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A bail-out for Beijing's sake

The ruling party is paying back its top members' debts to China in the hope that President Xi Jinping will turn the money tap on again

Opposition politicians are outraged that President Robert Mugabe's government has used scarce public funds to pay off a US$80 million debt to a Chinese supplier which had been racked up by company belonging Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front member and former MP Edward Raradza.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE

Poor prospects ahead

The IMF predicts 6% growth but poverty still rises. Sassou has high hopes for Special Economic Zones as the end of oil looms

Between the lines, the International Monetary Fund's latest analysis of Congo-Brazzaville's economy reveals a meagre record of economic achievements for the decades of rule by Pres...

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MAIDUGURI: JTC Youth Vigilante Group member during a patrol through the deserted outskirts of Maiduguri. The civilian civil defence group are armed with old hunting rifles and homemade weapons to try and defend themselves against attacks by Boko Haram. Credit: Sven Torfinn / Panos

NIGERIA

How terror twists the vote

Accusations that a former state governor and army chief have been sponsoring the Islamist insurgents have fired up the election campaign

Almost in concert with the political parties' calendar for choosing their presidential candidates, the Jama'atu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda'awati wal Jihad, widely known as Boko Haram, is s...

CAMEROON

Bickering over Boko Haram

The political class falls out over the Islamists while the military claims a 'stinging setback' against them

On 4 September, President Paul Biya returned from his customary holiday at Geneva's Intercontinental Hotel to find ruling party politicians accusing each other of being in league w...

GHANA

Popping the gas balloon

Opacity and mismanagement in the oil and gas sector have turned financial problems into a much deeper economic crisis

Fixing the worsening crisis in the oil, gas and electricity industries is a key issue in this month's finance negotiations with investors and the International Monetary Fund. Not o...

SOUTH SUDAN

A deadline for the deadline

Regional officials are finally running out of patience with obfuscation from both warring parties and could impose sanctions next month

This time the deadline for a peace and power-sharing agreement is serious, runs the message from regional and international officials. On 25 August, the Inter-Governmental Authorit...

LESOTHO

Trouble in the neighbourhood

South African forces are back in Maseru after what may have been an attempted coup but have no mandate for military action

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has returned to Maseru after fleeing the country after a claimed attempt by Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, the army chief he had just sacked, to tak...

GABON

Electioneering begins

Tension between the government and opposition is already mounting before the presidential election in 2016

The 2016 presidential election campaign has already begun in Libreville. President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba is trying to explain away his government's glacial progress in fighting cor...

SUDAN: Rains allow SPLA-N to swap AKs for farm tools. Pic: Peter Moszynski

SUDAN

More calls for Nuba talks

After pushing back Khartoum’s offensive this year, fighters in the Nuba Mountains are talking about self-determination

The failure of its last dry season offensive in the Nuba Mountains has left the Sudanese regime with little room to manoeuvre against more effective and united opposition groups. C...

SUDAN

Opposition beams, Khartoum glowers

The photographs show a beaming Malik Agar Eyre, head of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, and a grim-faced Ghazi Salah el Din el Atabani, veteran Islamist former minister, sitting wit...

SOUTH AFRICA

Dividing the spoils

The 'Mining Queen' and Julius Malema are using transfer-pricing in the mining industry to force profit-sharing and further BEE

Bridgette Radebe, Chairperson of Mmakau Mining, President of the South African Mining Development Association which represents black-owned mining companies and self-styled 'Mining ...

LIBERIA

Oil blocks and shocks

Questions are arising about irregularities in contracts and the state’s fitness to manage the hydrocarbons sector

As bidding opens on four offshore oil exploration blocks and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signals that long-awaited petroleum legislation is imminent, the National Oil Company o...

UGANDA

President versus PM

Feverish plotting is already in progress over the 2016 election now that Museveni’s decision to stand is final

President Yoweri Museveni has sparked a bitter war in the ruling National Resistance Movement over his decision to stand in the 2016 election. He appears to have abandoned plans fo...

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Disagreements over dialogue

President Obiang says he wants to open up politics to the opposition but most parties are setting conditions for taking part

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo announced on 29 August his plans to hold a dialogue with members of the opposition but they are highly sceptical that it will lead to any pr...

FRANCOPHONIE

Turbo-charged competition

Five Africans are in the starting block to succeed Senegalese former President Abdou Diouf as Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF). The onl...

TANZANIA

Constitutional disassembly

Tanzania's constitutional review process has finally ground to a halt. What was to have been President Jakaya Kikwete's shining legacy will now become a throbbing headache for his ...

ZIMBABWE

Mice at play

ZANU-PF factions bickered when Mugabe was away in China and suffered the full force of his frustration when he returned empty-handed

CAMEROON

Ransom claims dog Biya

More reports say Yaoundé is negotiating with Boko Haram, as a prominent MP reports on the condition of the hostages

NIGERIA

Oil, the political lubricant

A spate of oilfield sales ahead of next year’s elections is conveniently timed for some expensive campaigning

SOUTH AFRICA

Crunch time for the unions

The ANC struggles to hold the union federation together as an anti-Zuma faction threatens to form a leftist splinter

UGANDA

Refinery deal struck

The agreement with the main oil companies gives investors 60% and paves the way for the export of crude oil

MOZAMBIQUE

Inching towards peace

The latest ceasefire holds the best chance yet for a conflict-free election and perhaps lasting peace

CAMEROON

Biya's answer to Boko Haram

The military's reorganisation to cope with the jihadist threat leaves unanswered the charge that the country is a soft touch for kidnappers

SOMALIA

Reports of his death… the UPDATE

Godane has fallen to a US air strike, contrary to our earlier information. Choosing a new chief may be problematic but no strategic change is likely

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EGYPT: Aerial view of the Red Sea coastline. Here the Sinai desert meets the ocean, with a coral reef at the seam. Fredrik Naumann / Panos

EGYPT

High stakes in the Sinai fight

The Islamist revolt in the peninsula grew rapidly after Mubarak’s fall. Now, neither government forces nor their jihadist foes can control the area

NAMIBIA

Geingob goes for broke

The Premier rushes through laws to give SWAPO more seats in Parliament and allow more political appointments

SENEGAL

Taking a chance on Casamance

Armed with a development plan and secretive mediators, the President thinks he can pacify the troubled region

ZIMBABWE

Rescue for bigwig debts

The central bank has set up a company to buy up bad loans. Many of the worst of them were to to ZANU-PF officials and friends

MALAWI

‘Cashgate’ crisis continues

Steps are being taken to protect the ‘big fish’. But donors know who they are and may not restore budget support unless the law is applied

ZAMBIA

Sata sacks Kabimba

Bitter feuding in the Patriotic Front has led to dismissal of the President's preferred successor – from both party and government

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Allies lose faith

Friends abroad worry increasingly about the probity and effectiveness of the interim government but wonder what to do

LIBYA

Parliaments at sea

Egypt and its new ally the UAE join battle against jihadist fighters while two parliaments compete for power on the ground

RWANDA

Kagame's purge

The arrest of senior government and army members considered pillars of the regime has caused surprise

ZIMBABWE

Women and children first

As the party admits Grace Mugabe to its pantheon, the ZANU-PF Women’s and Youth Leagues have muddied the succession

MALAWI

Brother with a difference

Nearly three months into his term of office, the new President promises a radical departure from the practice of his predecessors

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