Jump to navigation

Published 6th January 2017

Vol 58 No 1


Nigeria

Partisan politics runs riot

Long queues at a food distribution point in the Muna Garage refugee camp in Maidugrui. The camp is occupied by Nigerians who have fled from Boko Haram. Photo: Sam Olukoya/dpa
Long queues at a food distribution point in the Muna Garage refugee camp in Maidugrui. The camp is occupied by Nigerians who have fled from Boko Haram. Photo: Sam Olukoya/dpa

The President will struggle to gain the upper hand on corruption and security while party rivalries block economic change

For an essentially apolitical President, Muhammadu Buhari faces a nightmare 2017 as party rivalries loom larger and larger, obstructing many of his economic and social reforms, as well as his cherished campaign against corruption. The reputation of Buhari, a retired general who makes no secret of his scepticism about party politicians, could now depend on how his team manages relations with the faction-ridden National Assembly.

READ FOR FREE

New order tackles old debts

A month after his election victory, Akufo Addo's new team starts work on a fast-track economic and political reform agenda

The clear victory of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by over 900,000 votes in the 7 December presidential election triggered a business-like transition, with most new ministers due to ...


Money and the military

As its foreign reserves dwindle, the Khartoum regime will face mounting protest on the street and a more determined opposition

Rising economic pressure and growing popular protest will test the National Congress Party (NCP) regime again this year and much will depend on the ability of opposition groups, bo...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Good, bad, ugly or interminable political transitions will loom large in 2017. The theme of transition will dominate the first two editions of Africa Confidential, which carry a set of economic and political forecasts for countries facing major changes this year.

In Ghana, defeated President John Mahama quickly conceded and jointly managed a transition with wi...
Good, bad, ugly or interminable political transitions will loom large in 2017. The theme of transition will dominate the first two editions of Africa Confidential, which carry a set of economic and political forecasts for countries facing major changes this year.

In Ghana, defeated President John Mahama quickly conceded and jointly managed a transition with winner Nana Akufo-Addo, who is due to take over on 7 January. Not so in Gambia, where President Yahya Jammeh changed his mind about accepting defeat in December's elections. The head of the military, General Ousman Badjie, who initially pledged support for election winner Adama Barrow, has changed his mind, too. A trial of strength looms between Jammeh and regional leaders who insist they will recognise Barrow as the legitimate President after 19 January.

Transitions in Congo-Kinshasa and South Africa will also attract attention. After talks mediated by the Catholic Church, President Joseph Kabila now says he will hold elections and step down by December. His opponents insist he signs the deal in public. Jacob Zuma will be replaced as President of the African National Congress by the end of the year: if he goes with his favoured successor in place, he will still wield influence. If he's forced out early, it would end his political career and that of his key allies. Big changes are looking more likely in Zimbabwe. In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta is tipped to win elections in August but with a high risk of a messy dispute.
Read more

A scorched earth peace

The President has outmanoeuvred his rival, but the legacy of their bloody conflict is mass malnutrition and warnings of genocide

The realisation that President Salva Kiir Mayardit's peacemaking strategy – dubbed by cynics 'Pax Salvatica' because he implemented it unilaterally – has failed to deli...


Mugabe's waiting room

Vice-President Mnangagwa looks increasingly set to take over the reins despite the First Lady's strong opposition

The country's restless public has failed to dislodge its nonagenarian leader, Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980. If predictions of his demise have been as premature as they h...


A coalition of hope

Donors line up more support to help confront deeply uncertain prospects for security and an economy damaged by terrorism

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed's 'unity' government seems to have plenty going for it, with a good balance of political factions and technocrats, and strong international backing. U...


Pressure-cooker polls

Tensions could boil over when two ethnically based coalitions do battle in elections for the national and county governments

Unlike the peaceful polls that Kenya held in March 2013, the August 2017 elections will be characterised, the conventional wisdom has it, by violence at national and county levels....


Jammeh feels the heat

As Yahya Jammeh shows no sign of stepping down regional leaders are determined to see him go. There is talk of military intervention

The Gambia is edging closer to high noon as the presidential handover date of 19 January looms. Yahya Jammeh has until then to step down, and there are no signs that he will comply...


Power struggle goes nuclear

The ANC's bitter internal battles threaten to slow government business to a crawl 

On South Africa's Reconciliation Day on 16 December, President Jacob Zuma's speech in the North-West Province was brought to a halt when strong wind and heavy rain blew away the ma...


Lungu for longer

The president's aim to have a third term will dominate politics much as the anticipated IMF programme will dominate the economy

After a year dominated by the election that controversially returned President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front to power, the main political battles in 2017 look set to be facti...


Elusive legitimacy

Currency devaluation will shape economic prospects this year but the President faces conflicts within and outside his country's borders 

Coping with the effects of the 50% devaluation of the Egyptian pound at the end of 2016 will be the main preoccupation of the government and the public in the coming year. The most...


The power and the glory

The President wants industrialisation and will pull out all the stops to achieve it, even at the expense of his anti-corruption crusade

The year will be dominated by President John Pombe Magufuli's efforts to reshape Tanzania after ten years of President Jakaya Kikwete's directionless rule. If he is to maintain bot...


Frelimo's quagmire

The people who trapped the country in secret debts are still in charge and likely to remain, but investment is falling

President Filipe Nyusi is weak and not in effective control of either the country or the governing party, the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique. Political instability will be exac...


Cold and hot wars

Algeria and Morocco will glare at each other over their border, Libya will remain locked in violence, and Tunisia will lick its wounds

Despite efforts to persuade Algeria and Morocco to reopen their land border, closed since 1994, the two regional rivals continue to rattle sabres and build up their military streng...


Surviving elections and jihad

Calming the controversies of the electoral process will occupy the government. Security will remain precarious across the country

The agonising electoral process has raised as many problems as it has solved. The highly disputed selection of members of parliament – which will lead eventually to the selection o...


The bad loans bite back

With oil revenue no longer able to conceal the cracks, a reckoning is coming for the banks which lent freely to the elite and now face a mountain of bad debt

Two queues can be seen outside any branch of Banco de Poupança e Crédito, Angola's biggest public lender: a long one of hopeful withdrawers of cash, and a short one of depositors. ...


CLOSE