Andy Weir, deputy editor of Africa Confidential, believes there is a political dimension to the latest move.
"I would speculate that somebody in the Commonwealth has made some sort of demarche to Gambia's president, Yahya Jammeh, on his human rights situation, and he may have decided to get his retaliation first," he told Channel 4 News.
"He's already under pressure from Britain and the EU on human rights.
"He's an out-and-out populist, even though he runs what's not normally called a democracy. This may be an attempt to keep himself in the headlines."'
The Washington Post, 24 September 2013
Kenya mall attack follows internal power struggle won by hard-liners among Somali terrorists
'Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential newsletter, called the mall attack “very al-Qaida-esque” and likened it to the 2008 assaults on luxury hotels in Mumbai, India, “sending the message to the rich, the elite, the diplomats that ‘You’re never safe, we can get to you.’”'
Voice of Russia UK, 6 September 2013
Kenya eyes exit from ICC
VoR talks to Andrew Weir
'Obviously it is significant that a signatory country to the Rome Statute should chose to opt out of it, but in a way the vote in Parliament in Kenya is not that surprising... The majority of MPs in the Kenyan Parliament belong to the party of the President and the Vice-President... and they are voting in a way that their leaders wish them to which is not really very surprising. It doesn't make a great deal of difference, in fact. It is certainly not going to stop the trials going from ahead.'
Reuters, 30 August 2013
Grand Kenya port plan faces headwinds despite oil finds
By Drazen Jorgic
'But Nairobi needs to make a more careful case to secure funding and may need to focus on the oil side of the plans.
"A lot of the elaborate elements of the project are not going to reach fruition," Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith said. "On the core oil terminals, I think they'll struggle but I think they'll get the money for it."
Some say Kenya must make a clearer case for creating a new container port over expanding and upgrading Mombasa.'
Bloomberg, 28 August 2013
Angola’s Dos Santos to Extend Rule as Proteges Founder
By Colin McClelland
'Bornito Baltazar Diogo de Sousa, territorial administration minister, and Manuel Jose Nunes Junior, a member of parliament, as well as Nando are potential successors as are Antonio Paulo Kassoma, Pitra Neto and Joao Lourenco, London-based Africa Confidential reported in July, citing an unidentified party member.'
Vatican Radio, 13 August 2013
Over 40 shot dead at Nigerian mosque by suspected Boko Haram gunmen: What’s behind this latest attack?
Charles Moré talks to Susy Hodges
Moré 'told Susy Hodges that local civilian vigilante groups who have sprung up to help the military in its campaign against Boko Haram were seen as the main targets of this attack... Moré believes it was “inevitable” that these new vigilante groups would eventually “emerge as targets” for Boko Haram militants, especially as they’ve received “a lot of support” from the government.'
BBC Radio 4 – The World Tonight, 5 August 2013
Mugabe may have won the political argument but he's failed to win the economic one and that's where the problems will start
Patrick Smith talks to Carolyn Quinn
"Certainly ZANU-PF is going to be under great presure itself to deliver on all the promise it has been giving to voters." (About 35 minutes in).
The Telegraph, 29 July 2013
Robert Mugabe's banker, the Zimbabwe oil deal and payments to children called Pride, Praise and Passion
By David Blair
"At the same time that Ravenscourt and its partners were supplying the Reserve Bank with almost five per cent of Zimbabwe's annual fuel consumption, the company was paying money into the accounts of Mr Gono's children, according to bank statements obtained by Global Witness, a campaign group, following investigation by Africa Confidential, the specialist newsletter."
Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2013
Obama's Africa visit will take him to a changed continent
By Robyn Dixon and Kathleen Hennessey
"All of a sudden, Africa is suddenly very high up on the Asian and European radar screens, and I think it's beginning to appear on the U.S. radar screen, because American companies are realizing that there are 1.1 billion people and Nigeria is going to have a bigger population than America in 20 years," said Patrick Smith, editor of the analytical journal Africa Confidential.
"I have heard a lot of African leaders saying, 'Where is America?' They're saying: 'Where is the West? Surely we've moved up on the radar screen?' I think there's a feeling, 'Why aren't they spending much time here?'"
