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Published 27th May 2016

Vol 57 No 11


Nigeria

Anniversary ambushed

Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016
Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

Victories against Boko Haram and crooked politicians are overshadowed by a faltering economy and new militants in the Delta

It would be hard to concoct a worse conjunction of calamities than that facing President Muhammadu Buhari as he prepares to mark his first year as President on 29 May. Undaunted, he will use the opportunity to extol the government's success in driving Boko Haram Islamist fighters from the north-east and to celebrate some successes in his anti-corruption campaign. He will also detail how much the government has retrieved from Western banks of the billions of dollars stolen under General Sani Abacha's regime and its successors, and how those recovered funds will be spent for the public good.

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Xenophobia on the rise

Human rights activists are seeing violence against foreigners turning up in unexpected places

Lusaka has long been known for welcoming foreigners and for the enlightened views of its leaders on outsiders and refugees. So, when Rwandan shops and other properties came under v...


Economic sands start to shift

The government wants to fire up growth with an expansionary budget but has made U-turns on the currency and fuel prices

Less than a after month President Muhammadu Buhari signed on 6 May a growth-boosting but much delayed budget for 2016, the government has made two important policy reversals on the...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Taking over the presidency of the African Development Bank from Rwanda's Donald Kaberuka, whose combination of political savvy and straight talking on economics put the Bank back on the global map, was always going to be tough. The tenure of new President Akinwumi Adesina started last year at the end of the commodity super-cycle as the continent's growth levels fell ...

Taking over the presidency of the African Development Bank from Rwanda's Donald Kaberuka, whose combination of political savvy and straight talking on economics put the Bank back on the global map, was always going to be tough. The tenure of new President Akinwumi Adesina started last year at the end of the commodity super-cycle as the continent's growth levels fell to their lowest for 15 years.

That's not an inheritance that is likely to slow down Adesina, a workaholic and relentless networker, who opened the AfDB's annual meeting in Lusaka on 25 May with the battle cry: 'Africa must think big, act big and deliver big.' With its theme of 'Energy and Climate Change', the meeting attracted the heads of state of Kenya, Rwanda, Chad  and Zambia, the host.

At the opening discussion to launch the Jobs for Youth campaign, Bank officials circulated research showing that of the 10-12 million young Africans who join the labour market each year, less than a quarter find jobs in the formal sector. Carlos Lopes, head of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, said there was a mismatch between Africa's education and the skills needed to transform its economies. Just under 3 million people emigrate from Africa each year, that's half the rate of people leaving China, Lopes said, arguing against media images of a tidal wave of migrants. The difference, he said, was that China was equipping its youth with the skills they needed to compete in the global economy.

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ICC down but not out

Many thought the saga was over when the cases against William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang were dropped. Not so

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are battling the International Criminal Court to prevent new cases from arising against them in the future – or for the r...


Filling Obiang's boots

This month's poll, though no surprise, was meant to concentrate minds on who would follow in the strongman's footsteps

The veteran President, long the strongman of local politics even before he seized power in a 1979 coup, was sworn in for a new seven-year term on 20 May in front of seven other Afr...


Sable bribery repercussions

The President has launched a task force to investigate claims of bribery of public officials as a top lawyer is arrested

Evidence that senior public officials took bribes from the United Kingdom-listed resources company Sable Mining have caused deep shock in Monrovia. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf ...


Sovereign default looms

The debt time-bomb has all but exploded. A desperate government flails around looking for repayment solutions while public finances flounder

After Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane confessed in Parliament last week that the government could not cover a major loan repayment due on 23 May, a sovereign default looks likely...


Mine sale prompts tax grab

The government wants a piece of a giant mine sale no matter what the legal position

When Arizona mining company Freeport-McMoRan announced a gigantic sale on 9 May, it triggered a furore over the trade in Congo-Kinshasa's mining assets and its natural resource gov...


Katumbi enlists US against Kabila

While oppositionists urged Washington to take a stronger stand against Kabila, Katumbi found himself under increasing threat and flew to South Africa

Aspiring presidential candidate Moïse Katumbi flew to South Africa amid growing fears for his safety on 20 May. After coming under increased pressure to step down at the end of hi...



Pointers

State of fear

Evidence is mounting that security forces are fomenting a climate of fear to suppress urban dissent while they conduct a scorched earth campaign against centres of support for the ...


Guptas' export drive

Regulators have begun inquiries into whether or not the three Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, exported large sums of money to Dubai, where they are now believed to be mainly...


Separating mosque and state

Veteran Islamist leader Rachid Ghannouchi has surprised many by announcing that, henceforth, his Hizb Ennahda would separate politics from religious work. It would operate as a 'de...


Assassins and arrow boys

The shooting by soldiers of a Slovakian missionary on 16 May highlights the fragility of the peace deal and the difficulties of building a disciplined army. Sudan People's Liberati...