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Published 11th June 1999

Vol 40 No 12


All hail to the chief

President Olusegun Obasanjo returns to power amid hopes that the country's decline can be reversed after 15 years of military rule

Government business took off at a frenetic pace after the 29 May inauguration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Launching proceedings, Obasanjo made a powerful attack on corrupt contractors, soldiers and politicians to an audience that included international political celebrities (see Box). Within hours of being sworn in as President, Obasanjo had cleared out many of the hold-overs from the outgoing military regime by retiring all the military service chiefs along with the Central Bank Governor and the Police Commissioner. Days later, he had set up two panels of eminent people to probe all contracts awarded this year by the outgoing military regime and human rights abuses during General Sani Abacha's rule, handed over a list of ministerial nominees to the Senate and started going through the country's financial ledger with his economic advisors.

Exeunt sojas

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It was a spectacular coda to 16 years of military rule. On 29 May, more than 30 heads of state, ex-heads of state and international dignitaries - including President Nelson Mandel...

New team, old players

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President Obasanjo mixes old military friends and human rights activists in his new cabinet

'Is this 1999 or 1979?' asked one senator on seeing President Olusegun Obasanjo's list of 42 ministerial nominees. Another opined more diplomatically that the list favoured 'experi...

Where's the door?

Beleaguered President Mugabe is fighting pressure for him to retire

President Robert Mugabe may not after all be heading for a speedy retirement, although he was 75 in February and has held power since April 1980. Speculation about his early retir...

Mbeki's triumph

The ANC just misses its target, the NP collapses, the DP rises, Holomisa returns

The overwhelming majority won by the African National Congress in the 2 June elections was spectacular if predictable. And it left opposition voters surprisingly unflustered, cons...

The Nile flows on

Egypt has more success with trade than with foreign policy

As it struggles to keep its role as Middle East peace broker, Cairo is also juggling its emerging ambition to become the region's largest and most advanced free-market economy. Fro...


Paris to Lusaka

The usual bashing of non-governmental organisations followed the World Bank's Consultative Group on Zambia in Paris on 26-28 May (AC Vol 40 No 11). Zambia's Finance Minister Edith...


French officials were taken aback by the success of the visit to Paris on 24-29 May by Djibouti's new President, Ismael Omar Guelleh. They were particularly pleased by his apparen...

Yellow card

The Netherlands has warned four African governments that it will halt aid if they don't improve their governance records, Africa Confidential has learned.

Unfunny money

A consignment of notes for Hussein Mohamed 'Aydeed' with a face value of 35 billion Somali shillings (Sosh) due at Baidoa airport has been held up by an Ethiopian invasion. Last w...