The Guardian, 3 June 2013
Mali election could do more harm than good
By Jamie Bouverie
'More recently, on 10 May, Africa Confidential argued that Mali had scarcely begun to prepare for elections.
The main logistical challenge is that hundreds of thousands of Malians are currently displaced, either internally or in neighbouring countries. This makes voter registration a formidable task, and there is little evidence to suggest that the government will be able to ensure that these people are able to vote.'
Council on Foreign Reltions, 16 May 2013
Kenya and the ICC
By John Campbell
'Kenya, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and, by extension, the international community currently face the dilemma of dealing with a president and a deputy president, freely and fairly elected (more or less; many questions remain) that are charged with crimes against humanity associated with 2007 election bloodshed. Africa Confidential has an excellent review of the current state of play.'
Reuters, 3 April 2013
Western envoys to attend ICC-indictee Kenyatta's inauguration
By Edmund Blair
'Analysts said Western businesses may also put pressure on their governments to avoid losing their foothold in Kenya or to prevent any harm coming to investment plans in a nation that could be at the center of an oil and gas boom in east Africa.
"That is why Europe is back pedaling a bit," said Patrick Smith of Africa Confidential, a fortnightly journal. He added that handling ties with Kenyatta's government "is going to be a real test of diplomatic and commercial skills."'
BBC Radio 4 – The World Tonight, 29 March 2013
A UN peacekeeping force in DRC gets an "offensive" mandate for the first time
Patrick Smith talks to David Eades: "I think it can make a difference if it has the resources to do the job." (Around 8 minutes in).
Reuters, 11 March 2013
Analysis: Western states walk diplomatic tight-rope over Kenyatta win
By Edmund Blair
"It is extremely problematic for the West partly because several Western officials inserted themselves into the Kenyan election campaign and made pretty clear they thought Kenyans should not vote for Kenyatta," said Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith. "That triggered ... the opposite response."
Reuters, 1 March 2013
Preview: Kenya braces for repeat of election bloodshed
By Edmund Blair
'"Many people are saying they don't think Kenyans are going to be suckered into another round of clashes led by the political elite," said Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith.
"But at the end of the day this is a bare-knuckle, brutal contest in which the stakes have rarely been higher," he said.'
BBC Mundo, 13 February 2013
¿Milagro africano o nueva rapiña colonial?
By Marcelo Justo
'Sin embargo, el subdirector de la revista especializada Africa Confidential, Andrew Weir, alerta que no es la primera vez que se vive este optimismo.
"Las compañías energéticas, China y el sector financiero están viendo grandes oportunidades. El tema es que África ya ha vivido esto. La pregunta clave es a quién beneficia y de qué modo contribuye al desarrollo", señaló Weir a BBC Mundo.'
The New York Times, 11 February 2013
France Takes a Step Back in Its History
By Alan Cowell
'“We face a threat that concerns the entire world,” Mr. Hollande told the United Nations in September.
That assessment, said Patrick Smith, the editor of a London-based newsletter, Africa Confidential, has spread a “geopolitical patina” over the “very, very local” mistakes and miscalculations in Mali and elsewhere.'
VICE, 22 January 2013
Is this the century of Africa's rise?
By Oscar Rickett
'The problem, though, is that most of this wealth is extractive. There is, as Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, told me, a “lack of value added on the African side.” “The energy companies are seeing massive domestic demand from Asia and they are capitalizing on that,” he said.'
The Guardian, 14 January 2013
Mali conflict: France has opened gates of hell, say rebels
By Afua Hirsch and Kim Willsher
Patrick Smith: "There is a genuine fear that these people could come from north Mali and set off bombs on the Champs Elysées."
BBC Radio 4 – The World Tonight, 11 January 2013
French troops are taking part in operations against Islamists in northern Mali
Patrick Smith, talks to David Eades: 'French security forces worry about Jihadi elements coming into France.'
