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Published 18th October 1996

Vol 37 No 21


Privatising politics

The ruling soldiers believes that selling state assets will win them friends and influence

The government is pushing ahead with its sale of state assets in the hope of reaping political and economic dividends. First to come to market will be the state-owned electricity generating company (Nepa) and telecommunications company (Nitel). Shares in both of these are to be issued on the Lagos and Kaduna stock exchanges, which are currently little bigger than Ghana's stock exchange down the coast. A flurry of national publicity is planned, almost along the lines of a political campaign. Special share schemes for workers and consumers are also being considered as a way of making the sale politically palatable.

Abacha's agbada

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The military announce five new parties and six new states but leave key questions open

Alongside General Sani Abacha's bold plans to sell the state oil and gas companies, plans for his political transition are becoming clearer. Above all, the government is determined...

Hussein is not Aydeed

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A peace deal of sorts has been struck as some of the old grudges are buried

Things had to change with the death of General Mohamed Farah Hassan 'Aydeed' on 1 August. The three main faction leaders – all Hawiye – may have begun to realise that n...

Chilling Chiluba

The ruling MMD's refusal to talk to the opposition may push politics out of control

From 31 October, President Frederick Chiluba's government is into extra time. A head-on political confrontation looms. Supporters of Chiluba's Movement for Multi-party Democracy ma...

Against the odds

Anti-corruption crusader Mrema is testing the government's democratic credentials

After a good and popular start, President Benjamin Mkapa's anti- corruption campaign is running into trouble. His Finance Minister and friend, Professor Simon Mbilinyi, has been ac...



Italy is back in the Horn of Africa. The trigger was Romano Prodi's appointment as Prime Minister in May. Driving the revival (of which there are signs elsewhere on the continent, ...


Paris is cutting its unwieldy, mainly conscript, 500,000-strong army, to form a smaller, well equipped regular force. Defence Minister Charles Millon visited Chad and Gabon on 5-8 ...

Arming for trouble

On the night of 27 September, 15 officers died testing explosives at El Mirkhayat military camp near Omdurman, we hear from military sources in Khartoum. The soldiers, scientists f...

Troubled Times

The appointment last month of veteran journalist Peter Enahoro as sole administrator of the Daily Times is the Abacha government's latest bid to rescue the ailing newspaper group.