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Red Friday

Red is the colour

A banner-waving alliance of professionals and trades unionists is highlighting the growing economic hardships and shaking up the political scene

A clever campaign against worsening economic conditions – known as Red Friday – is gaining momentum after several thousand activists marched through Accra on 24 July. The date had an added significance as it marks the second anniversary of the death in office of President John Evans Atta Mills. His Vice-President, John Dramani Mahama, took over amid a wave of sympathy, then went on to win the 2012 elections narrowly but his National Democratic Congress (NDC)government has been dragged down this year by a series of economic and political missteps.

GHANA

Letting a crisis go to waste

Far from cruising to an inevitable electoral victory in 2016, the opposition New Patriotic Party has been left looking flat-footed, even as the government's troubles have multiplie...

ZIMBABWE

Seized farms haunt ZANU-PF

Party leaders worry that in a post-Mugabe world they may lose the land they seized from white farmers and they are secretly buying up title deeds

A wave of anxiety is passing through the highest echelons of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, Africa Confidential has learned. Relatives of President Robert Mug...

CÔTE D'IVOIRE

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 sce...

SOUTH AFRICA

Invoking higher powers

The case of a prominent broadcasting executive raises questions about the government’s commitment to the constitution

South Africans are trying to figure out the secret of the hold that Hlaudi Motsoeneng has on his position as Chief Operations Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation....

AFRICA | FRANCE

Writing development into law

The drama of French military operations in Africa eclipses the fact that the continent is the target of almost all its admittedly tiny bilateral aid

Following President François Hollande's brief African tour this month came questions about France's development aid policy. After all, critics say, it is economic developmen...

KENYA

Opposition misses tricks

Despite a security crisis and economic woes, Raila Odinga is failing to capitalise on the government’s troubles

Attempts by opposition leader Raila Amolo Odinga to put himself back on the political map are failing to spark the public imagination. The former Prime Minister's re-launch followi...

LIBYA

Islamists strike back

Unable to take on General Haftar's forces in Benghazi, jihadist militias strike at his allies in Tripoli

Islamist militias aligned with Libya's Muslim Brotherhood have mounted their most serious counter-offensive yet against forces loyal to General Khalifa Belqasim Haftar in a series ...

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...

NIGERIA

After the amnesty, more amnesty

President Jonathan struggles to pacify militants and oil companies as violence and theft continue in his Delta homeland

The environmental devastation, lawlessness and grand corruption have not stopped in the oil-producing Niger Delta but the situation looks far less forbidding when set against the h...

NIGERIA

The Jonathan surge

Despite a security crisis and a poor public image, President Goodluck Jonathan's People's Democratic Party has engineered a startling political recovery. Much of the turnaround is ...

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...

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...

SUDAN | ISRAEL

Proxy battles, real war

The explosions that destroyed an arms depot at El Geili north of Khartoum on 18 July prompted a welter of speculation on news sites and social media. Many thought that Israel had t...

MOZAMBIQUE

Princess Guebuza weds

In a traditional ceremony on 19 July, Valentina Guebuza, one of Africa’s wealthiest young women and daughter of President Armando Guebuza, married Zofimo Muiane, the head of ...

SIERRA LEONE

Honour among presidents

Richard Konteh, the State House Chief of Staff supposedly fired for corruption, is claiming that he was in fact the fall guy for President Ernest Bai Koroma’s inadvertent ang...

ZAMBIA

No laughing matter

The governing Patriotic Front (PF) was in barely-concealed turmoil during President Michael Sata's week-long absence in Israel for medical treatment. Yet at the cabinet meeting on ...

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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

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

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

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

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

FOOTBALL | AFRICA

Shame about the politics

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

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

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

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

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