The Observer, 27 October 2012
The man who could determine whether the west is drawn into Mali's war
By Peter Beaumont
'Patrick Smith of the Africa Confidential newsletter, who was in Paris after the MNLA delegation, believes Ag Ghaly will be offered a choice. "There's a growing desire to reach out to him to say you can ally with us and help work out a deal for a decentralised north. If not, it's war and you'll end up on a list with other al-Qaida-associated leaders wondering when a drone is coming for you."'
Council on Foreign Relations, 24 October 2012
ANC Party Politics and the Upcoming Convention
By John Campbell
'The ANC candidates for presidency and vice presidency can count on support from most of the country’s black population, making victory for its nominees in national elections almost a foregone conclusion. Africa Confidential has published an excellent primer on the current state of play inside the ANC.'
Council on Foreign Relations, 11 October 2012
Nigeria’s Economic Reforms in Trouble?
By John Campbell
'Africa Confidential published on October 5, a clear-eyed analysis of the challenges facing Nigeria’s economic reformers and concludes that those blocking reform “are winning hands down.” Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi states publicly that oil theft is massive and organized. He also questions whether, in fact, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) actually knows how much oil is produced–NNPC says 2.7 million barrels a day.'
The Economist, 5 October 2012
Sierra Leone: Presidential calculations
'In July, an American businessman posted a vituperative open letter on the internet accusing Mr Sam Sumana of failing to repay loans worth thousands of dollars. The following month Africa Confidential reported accusations that Mr Sam Sumana had diverted commercial investments into campaign funds for the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party before the last presidential election in 2007.'
Reuters 10 September 2012
Analysis - Pressure from below strains Angola MPLA monolith
"The social inequity is only matched by the political inequity," said Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, the respected newsletter analysing the continent.
"I don't see where the model is going. The system looks after the elite, but that's all ... there is a huge question mark about the political future," he added.'
Los Angeles Times, 21 August 2012
Ethiopian officials: No major change after Meles Zenawi's death
'Patrick Smith, editor of the analytical journal Africa Confidential, predicted that Ethiopia’s military and ruling party leadership would not change tack on hitting Islamic extremists hard.
“They’re absolutely agreed that Ethiopia should be in Somalia and they should go in and out of Somalia when they feel like it. And that is not going to change with Meles’ death,” he said.'
Bloomberg, 25 July 2012
Ghana's ruling party seeks unity after President's death
By Mike Cohen, Franz Wild and Ekow Dontoh
“You have sentiment, you have the renewal factor, and Mills was clearly extremely ill,” Patrick Smith, editor of the London-based newsletter Africa Confidential, said today by phone from Paris. “Mahama is young, has a lot of energy and is very good with the media.”
Business Day, 26 June 2012
Royal Bafokeng may see red soon
By David Gleason
'Africa Confidential (June 22) claims the Guinean government’s decision to "shut down a bid by South African businessmen who wield high-level political connections to run its national mining company follows growing pressure from international financial institutions and multinational mining companies". The magazine names Hennig and Mark Willcox as two of the key South Africans linked to the plan.'
BBC News Magazine, 13 June 2012
Spain is not Uganda. Discuss.
'Patrick Smith, editor of newsletter Africa Confidential: "[The text message] connotes old-fashioned European thinking from almost the 19th Century, that there are all these different worlds within the world and Africa is out there, completely cut off and bumbling along. If you go to Africa today, there's a lot of people, many of them European, touting for business, trying to get in on the economic growth. The claimed unemployment figure of 4.2% seems extremely low - most countries in the region are recording unemployment at 15-20% and youth unemployment at 30-40%. But it's a developing economy and an entirely different ballgame from Europe, which is like the geriatric continent trying to manage old age gracefully, whereas Africa is young and growing fast."'
Foreign Policy, May/June 2012
A giant among giants
By Ken Silverstein
[Glencore] 'recently announced a $90 billion takeover of Xstrata, a global mining giant in which it already holds a 34 percent stake; if the deal goes through, Glencore will rule over an "empire stretching from the Sahara to South Africa," as the Africa Confidential newsletter put it.'
