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Côte d'Ivoire CÔTE D'IVOIRE
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Polls beckon as Hollande flies in

Ouattara hopes the French President’s visit will help his coalition prepare for next year's elections. The main opposition is floundering

President François Hollande’s visit last week to Côte d’Ivoire was full of fanfares for regional security and doing business with France but behind the scenes intense manoeuvrings in all the major domestic political parties were under way. President Alassane Dramane Ouattara welcomed his French counterpart at the airport on 17 July as Hollande began the first leg of a tour which also took him to Niger and Chad. Hollande combined the two themes of business and security by taking a symbolic ride in a French-built patrol boat called L'Émergence, which Yamoussoukro will use to fight the growing menace of piracy off its coast.

ZIMBABWE

Put a faction in your tank

The intensifying fight for the ZANU-PF succession is affecting the retail fuel market as both factions promote rival businesses

A new contestant in the fight to control fuel sales has burst on to the scene as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front's internal battles heat up. Engen Petroleum Zim...

BURUNDI

Peace at risk

A climate of rising fear and uncertainty – never far from the surface in Burundi – is causing concern at home and abroad

The government is clamping down on elements within its former coalition partner, the mainly Tutsi Union pour le progrès national (Uprona) because of their opposition to Pres...

MOZAMBIQUE

Frelimo and Renamo strike peace deal

After a year of armed skirmishes the old civil war rivals are about to announce an end to hostilities, improving prospects for the October elections

The Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo) government and the Resistência Nacional de Moçambique (Renamo) rebels of Afonso Dhlakama have agr...

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Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

KENYA

A rally, not a revolt

The opposition is back in business but it is caught between the national security crisis and the government’s heavy-handed response

The opposition parties may have failed to pack out Nairobi's Uhuru Park at the long-awaited rally on 7 July but they set out the first credible political challenge to President Uhu...

SOMALIA

More states less unity

Regions are being created as part of a federal state but their prospects are poor because they don’t enjoy legitimacy

Distracted by political turmoil and terrorism in Kenya, most regional observers missed the announcement by Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed that the government w...

ANGOLA

Toxic loan fears grow

The reported bail-out of a major bank risks destabilising the financial sector and affecting the country’s sovereign rating

A huge state guarantee to a major local bank is causing concern about corporate governance and has the potential to destabilise the economy. The state has set aside up to US$5.7 bi...

ZIMBABWE | RUSSIA

Arms-for-platinum deal

The governing ZANU-PF has found a way to trade platinum rights for Russian weapons to replace those it lost in Congo

Zimbabwe is to boost its inventory of Russian strike aircraft after concluding a US$3 billion platinum-for-arms deal with Russia. The government is desperate to replenish its armam...

AFRICA | FRANCE

Africa policy moves up the agenda

To the surprise of many, Franco-African relations have emerged as a priority of French President François Hollande’s approach to international affairs. This stems from wider reasons than the security threat posed by Islamist terrorism in the Sahara and Sahel as Paris strengthens relations and investment with key allies and expands economic opportunities

In December next year, France will host the next global climate summit, the Conference of the Global Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (U...

AFRICA | FRANCE

Who’s Who in French Africa policy

Responsibility for foreign policy is primarily shared between the President François Hollande and the Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. The President’s Africa Advisor i...

AFRICA | FRANCE

Intervention by consent

France sees itself as a participant in the struggle against jihadism across the Sahel and Sahara but insists it will not take sides in internal conflicts between governments and lo...

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Regional leaders take charge

Backstage at the AU summit and increasingly worried about the state of affairs in CAR, regional leaders took some key decisions

The leaders of the Francophone Central African grouping, the Communauté économique des états de l’Afrique centrale, are demanding changes to CAR Presiden...

EAST AFRICA

Banking on big infrastructure

The spending plans of East African countries show a common enthusiasm for big projects but they are borrowing to pay for them

With a decade of high growth behind them and a resource bonanza looming, East African Community members are displaying a new appetite for large-scale infrastructure. EAC government...

