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Published 9th June 2017

Vol 58 No 12


Bow ties, flashing smiles and the big sell



Africa’s biggest bank takes its annual meeting to India as it courts new investors and seeks a massive capital increase

The worst is behind us, it is time to invest. That mood music – for the presidents, prime ministers, finance ministers, bankers and chief executives – played throughout the African Development Bank's annual meeting in Gandhinagar, near Ahmedabad, on 23-25 May. Master of ceremonies was the AfDB's ever upbeat President, Akinwumi Adesina, whose team clearly picked the right host city this year. With Europe and the United States distracted by crises nearer to home, India's government and companies are bullish on Africa.

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The great growth divide

Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2017

With its biggest economies in the doldrums, the continent's fortunes will improve only slowly, say international financial institutions

The sharp division that has opened between Africa's mega-economies, such as Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, and the much smaller but more dynamic ones, such as Côte d'Ivoire, Ethi...


States of failure

Foreign supporters of the factions locked in civil war are falling out as the fighting intensifies and solutions are as distant as ever

Fighting between General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) and its rivals has been increasing, while Da'ish (Islamic State) proves that it remains a potent force, despite...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Extreme weather amid this week's storms in Western Cape in South Africa and the continuing drought in north-east Africa remind us of the realities of climate change. Cape Town hovers between devastating storms one month and worsening water shortages for the rest of the year. Drought has knocked off one per cent of growth from East Africa's economies. Fights over land and water in the Sahel, Nigeria and

Extreme weather amid this week's storms in Western Cape in South Africa and the continuing drought in north-east Africa remind us of the realities of climate change. Cape Town hovers between devastating storms one month and worsening water shortages for the rest of the year. Drought has knocked off one per cent of growth from East Africa's economies. Fights over land and water in the Sahel, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire pit farmers against herders in clashes in which thousands of people have died in recent years.

Even before the United States government pulled out of the Paris climate treaty on 2 June, few funds for climate adaptation were reaching Africa.

Africa would benefit from a better coordinated approach on climate and environment policy, perhaps using the research capacity of the Economic Commission for Africa and the convening power of the African Development Bank. Political backing from the African Union would also help. More detailed reporting on the Sahel and the Horn should prompt research into ways to ameliorate or adapt to the environmental devastation. Some pioneering projects for local meteorological centres, assets for international climate research, struggle for funding. There is a direct link between plans for a green energy corridor up the spine of Africa, running on renewables, and tackling climate change. Africa's massive expansion of agricultural production and processing, together with its solar power farms, depend on tackling the threat of climate change.

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A test of wills over mining

President Magufuli is accusing Acacia Mining  of under-reporting production. Its mines could close if the row isn't settled

In Africa's latest resource nationalism row, London-based Acacia Mining says it may halt operations at the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine if it can't reach a deal with Tanzania's government....


Here come the data-miners

Weak regulation is allowing data analytics companies to bring huge electoral advantages to political parties with deep pockets

There is nothing new about the controversial practice of buying data sets and gathering social media information from Facebook and Twitter to target specific electors. United State...


Zuma's chaos theory

Facing down his many foes in the ANC, the President could be planning to use the crisis to prolong his leadership

Nothing seems to stick to South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and the more he is attacked, the more powerfully he bounces back, albeit at the expense of his rapidly waning credibil...


Uhuru sweats as Raila rallies

The opposition is eating into Jubilee's lead while ethnic tensions are worryingly persistent despite leaders' attempt to cool them

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party of Kenya can feel the breath of the serial presidential candidate, Raila Amolo Odinga, on the back of his neck. The latest opinion po...


Insiders dissect secret audit

Six months after investigations began into the $2 billion in secret loans, revelations of fat commissions and failed projects emerge

Senior officials and donors are still pondering the still secret audit which consultants Kroll Associates delivered to Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili on 12 May, after three exten...



Pointers

Army shadow over polls

The alliance of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's Democratic Congress (DC) and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing's Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has lost the snap el...


Rif in revolt

Rebellion is stirring once more in the northern Rif region, regardless of King Mohammed VI's efforts to pacify the area with big infrastructural investment, such as the Tanger-Med ...


Refining impurities

One of President Yoweri Museveni's pet projects, the African Gold Refinery, has come under further scrutiny in an investigation published on 5 June by anti-corruption group Global ...