Council on Foreign Relations, 29 May 2012
"Africa Day" in South Africa and President Jacob Zuma's rivals
By John Campbell
'Looking toward the December ANC party convention in December, Africa Confidential is running a story on Zuma’s likely challengers for president of the party. It credibly identifies: Cyril Ramaphosa, an architect of the 1994 transition and now a business tycoon; Kglama Motlanthe, the sitting vice president; and Tokyo Sexwale, now a minister and former premier of Gauteng (Johannesburg.)'
African Aguments, 28 May 2012
Take a holiday in Somaliland: Journey to the state that isn't
By Magnus Taylor
'A more concrete example is provided by Africa Confidential, which recently reported that the Hong Kong oil company PetroTrans is likely to pull out of investing in the port of Berbera, having been unable to obtain insurance for the Liquified Natural Gas plant it was to build. The plant was to link up gas fields in Ethiopia’s Ogaden region with export facilities on the coast, and will now see Somaliland lose out to its tiny, but strategically important neighbour Djibouti.'
Sudan Tribune, 25 May 2012
Darfur in the still deepening shadow of lies
By Eric Reeves
'The leaked report, which deeply offended both Russia and China with its frank account of their massive violations of the Darfur arms embargo, was first reported by Africa Confidential on April 13, 2012; AC summarized its assessment of the report by noting that "the Darfur crisis, far from winding down as Khartoum and some press reports suggest, is worsening, with new incidents of ethnic cleansing, arms deliveries and aerial bombing." The report had been submitted to the UN in January 2012.'
Foreign Policy, 18 May 2012
Remember General Dabi?
By Colum Lynch
'As a senior aide to president Omar al-Bashir, Dabi was assigned the task last year of shepherding a panel of U.N. experts charged with monitoring the enforcement of U.N. sanctions in Darfur, according to a leaked report by the panel.
'The report, which was first published by Africa Confidential last month, provides a detailed account of how Dabi and his associates thwarted the U.N. Security Council panel's efforts to investigate abuses of a U.N. travel ban and arms embargo'
Reuters, 13 May 2012
Analysis: Nigeria president unlikely to risk oil graft crackdown
By Joe Brock
'"I don't think we're going to see high level officials in jail ... that would imply his regime had imploded," said Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential.'
Foreign Policy, 7 May 2012
The silence in Sudan
By Colum Lynch
'A group of three former U.N. experts, meanwhile, recently wrote a confidential report claiming that the U.N. mission in Darfur has minimized critical reporting of government abuses, downplaying a series of attacks against the Zaghawa tribe last year that displaced 70,000 people, and which amounted to ethnic cleansing.'
Foreign Policy, 30 April 2012
What's the point of U.N. sanctions in Darfur when even the U.N. flouts them?
By Colum Lynch
'The Tek episode is simply one nugget buried away in a confidential 80-plus page report, first reported by Africa Confidential, that documents systematic violations of a six-year-old U.N. arms embargo, travel ban, and asset freeze, imposed on Khartoum and rebel leaders in an effort to contain the violence in Sudanese province.'
The Insider, 29 April 2012
Masiyiwa says Jonathan Moyo and Ibbo Mandaza are former CIO
'Masiyiwa said he was "intrigued" by the rumours of a "united front" political movement, but was extremely cautious.
'He also denied that he had funded or supported the "united front" and said that he personally called Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, to complain about the story linking him to the new movement.'
Popbitch, March 2012
In 2008 the Americans helped the Ugandans launch a massive surprise attack on Kony. Kony escaped at the last minute. Well, I expect he used some kind of weird African juju.
Or a Nokia.
Because the Ugandan army LEAKED THE INFORMATION THEY WERE COMING so he could escape in time. It’s not me saying this, it’s the most respected source in African journalism, Africa Confidential Vol 52 – N° 23. [USA joins fight against LRA]
Reuters, 16 January 2012
UPDATE 1-Nigeria: will it fall apart or can it hold?
[Goodluck Jonathan is] "eerily calm considering we could be weeks away from a major confrontation," said Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith. "The absolute failure ... to wheel on southerners and northerners at the same time to say this is a national crisis and we have to pull together, is striking."
