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Published 29th May 2015

Vol 56 No 11


Nigeria

Buhari sets out his agenda

Muhammadu Buhari (Jacob Silberberg / Panos)
Muhammadu Buhari (Jacob Silberberg / Panos)

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Against a chaotic economic backdrop, the new President promises to make government accountable and re-establish the rule of law

Popular expectations of new President Muhammadu Buhari were stratospherically high before his 29 May inauguration in Abuja – all the more so because chronic fuel shortages, increasing power cuts, billowing state debts and mounting pay arrears have haunted the final weeks of outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan's government.

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Delta, dollars and Downing Street

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron shakes hands with Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Concerns about stability and commercial interests informed the sudden meeting between President Buhari and Britain’s Prime Minister

Security, crime and migration topped the agenda when Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari met United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on 23 May. Aside...


Polls poser for politicians

A delay to the elections is damaging Somaliland’s democratic credibility as Mogadishu’s electoral timetable takes a knock

Somaliland's reputation for dependability and as the most democratic entity in the Horn of Africa has been on the slide since Parliament decided this month not to go ahead with Jun...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The new President of the African Development Bank, who was being elected as we went to press, will face harsh financial and political conditions after a decade of economic growth on the continent averaging 5-7% a year. Outgoing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka combined a capacity for strict financial management with experience in government and strong views on development.

Kaberuka’s successor will struggle to match his record as commodity prices slump and security crises plague...

The new President of the African Development Bank, who was being elected as we went to press, will face harsh financial and political conditions after a decade of economic growth on the continent averaging 5-7% a year. Outgoing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka combined a capacity for strict financial management with experience in government and strong views on development.

Kaberuka’s successor will struggle to match his record as commodity prices slump and security crises plague some of Africa’s biggest economies, such as Egypt, Kenya, Libya and Nigeria. The AfDB’s Chief Economist, Steve Kayuzzi-Mugerwa, agrees with the World Bank’s and International Monetary Fund’s lowered forecasts for African growth of 4.5% this year.

Growing private investment raises new questions about the AfDB’s role. Kaberuka presided over a tenfold expansion of its private sector operations. He was also sharply critical of IMF and World Bank policy in Africa. This year in Addis Ababa, Kaberuka praised the decision by Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to disregard advice from the Bretton Woods Institutions in favour of adapting policies from fast-growing Asian economies, such as China and South Korea. Asia’s rising economic power also raises more questions about the role of the World Bank and even the AfDB, at a time when China is setting up development banks for Asia and the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

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The President digs in

The murder of an opposition leader will keep tension high right up to polling day. Nkurunziza is sticking to his course

The assassination on 23 May of Zedi Feruzi, leader of a small opposition party, the Union pour la paix et le développement, signalled a major deterioration in the political climate...


Taxing tensions

The government’s promises of tax-free investment sit ill with a Finance Ministry desperate to increase revenue

President Abdel Fatah el Sisi has thrown his weight behind a campaign to launch a strong economic recovery by attracting billions of dollars of private investment. This includes ev...


Ethics question for Obama

Some 17 years after the bombing of US Embassies in East Africa, relatives of those killed and local staff injured still await compensation

On his first trip to Kenya as United States President in July, Barack Obama will walk into a bitter controversy over successive United States governments' failure to compensate vic...


Bye-bye unity

The opposition boycott should have made the bye-election campaigns easy for the ruling party. Instead, they are exposing deep splits and rancour

The campaigns for the 16 bye-elections on 10 June have not been the expected easy ride for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, even though the Movement for Democra...


Crashing car barriers

A new free trade regime threatens car-makers. Some are trying to keep global competition at bay

This month, Mercedes-Benz became the first of several major motor-manufacturers which are expected to halt assembly work in Egypt. Under the country's trade treaty with the Europea...


Reconciliation for beginners

As the Bangui Forum proceeded, France’s need to bow out became clearer, although it may mean turning a blind eye to corruption

All parties agreed that the just-concluded Bangui Forum for National Reconciliation was essential if the country is to have a future. Yet the gathering was supposed to start last O...


Uneasy lies Zuma’s head

The President’s rivals are using the ANC’s expected poor showing in the coming local elections as a rallying call against him

Next year's local government elections are widely seen as likely to be the most competitive since the end of white-minority rule in 1994 and that has got leaders of the governing A...



Pointers

Students of separatism

Student protests at inadequate facilities are reminding many of the long-running and still unresolved campaign for Casamance's independence from Senegal. The University of Assane S...


Massacre? Moi?

January saw the birth of a new party – Forces patriotiques pour la démocratie et le développement (FPDD). The similarity to the name the last military junta gave itself, the Consei...


Cash for loot

The Swiss lawyers who brokered Nigeria's much-criticised immunity-for-cash deal with Mohammed and Abba Abacha last July are major beneficiaries, it has emerged. The two sons of the...


Military balance

p>President Salva Kiir Mayardit has finally found a sympathetic regional forum to offset his growing isolation as international unease mounts over South Sudan's continuing bloodlet...