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Published 11th September 2015

Vol 56 No 18


Ghana

A helping hand from the Washington twins

Ghana's economic profile (Chart © Africa Confidential 2015)
Ghana's economic profile (Chart © Africa Confidential 2015)

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Cash and lobbying from the IMF and World Bank boost the government a year before elections

Smiling broadly and sporting his trademark northern smock, on 7 September John Mahama submitted his application in Accra to stand again as the governing party's presidential candidate in next year's election. Having sidelined most of the National Democratic Congress dissidents, Mahama is likely to sail through the NDC party primaries.

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In league with Zuma

The President’s supporters consolidate their grip on the party by securing the leadership of its Youth League

The election of a relatively unknown North-West provincial leader of the African National Congress Youth League as National President of ANCYL has again highlighted the growing inf...


A vote too far

Momentum is building behind the idea of postponing the elections. They could cause more problems and unrest than they solve

As referendum day approaches on 4 October, 'elections at all costs', which is widely seen as the slogan of the international community, sounds less and less convincing. Consensus i...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

On his coming travels to France and New York for the United Nations General Assembly this month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his delegation will be sought out by the posse of lobbying companies advising Africa’s ever hopeful opposition parties.

Building the national opposition alliance in Nigeria was much easier once six of the most powerful state...

On his coming travels to France and New York for the United Nations General Assembly this month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his delegation will be sought out by the posse of lobbying companies advising Africa’s ever hopeful opposition parties.

Building the national opposition alliance in Nigeria was much easier once six of the most powerful state governors had defected from the PDP. They brought with them resources, political networks and insider knowledge of how the governing party works and fights its elections. But that pattern is unlikely to be repeated in next month’s elections. Certainly in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, incumbent presidents Alassane Ouattara and Alpha Condé look set to see off their opponents. It’s more exciting in Burkina Faso, where Blaise Compaoré was chased from power a year ago and his camp followers are being kept away from the elections.

Only in Tanzania is the opposition, Chadema, copying part of the Buhari model before elections on 25 October. It has succeeded in wooing a former Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, with in-depth knowledge of the governing Chama cha Mapinduzi. Sadly for Chadema, he doesn’t bring a Buhari-style reputation for honesty. After Chadema’s adoption of Lowassa as its presidential candidate, Wilbrod Slaa, one of the opposition party’s founders, resigned in protest. Previously Chadema had included Lowassa on a list of politicians who merited investigation.

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Small fish chase big fish

With the sentencing of the principal defendant, the Cashgate saga has taken a new turn

The strategy of arresting and trying those seen as 'small fish' in the Cashgate scandal was deliberate, as they would name the 'bigger fish', a senior official in the Anti-Corrupti...


First laws, then parliament

The election of a parliament may place some limits on the regime but much of what it wants to do has already been accomplished by decree

By the time the new Parliament holds its first session following the two-round general elections in October and November, more than 500 laws will already be on the statute book. Th...


Timis under scrutiny

The USA may be stepping into the controversy over a mining tycoon and a presidential brother

The operations of entrepreneur Vasile Frank Timis in Senegal have come under scrutiny from the United States Department of Justice, Africa Confidential has learned. US federal pros...


Warming up the Kenyatta-Museveni axis

Common interests are prompting more bilateral cooperation but the latest agreement over a pipeline will sorely test regional solidarity

In two weeks' time, when most of Africa's 54 leaders travel to New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, there will be much talk of shifting regional allianc...


The old demons return

Just as the country begins to recover from military rule, the governing party’s cracks re-open, bringing back instability

The governmental crisis has rapidly become a constitutional crisis as the battle lines are drawn between supporters of President José Mário Vaz and those of the Prime Minister he d...


Opposition watches and waits

Factionalism is causing ZANU-PF serious by-election jitters, even though it is standing unopposed. The opposition is biding its time for 2018

The parties opposing the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front have limited resources they are unwilling to waste on this month's three by-elections. They have now ...


Bad timing

Bankers and company executives who are puzzled by the government's decision to open the bidding on six new oil blocks for exploration as world prices plummet may find some of the a...


The party rebrands for the polls

President Lungu wants to purge his party of its association with his predecessor but the plunging economy offers far bigger challenges

Under the growing influence of former President Rupiah Banda, President Edgar Lungu is turning the governing Patriotic Front away from the left-leaning legacy of the late Michael S...


Dash for gas cash

Welcome changes in oil and gas governance are coming, but a new group of rent-seekers is also on the road

Changes at the top of state petroleum company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) and the industry regulator, Instituto Nacional de Petróleo (INP), mark a further step...



Pointers

Miner wobbles

Two international mining giants are in dire straits – Glencore and Lonmin – and taking parts of the economies of Congo-Kinshasa, South Africa and Zambia with them. Even...


Amisom on defensive

Ethiopian forces and Somali National Army units have retreated to more easily defended positions after the devastating attack on an African Union Mission in Somalia base, sources i...


GATIA digs in

Fighters of a pro-government militia, the Groupe d'autodéfense touareg imghad et alliés , have agreed to withdraw from the northern town of Anéfis but appear to be in no hurry to d...


On the road

Expected in Paris on 14-15 September for a regional security conference, President Muhammadu Buhari will attend a series of bilateral meetings with President François Hollande, Fo...