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Vol 41 No 1

Published 7th January 2000

Reverse roles

West African politics wins again. Formerly coup-proof Côte d'Ivoire succumbs to a putsch de Noël and coup-prone Nigeria survives a military-orchestrated transition to civilian rule. Business people are much more optimistic than political analysts about Nigeria this year. Much is at stake. Diplomats say gravely that Africa can't afford for Nigeria to fail this time. The upturn in oil and gas prices, Nigeria's huge reserves and President Olusegun Obasanjo's reformist policies are stirring new interest among traders and investors who have kept away from Africa's biggest market for the past two decades.

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