BBC Newshour, 14 January 2012
Suicide bomb kills Basra pilgrims; elections in Taiwan; and special focus on Nigeria
Africa Confidential's editor Patrick Smith speaks to Julian Marshall in the special focus on Nigeria.
Sudan Tribune, 31 December 2011
A Timeline for Catastrophe: Sudan’s continuing slide toward war
By Eric Reeves
Africa Confidential (November 19, 2010) reports the view of Dinka Ngok civil society: "Mbeki was basically telling the Ngok that the Abyei Protocol and PCA boundaries must all be renegotiated because the Misseriya wouldn’t budge, [said one prominent member of Abyei civil society]."
Vanguard, 29 December 2011
Away from home this Christmas
By Is’ haq Modibbo Kawu
'...Africa Confidential... described the “staggering sum” as “a Boko Haram campaign bonanza for the generals and private security companies”...'
Reuters, 13 December 2011
S.Leone's "Timbergate" threatens president poll bid
'The journal Africa Confidential published an article on Nov. 18 criticising the ACC's decision earlier this year to settle a major case involving the social security agency out of court, rather than seeking prosecutions.'
Financial Times, 22 November 2011
Delta militants: Locals see the benefits of an end to hostilities
By Christopher Thompson
Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, says: “One of the functions of the militias was to lead the charge for the area’s politicians, so some fighters could get dragged into the political competition.”
BBC News Africa, 7 October 2011
Q&A: Cameroon presidential elections
Africa Confidential's editor Patrick Smith says that critics are rare in Cameroon and are soon silenced.
iMaverick/All Africa Global Media, 16 September 2011
Stability, snakes and salacious gossip – a Zambian election preview [analysis]
'As Africa Confidential explained: "Food and fuel prices are Sata's main targets, as is the increasing Asian commercial presence. Such was the virulence of his 2006 campaign that Chinese ambassador Li Baodong threatened to cut ties if Sata won."'
Voice of America, 12 September 2011
Zimbabwe Advances Modestly in Global Competitiveness Rankings
Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith said Zimbabwe has a distance to go to become globally competitive though the economy is "a lot more predictable and disciplined" so from a big-company standpoint "that means the business climate is much more benign."
Business Day, 8 September 2011
Gaddafy and the OAU – Thirty years ago
Kaye Whiteman writes: 'My old friend the late Hon. Godfrey Morrison, at one time editor of Africa Confidential, who was with me reporting on the failed OAU Tripoli summit Mark 2 of November 1982, used to refer to the Libyan leader as a “drama queen,” a reference, perhaps, to the thrill derived from playing a central role, no matter what the cost. It was the same frantic and intemperate quality that prevented him from being taken seriously as a successor to Nasser in the Arab world, or to Nkrumah in Africa.'
Channel 4 News, 7 September 2011
Gaddafi not the only victim of Libya's revolution
'Andy Weir, associate editor of Africa Confidential, told Channel 4 News: "South African President Jacob Zuma feels a strong loyalty towards Gadaffi. He's led delegations to Tripoli when they were trying to negotiate out of the crisis.'
The Nation, 7 September 2011
Blowback in Somalia
The Somali government has portrayed this as a military victory and has declared the beginning of the end of the group. However, “These assessments owe more to wishful thinking than reality,” according to an analysis published in the well-respected journal Africa Confidential.
BBC Newsnight, 24 August 2011
Risk Islamists will move in to fill Libya power vacuum
Colonel Moammar el Gaddafi claimed that if he was ousted from power Islamist radicals would seize control of Libya. Patrick Smith speaks to Newsnight's Robin Denselow about whether he is likely to be proven right or wrong.
BBC, 16 August 2011
Solomon Mujuru: Obituary of a Zimbabwean 'king-maker'
"He had all the mystique of a liberation war hero that has served him to present-day politics," Patrick Smith, editor of the London-based Africa Confidential magazine, told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
TIME Magazine, 1 June 2011
Death, Prison or Exile: Gadaffi Is Out of Options
"My understanding is that they would be delighted if he did a duck," Smith says.
234Next.com, 31 May 2011
Africa lures investors, but is it ready?
