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Published 5th January 2023

Vol 64 No 1

How the polycrisis will play out

Satellite image of Africa. Pic: agefotostock / Alamy
Satellite image of Africa. Pic: agefotostock / Alamy

A succession of political, economic and international structural changes will shake the continent amid a global downturn

With a third of the world, including many African economies, forecast by the IMF to go into recession, unsustainable debts with all their socio-political consequences will take centre stage this year. A deadly combination of rocketing western interest rates, hangovers from pandemic economics, the spillover from Moscow's war in Ukraine, spiralling food and fuel prices, and vulnerabilities to climate shocks are forcing reforms on the international system. Raising serious sums to finance energy transitions in Africa will move up the agenda.


Election noise louder but signals weaker

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

Cash-fuelled presidential campaigning dominates politics as economy falters and security frays

Presidential and national assembly elections on 25 February presage sweeping changes. Among 11 million new voters, most of them aged between 18 and 34, many are frustrated with wha...

Financial meltdown weakens NPP

Pushed into a U-turn as it negotiates a $3 billion bailout with the IMF, the governing party’s credibility has crashed

Militants of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have a spring in their step in the new year as they gear up to fight the December 2024 general elections. They h...

Horse-trading risks poll delay

The President is trying to decide whether to contest or postpone December's polls while juggling his political alliances and musing on threats in the east

President Félix Tshisekedi has been consolidating power, but that does not mean accountability and better governance are any closer than when he fraudulently won the preside...

Trouble ahead for Hassan Sheikh's united front

The anti-Al Shabaab offensive has the wind in its sails, but maintaining its momentum presents the President with deep problems

The humanitarian situation will remain dire in 2023. Any rains that do come cannot restore an already devastated ecosystem and emergency aid to the starving will still be hampered ...

Devaluation heads a list of tough changes

A year of weak growth and high inflation lies ahead, following a balance of payments crisis that forced the government to seek IMF assistance

Although the impact of the economic crisis has been softened by financial support from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the form of deposits and investment, this...

The usual ZANU-PF poll win looms

Elections will take place in six months but whatever happens, ZANU-PF will prevail, as the slide into economic mayhem continues

Pre-election buzz will energise discussions about Zimbabwe's future ahead of general elections set to be held in July or August. But any sense of optimism will be short-lived as th...

A fragile truce with many foes

Peace negotiations in Tigray will need careful nurturing to survive while crises among other nationalities reach boiling point

Hopes are high that last year's peace agreement between Tigrayan leaders and the federal government in Addis Ababa can be sustained, but there is a long way to go. The original tim...

The return of one-man rule

The new President has quickly established political dominance at home as the direction of his government takes shape

Having secured, however fleetingly, full-spectrum dominance over the domestic political scene, and with the debt crisis in remission after the International Monetary Fund injected ...

Economy deprives regime of options

The succession dominates political discourse but if Museveni stands again the economy is less able to accommodate his electoral pump-priming

Economic woes and conflicts in Uganda's restive regions are set to escalate during the year as tensions accumulate over whether President Yoweri Museveni will stand for re-election...

Ructions over debt deal hold up IMF bailout

Political fights over where the cuts should fall are testing finance minister Ofori-Atta's staying power and may prolong the crisis

The speed at which the IMF and finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta's treasury team agreed a provisional deal for a US$3 billion bailout in mid-December after intensive talks and number...