Jump to navigation

Published 7th January 2022

Vol 63 No 1


South Africa

The ANC faces a reckoning on corruption

Parliament, Cape Town, 3 January 2022. Pic: Sumaya Hisham / Reuters / Alamy
Parliament, Cape Town, 3 January 2022. Pic: Sumaya Hisham / Reuters / Alamy

Opposition parties hope to exploit factional battles in the ruling party ahead of its elective conference in December

The sight of flames blazing from the 147-year-old parliament building in Cape Town in the early hours of 2 January was a discouraging start to what is set to be another tough year. In the wake of widespread rioting in 2021 and armed attacks on industrial premises, an apparent arson attack on parliament raised further doubts about the effectiveness of state security and the police force.


Contenders fill the stage

Pic: @MBuhari
Pic: @MBuhari

As economic and security woes mount, electoral calculations will shape policy and business strategy

With presidential and national assembly elections due in February 2023, political campaigns will go into overdrive this year as alliances are made and deals struck. Outgoing Presid...

READ FOR FREE

Military tactics dominate

Remains of a tank in Tigray. Pic: henk bogaard / stock.adobe.com
Remains of a tank in Tigray. Pic: henk bogaard / stock.adobe.com

A one-sided dialogue is unlikely to deliver peace as Prime Minister Abiy pushes for total victory

Both sides in the war between federal and Tigrayan forces will condition their willingness to negotiate on the military situation. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed starts the year having ...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

In this special edition of Africa Confidential our correspondents take an in-depth look at the year ahead, surveying elections, conflicts, economic trends, and the next twists in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The continent's two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, are in early election mode. In Nigeria, the two main parties are picking their candidates for the presidential elections in February 2023. In South Africa, the ruling ANC holds its elective conference in December ...

In this special edition of Africa Confidential our correspondents take an in-depth look at the year ahead, surveying elections, conflicts, economic trends, and the next twists in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The continent's two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, are in early election mode. In Nigeria, the two main parties are picking their candidates for the presidential elections in February 2023. In South Africa, the ruling ANC holds its elective conference in December to select its president, a vote that may determine the leadership of the party and government. 

Presidential elections are due in Angola and Kenya in August and the results will reverberate beyond their borders. Elsewhere, much diplomatic effort will be spent on trying to coax the latest crop of military leaders – in Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan – to transition to civilian rule. Regional efforts will be made to broker negotiations between Ethiopia's federal forces and the Tigrayan forces to end the country's devastating war.

Other international projects will focus on the region's health security to counter Covid-19 and future pandemics. Plans include more local production of vaccines and boosting logistics. And in November, Egypt will host the UN's COP27 Climate Summit at which African states will argue for their strategies for energy transitions and the finance to deliver them.

Read more

Hustlers and handshakes

Government is on hold as a presidential race reliant on personalities and corralling regional blocs takes centre stage

Big challenges to President Uhuru Kenyatta's government are looming this year on the economic management front and on regional security. But barring a phenomenal new crisis, the po...


Reasons to be fearful

Diplomatic spats with erstwhile European allies and rumblings in Western Sahara are unsettling the Makhzen

As they survey the country from the Makhzen (ruling establishment), King Mohammed VI (M6) and his advisors view the new year with some foreboding. The reasons aren't obvious.


Hichilema enjoys a honeymoon

Buoyed by strong local and international backing, the new government targets progress on debt and social policy

The big questions for President Haikainde Hichilema's new government are whether it will succeed in restructuring the country's US$14.71 billion foreign debt and live up to its ple...


Hostage to the bad old ways

President Tshisekedi seems to have sewn up the 2023 elections, while realpolitik has put paid to his anti-corruption agenda

How time flies. In 2022 President Félix Tshisekedi enters the fourth year of his five-year 'mandate', with little so far to show the Congolese for it. His flagship programme...


Bashing the book-keeper

Julius Maada Bio is risking his reputation for probity by suspending the respected Auditor-General, Lara Taylor-Pearce

The charges of impunity, favouritism, corruption and subverting the constitution that President Julius Maada Bio now faces uncomfortably resemble those he flung at his predecessor,...


Macron pushes the EU into Africa

The French President wants Brussels to recast its ties with Africa and adopt his policies on security and development

Facing a tough re-election race in April, President Emmanuel Macron is trying to reassure French voters that he's serious on migration and security. With fortuitous timing for Macr...


Opposition steps up disruption

With the two parties evenly matched in parliament, the opposition NDC tries for some tactical victories against the government

Eyeing tougher economic conditions, corruption allegations and growing concerns about regional security, the opposition National Democratic Congress reckons it should be able to wr...


Choosing Moscow

Support from Russia will allow Touadéra to suppress opposition and avoid conciliation with rebels

The disputed elections last year that gave an opportunity to mercenaries from Russia's state-linked Wagner Group to assert their influence on politics in the Central African Republ...


The opposition sees a new chance

For the first time, the ruling MPLA will fight elections against an opposition coalition led by three credible contenders

Bringing together the biggest opposition parties, a new coalition will contest national elections in August on a combined ticket presenting the most serious threat to the 47-year r...


Jihadist terror tops the agenda

Amid increasingly deadly Islamist attacks, army reform is more urgent than ever and risks of a coup have risen

Reversing the spread of jihadist terrorist violence will be the dominant theme for Burkina Faso's government, especially as it has started to affect three of its four southern neig...


Not letting go

Hanging on to power, the junta is using Russian mercenaries to counter regional pressure for elections

The colonels, in power since August 2020, seem impervious to international pressure, asserting they may need to stay in power for five more years, despite their earlier promise to ...


Political leaders versus the polls

There's little prospect of the politicians agreeing to the elections they had promised but the UN will keep trying to make it work

The legal and political causes of the failure to hold presidential elections on 24 December, the seventieth anniversary of the country's independence, look to ensure they cannot be...


Farmajo's dangerous trade-off

The President's corruption of the electoral process has weakened security, presaging a more authoritarian politics

Hopes that the elections would open a new political chapter and more accountable governance look misplaced. Even if the troubled presidential elections are held in 2022, they're un...


A praetorian transition

The battle between the generals and the resistance committees is intensifying after the exit of Prime Minister Hamdok

The resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on 2 January ended the transition to civil rule and elections as defined in the August 2019 agreement. But it has clarified the pol...


Tales of adversity weigh on Nyusi

Embattled by the insurgency in the north and the hidden loans scandal, President Nyusi faces a bruising year

Another troubled year is in store for President Filipe Nyusi as his unpopularity in the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo) grows due to his de...


Après nous, le déluge?

Fruitless dialogue and the violent past of aspiring new leaders raise risks of turmoil despite the country's strong economic base

The country is entering unknown territory, with the three major political parties in various stages of disintegration. The stage is set for a era without the three men who have dom...


Sisi seeks security

Facing little opposition at home, the President is keen to boost his standing as a regional player

With no elections on the horizon, a dominant President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has no pressing reasons to make major changes to his government line-up. He will need to resolve the hea...


Rough seas for despot and demos

The early tide of support for Kaïs Saïed's power-grab is ebbing, harsh economic reforms and the referendum in July will be key tests

The coming year may prove Tunisia's most turbulent since 2011, when the jasmine revolution sparked the Arab Spring. President Kaïs Saïed's power-grab in July and his dete...