RWANDA | CONGO-KINSHASA

Puzzle of FDLR intentions

The notorious militia is disarming but some say that’s a blind. A complex mix of motives, alliances and regional interests is at work

Central and Southern African leaders have demanded the disarmament of the Rwandan Hutu militia, the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda. At a summit in Luand...

FOOTBALL | AFRICA

Shame about the politics

The players are good but big problems lie at the organisational level

It took Germany's historic 7-1 defeat of Brazil on 8 July to put the disappointing performance of African teams at the Fédération Internationale de Football Associati...

EGYPT

More Gulf cash needed

The subsidy cuts have much to do with keeping the El Sisi regime’s benefactors on-side but Egypt's energy prices are still among the lowest in the world

As the Egyptian public digested the news on 5 July that the prices of petrol, diesel and electricity had all been sharply increased, three senior economic ministers flew to the Gul...

SOUTH SUDAN

Famine ‘almost a certainty’

The conflict has caused a food emergency and sanctions against the rival leaders for blocking progress are now on the table

One million South Sudanese are threatened by starvation, with at least another three million at serious risk, United Nations and United States' officials say. The US Agency for Int...

ZIMBABWE

Baba Jukwa arrest rocks regime

Police have arrested a top editor suspected of being the mystery blogger who so seriously embarrassed ZANU-PF during the elections – but he denies all charges

The Baba Jukwa affair – when an anonymous blogger tweaked the tails of Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leaders during last year's election campaign – is...

ETHIOPIA | NORWAY

Oslo cuts its losses

Norway has taken the highly unusual step of cancelling a hydropower research project in Ethiopia that would have been drowned by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD, AC Vol 5...

MOZAMBIQUE

Ruby wedding

Montepuez Ruby Mining held its first auction last month, raising US$33.5 million at the sale in Singapore. MRM is a joint venture between Britain's Gemfields PLC and a company owne...

NIGERIA

Sanusi's political throne

The straight-talking former CBN Governor will find plenty of scope to promote his ideas and expand his influence from the Emir’s palace

TANZANIA | ENERGY

MPs demand answers

The government refused to give in to parliamentary demands for an answer about strange goings on at the power suppliers

RWANDA | CONGO-KINSHASA

Fighting flares in the Kivus

Both Kinshasa and Kigali have their own domestic or geopolitical reasons to keep the pot boiling over their common border

KENYA

Confused response to terror attacks

President Kenyatta claimed 'local political networks' were to blame for the atrocities on the Coast. It’s not the only bizarre circumstance of the shootings

LIBYA

The centre moves east

The country’s centre of gravity may be moving towards Benghazi but away from the Muslim Brotherhood

NIGERIA | LIECHTENSTEIN

The trade-off

The Alpine principality is returning some of Sani Abacha’s loot after the Nigerian government drops charges against his son Mohammed

SOUTH AFRICA

Unsteady state of the nation

Zuma failed to inspire in his nationwide address yesterday. Many unknowns still surround the ANC’s promised 'radical economic transformation'

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Jonathan and Fayose at PDP gubernatorial rally in Ekiti

NIGERIA

Ekiti, the shape of things to come

After a year on the defensive, the governing PDP has launched a determined fightback against opposition strongholds in the south-west

MOZAMBIQUE

Aid row escalates

Britain and Germany cut budget support over a tuna-fishing company and other deals. Ahead of the elections, Frelimo is not giving in

SUDAN

Unhappy birthday

A quarter of a century after seizing power, the Islamist regime in Khartoum has nothing to celebrate, not even the success of its own 'Salvation Revolution'. It is besieged on all fronts

CONGO-KINSHASA

Kabila defiant on third term

The President tries to ignore opposition and international objections to his changing the law to stay on in power

ZAMBIA

Sata speculation grows

Concern is growing for the President’s health and also for the impact on his party should he leave office prematurely

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