Cocorioko, 26 May 2011
Africa Confidential's mischief-making enterprise in reporting Sierra Leone's Golden Jubilee
The view from the pro-All People's Congress website Cocorioko
Christian Science Monitor, 17 May 2011
Election in Sudan's Southern Kordofan marred by disputed result
By Amanda Hsiao, Guest blogger
Los Angeles Times 11 May 2011
NATO expects Kadafi's regime to eventually collapse
By Henry Chu
The Huffington Post, 28 April 2011
The Bloody Sideshow in Sudan
Journalist and human rights activist Rebecca Tinsley reports
BBC News Magazine, 14 April 2011
What happens to deposed leaders?
'The creation of the International Criminal Court in 1998 narrowed the number of countries that would accept a deposed leader, says Patrick Smith, editor of the London-based newsletter Africa Confidential.'
BBC News – Today, 7 April 2011
'Complete breakdown' in Ivory Coast
AC's Patrick Smith talks about the crisis the country faces now
BBC World Service, 4 April 2011
World Have Your Say, 1800 GMT
AC's Patrick Smith joins a panel of experts to discuss the situation in Côte d'Ivoire
BBC News, 4 April 2011
The historical background: Ivory Coast's deline into conflict
AC's Patrick Smith joins the BBC's Allan Little to look at how the once prosperous Ivory Coast declined from being an African success story, to a county mired in civil war.
McClatchy Newspapers, 4 April 2011
Gadhafi finds that money can't buy friends in Africa
By Shashank Bengali
Financial Times, 21 March 2011
Madagascar Oil to freeze contracts
By Christopher Thompson and David Blackwell
Daily Monitor, 13 March 2011
Creating African dynasties
In the past 10 years, four sons have succeeded their fathers directly as presidents. For others, it hasn’t been easy, writes Mwaura Samora
guardian.co.uk Poverty Matters Blog, 8 February 2011
Sudan should learn the emerging lessons of Egypt
Posted by Peter Moszynski
Africa's largest country is about to be split into two, and there is much that needs to be done politically, economically – and, above all, democratically
GNTV, 7 January 2011
The bottom line: Patrick Smith
Buchi Madu speaks to Patrick Smith, Editor of Africa Confidential, about Niger Delta issues and how they could impact the presidential elections in May.
BBC Focus on Africa, 23 December 2010
End of Year Quiz
If you missed this on the radio, tune in online to Ahmed Rajab, Robin White, Joseph Warungu and our very own Patrick Smith being put through their paces by Veronique Edwards
Resonance FM, 25 November 2010
Africa Confidential's Billie McTernan on Talking Africa
Christian Science Monitor, 23 November 2010
Ahead of Sudan referendum, north and south are arming a border region
One of the most critical places for the Sudan referendum is Abyei, a border region that has to decide whether to join the north or south. Expecting a confrontation, both sides are arming the area.
Daily Monitor, 29 October 2010
Government seizes pro-Besigye book
Government officials have seized a consignment of books that largely profile opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s challenge to President Museveni in the 2001 and 2006 general elections. The book titled: “The Correct Line? Uganda under Museveni” is authored by Dr Olive Kobusingye, a surgeon.
The Zimbabwean, 20 October 2010
Army firm in FARC arms scandal
Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) has been sucked into the arms trafficking scandal involving rogue Ecuadorian bishop Walter Crespo, amid allegations that the shadowy Zimbabwean army-run company supplied some of the weapons smuggled by Crespo to Colombian rebels.
Channel 4 News, 3 August 2010
Human rights fears over 'undemocratic' Rwandan poll
As Rwandans prepare to vote in only the second post-genocide presidential elections, Human Rights Watch tells Channel 4 News laws intended to prevent another slaughter have instead been used to suppress free speech.
Foreign Policy,26 February 2010
Guinea’s junta hires ex-war crimes prosecutors - and gets a favorable report
Two former war-crimes specialists were recently hired as consultants for Guinea's military junta after it was accused of massacring civilians - and produced a secret report downplaying the violence.
