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news by category: Analysis

Found 37 articles.

Displaying 11-20 out of 37 results.

Stabilisation now, reconciliation later

Ouattara is a strong Western ally but his national skills are more of an unknown quantity as he tries to reconcile his own fractious forces as well as Gbagbo’s loyalists. With Gbagbo confined in the north under UN guard and his forces demoralised or captured, the new president has signalled his seriousness by not allowing his staff any time off, despite having spent four months trapped in the Golf Hotel.

ADO's woes The difficulties facing President Alassane Dramane Ouattara (‘ADO’) in reconciling former enemies emerged again in the 6 May inauguration ceremony. In his acceptance s...

Local elections threaten the ANC's national grip

Municipal elections do not always stir passions but those on 18 May hold great significance for an African National Congress beset by infighting and disunity. They promise to be the most competitive polls since majority rule began in 1994 and will affect the ANC’s National Congress next year, signpost 2014’s presidential and parliamentary elections and test the Tripartite Alliance of ANC, Confederation of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and SA Communist Party (SACP), which is split several ways on economic policy.

President Jacob Zuma’s political position has become precarious and a poor show at the municipal polls will hurt him as much as his governing party (AC Vol 52 No 8). He is suff...

Pushing for probity

Pressure is growing for greater accountability and transparency in oil and mining operations, especially in Africa, due to the strengthening of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the imminent application of the United States’ Dodd-Frank Act. Yet major disagreements between companies, governments and anti-corruption activists emerged at the EITI’s biennial conference in Paris on 2-3 March, its biggest ever. Large oil companies, led by Royal Dutch Shell, argue that any extension of the compulsory accountability provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act would undermine voluntary agreements such as EITI (AC Vol 51 No 19).

European and African officials backed moves at the Paris conference to toughen laws on company payment disclosures, despite strong opposition from oil and mining companies, includi...

The battle of the Nile

Egypt and Sudan are playing a central role in the dispute over the Nile. They know they can no longer ignore the thirst for water of the seven upstream countries but are focussed on their own growing needs. The five states most concerned, led by Ethiopia, intend to change the balance of water power.

The old arguments about the Nile waters will enter a new stage this autumn, when the nine governments of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) next meet. On present form, it looks improb...

New pressure on the war-minerals link

Congo's 'clean' minerals are more politically toxic than buyers would like

Rebels are taking over more mines throughout the east, while control of minerals by corrupt government forces continues, making even Congo's 'clean' state-sourced minerals more pol...

Elections loom as Kabila comes under fire from all sides

Next month, Congolese will mark 50 troubled years of Independence from Belgium amid growing concern about security and development prospects under President Kabila’s government. Kabila and the ruling PPRD are feverishly preparing for elections next year and are ramping up the nationalist rhetoric. They want the UN peacekeepers out as soon as possible to reassert the country’s independence. They also want to pressure the foreign mining and oil companies to boost state revenue.

President Joseph Kabila and the ruling Parti du Peuple pour la Reconstruction et le Développement (PPRD) have called for the United Nations’ peacekeepers to quit Congo-Kinshasa as ...

Le scandale pétrolier

The country now produces a paltry 25,000 barrels a day but the big international oil companies are lining up to buy their way into Congo-Kinshasa. Smaller companies have been locked in wrangles with each other and successive Kinshasa officials for several years. New blocks are likely to be offered in a licensing round that will open up new parts of Congo to exploration; competition for disputed blocks is heating up. But will the oil boom boost economic development or just repeat the confusion and corruption of the mining sector?

President Joseph Kabila is blocking exploration contracts that were granted several years ago and the lack of his approval has left several companies hanging on in Kinshasa, hoping...

As elections arrive, the opposition shuns Omer

Sudan is set to become the first country to elect an indicted war criminal as president. Yet the elections are deemed so unlikely to be free and fair that, as AC went to press, the focus was on the extent and effects of the opposition boycott. Oppositionists argued there was little to be gained by participating and lending credence to the elections as the regime had rigged a victory with a manipulated census and elector registration, gerrymandered constituency boundaries and used state funds to buy loyalty.

In the face of blatant preparations for election rigging, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement decided on 31 March to boycott the national presidential election and all elections...

Acting President Jonathan sets out his plans

From the surrealism of ‘missing president’ Umaru Yar’Adua, linked to the outside world via a ghostly voiced interview with the BBC, and with attendant disputes of legitimacy and sovereignty, Nigeria has solved the crisis in its own way, by effecting what some call a ‘democratic coup’. One by one, the elected institutions of state (the powerful governors’ forum and both houses of the National Assembly) and several non-elected regional councils met and agreed to support the handover to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Whatever the constitutional doubts that remain, the 9 February resolution by the National Assembly, citing the ‘doctrine of necessity’, to recognise Vice-President Goodluck Jonatha...

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