The Huffington Post, 25 January 2010
Can Sudan marriage be save
RFI, 7 April 2010
AC's Gill Lusk talks to RFI's Michel Arsenault
World Socialist Website, 24 February 2010
Military coup in Niger
The military have carried out a coup in the West African state of Niger, ousting incumbent President Mamadou Tandja in this former French colony. According to a BBC report, troops burst into a cabinet meeting being held in the presidential palace on Thursday, February 18.
The Guardian, 10 January 2010
Violence, fear and confusion: welcome to the Horn of Africa
In Yemen, Somalia and beyond, the lawless, strife-torn region has provided disturbing evidence that its myriad problems cannot be ignored – and that the west must see the connections between them all.
BBC World Service Africa, December 2009
The Africa Video Quiz 2009
How much do you remember of the past year in Africa? Regular Focus on Africa quiz contestants, Ahmed Rajab, Cameron Duodu, Patrick Smith and Robin White join quiz mistress, Veronique Edwards to pose the questions.
Radio Netherlands Wordwide, 7 December 2009
Politicians arrested after Khartoum protest
NRC Handelsblad, 25 November 2009
VN-rapport: Vredesmissie maakt crisis in Congo erger
De Standard, 25 November 2009
'Offensief VN-missie Congo mislukt'
The Times, 12 November 2009
China and India engaged in 21st century 'scramble for Africa'
The Observer, 8 November 2009
Simon Mann, freed dog of war, is demanding justice
After more than five years in jail, the British mercenary is seeking vengeance on others he says were part of the failed 'Wonga Coup' – including Mark Thatcher. By Tracy McVeigh, Rajeev Syal and Patrick Smith
National Public Radio, 5 November 2009
A real-life government coup made for TV
Listen to the interview
Simon Mann was granted amnesty on Wednesday by the government of Equatorial Guinea. This is the same government that he attempted to overthrow in a coup plot that went awry in 2004. Mann was sentenced to 34 years in prison though he only served 15 months before returning home to Britain yesterday. Host Michel Martin talks with Patrick Smith, Editor of Africa Confidential, about the coup plot and the legacy of Simon Mann.
Interview with Massimo Alberizzi of Corriere della Sera on the ousting of President Marc Ravolomanana in Madagascar, 17 March 2009
Madagascar: I militari sono divisi. Si rischia il bagno di sangue
SW Radio Africa, 2 March 2009
Zimbabwe's Fuel Scam
BBC News, 6 January 2009
What lies ahead for Africa in 2009?
Harper's Magazine, 30 September 2008
Cheney Watch: Halliburton Bribery Investigation proceeding in UK and US
New York Sun, 11 September 2008
U.S. Widens Iran Sanctions As Drone Is Reported In Darfur
Voice of America, 8 September 2008
Sudan Denies it Receives Iranian Military Help
Sunday Standard, Botswana, 5 August 2008
Mugabe cronies reportedly stashing US dollars into foreign accounts
Le Monde, 4 August 2008
Mike Turner quitte BAE Systems sur un bilan mitigé
Financial Times, 1 August 2008
Harare tycoon rides political upheaval
Reuters, 23 July 2008
Arabs hear alarm bells as ICC targets Sudan's Bashir
SW Radio Africa, Zimbabwe, 22 July 2008
Zanu PF chefs transferring millions outside the country
L'Express de Madagascar, 17 July 2008
Africa polls bring hope but big hurdles lie ahead
BBC World Service radio, 16 July 2008
Mike Johnson speaks to Patrick Smith about Zimbabwe's economy
The Southern African, 14 July 2008
Angola’s Economy Run By Presidential Daughters And Generals
Voice of America, 14 July 2008
South Africa's Mbeki To Brief AU's Ping On Zimbabwe Talks Process includes
Interview With Patrick Smith - Download (MP3)
Interview With Patrick Smith - Listen (MP3)
The Southern African, 14 July 2008
Where Mugabe’s Government Gets Its Money
Reuters, 3 Jul 2008
Rebuff to Mugabe is watershed for African Union
Institute of War and Peace Reporting, 30 June 2008
African Union urged to act on Zimbabwe
The Daily Mail, 26 June 2008
Helping the desperate or prolonging their misery? The British firms doing business with Zimbabwe
World Socialist Website, 18 June 2008
Fighting erupts over Eritrean armed incursion into Djibouti
The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2008
Barclays accused of giving Robert Mugabe 'financial lifeline'
The Independent, 15 June 2008
Standard Chartered at centre of Zimbabwe sanctions inquiry
BBC News, 29 April 2008
Open season on Nigeria's Obasanjo
The International Herald Tribune 15 February 2008
Bush Africa visit seen more about strategy
BBC News, 29 December 2007
Special Report - Divided they fall: the Kenyan opposition
The Sunday Herald (Scotland), 16 September 2007
Congo facing third civil war in 10 years
BBC Focus on Africa, 18 June 2007
Somalia in the eye of the storm
BBC News, 17 March 2008
How long can Cameroon's Biya rule?
BBC News, 3 January 2008
At a glance: Kenya unrest
BBC News Magazine, 29 November 2007
What can't be named Muhammad?
BBC News, 24 September 2007
Zimbabwe diaspora 'may get vote'
BBC News, 26 April 2007
Could Nigeria go Orange?
The Observer, 28 January 2007
Barclays' millions help to prop up Mugabe regime
BBC News, 2 January 2007
Africa's year of terror tactics
BBC News, 26 October 2006
Prize offered to Africa's leaders
The Observer, 10 September 2006
US accused of covert operations in Somalia
BBC News, 25 March 2006
Death stirs debate over sullied leaders
The Independent, 14 February 2006
Obituary: Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, Nigerian human rights campaigner
BBC Focus on Africa magazine, 2 January 2006
Fine words but corruption soars
BBC News, 29 December 2005
Africa's year of democratic reverses
BBC News, 3 August 2005
Obituary: John Garang
BBC News, 2 August 2005
Profile: Salva Kiir
BBC News, 7 July 2005
Tutsi party accepts Burundi poll
BBC News, 6 July 2005
Praise for peaceful Burundi poll
BBC News, 11 March 2005
Africa Commission report: Analysis
BBC News, 5 March 2005
West challenged on Africa issues
BBC News, 11 February 2005
Togo: Africa's democratic test case
BBC News, 13 January 2005
Sudan peace paves way for oil deals
BBC Radio Four, File on 4, 30 November 2004
Taxpayers' cash 'funding corrupt deals'
BBC News Online Magazine, 6 October 2004
Taking Africa in hand
BBC News, 27 August 2004
'Mercenary leader' found guilty
BBC News, 27 August 2004
Mercenary Guilty: Simon Mann convicted in Zimbabwe
Video interview with Patrick Smith about Simon Mann's conviction in Zimbabwe
BBC Focus on Africa, 21 April 2004
Africans crazy for democracy
BBC News, 11 March 2004
Equatorial Guinea: Ripe for a coup
BBC News, 25 February 2002
Oil and diamonds after Savimbi
BBC News, 23 February 2003
Mugabe cronies 'get farms'
BBC News, 23 February 2002
Patrick Smith on the killing of Jonas Savimbi
BBC News, 19 December 2001
Patrick Smith discusses corruption in Tanzania
BBC News, 19 December 2001
Tanzania row escalates
BBC News, 26 September 2001
Congo pays the price for war
BBC News, 5 July 2001
Gill Lusk, Deputy Editor, Africa Confidential, discusses the Libyan/Egyptian initiative for Sudan
BBC News, 5 July 2001
Rebels welcome Sudan peace plan
BBC News, 15 February 2001
Democratic Republic of Congo war
Video interview with Patrick Smith as African leaders gather in Lusaka for a summit to try and end the conflict in the DRC
BBC News, 29 May 2000
Patrick Smith talks about finding a political solution in Sierra Leone
BBC News, 26 May 2000
Company 'to list for Congo mining'
BBC News, 23 November 1999
Moi confronts corruption critics
BBC News, 23 November 1999
Kenyan leader denies foreign cash claims
BBC News, 9 July 1998
Patrick Smith on the death of Chief Abiola
BBC News, 4 January 1998
Special Report - President Moi: an enduring face of Africa