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Published 16th January 2008

Vol 49 No 2


Kenya

Handshakes at dusk

Much hard work lies ahead if the awkward meeting between Odinga is to lead to a resolution of the worsening crisis

Such is the depth of despair about the intractability of the post-election crisis that many saw the meeting of Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, arranged by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on 24 January, as a great leap forward. It certainly confounded the sceptics who predicted that Annan would prove no more successful than the would-be mediators who have gone before him, such as fellowGhanaian John Kufuor and South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


The heart of the matter

Pastor Robert Kipchoge Birgen of the African Inland Church in Chepsiria is an Oskar Schindler of the North Rift, a man who saved the lives of people hunted because of their ethnici...


Jumping ship

Time is running out for the ZANU-PF defectors to show their hand and challenge Mugabe ahead of the elections

Plots abound ahead of Zimbabwe's election season. The leading plotter is President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who is determined to win by pressing ahead ­ regardless of the breakdo...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

It is said that countries get the governments they deserve and the press they deserve, so perhaps they also get the football teams they deserve. This week, Ghanaians heartily believe so. In the run-up to the 26th Africa Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghanaian pride at hosting the tournament was suffused with concern about the absence from their team, due to injury, of outstanding midfielder Steven Appiah. The worries were not laid to rest until the final minutes of the opening match between Ghana’s B...
It is said that countries get the governments they deserve and the press they deserve, so perhaps they also get the football teams they deserve. This week, Ghanaians heartily believe so. In the run-up to the 26th Africa Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghanaian pride at hosting the tournament was suffused with concern about the absence from their team, due to injury, of outstanding midfielder Steven Appiah. The worries were not laid to rest until the final minutes of the opening match between Ghana’s Black Stars and Guinea, when Sulley Muntari cannoned a 25-yard shot into the top corner of Guinea’s goal, giving Ghana a 2-1 victory. The pre-eminence of football across Africa means that tournament carries enormous political significance. A Black Stars victory would swell support for the ruling New Patriotic Party in December’s elections; a crushing defeat and the fans will look for political scapegoats. Some explain the lacklustre performance of the Nigerian and South African teams as reflective of the political turmoil in their respective countries. The stakes are high for Bafana Bafana and their Brazilian coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, as South Africa prepares to host the World Cup in 2010. Côte d’Ivoire’s stars see politics as a challenge: both Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are campaigning for Ivoirian politicians to promote peace this year. So far that has been the most elusive goal of all.
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The party is not yet split

The infighting is bitter and the allegations foul, as the ANC's allies try to capture the party

The governing African National Congress is preparing for all-out war between President Thabo Mbeki – and his allies in government ­ and Jacob Zuma, the ANC's newly elected Pres...


The centre versus the rest

El Sadig el Sideeg el Mahdi launched his bid to return to power, only to be shouted down by hundreds of Sudanese who had flocked to listen

El Sadig's view that the National Congress regime (NC, as the NIF has rebranded itself) is afraid of violence spreading looks like wishful thinking. As El Sadig has been meeting P...


The gang's all here

President Jakaya Kikwete’s appointments often annoy his colleagues. In 2005, he took almost a month to announce his cabinet, because the stalwarts in the governing Chama Cha Mapind...


Zuma's people on top

The African National Congress conference in December elected six pro-Jacob Zuma activists into the top leadership positions and gave them control of the National Executive Committe...


Looking for a leader

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement has been unable to find a Nuba leader of the stature of the founder of the Nuba rebellion, the late Yusif Kuwa Mekki.


Panic, what panic?

The rich world's economies are sick and the looming recession in the United States has already triggered days of panic selling in Western and now Asian markets. Africa is caught in...


Show time for the spooks

The sacking for Security Minister Francis Poku exposes a damaging battle for turf between the security agencies

The politicians, police and spies could not have found a worst time to pick a fight with each other. It is a year of red alert for the security services: this month, Ghana hosts th...


'I know the corrupt'

President Kikwete says he is giving the grafters one last chance to change

After two years of talk, is President Jakaya Kikwete now serious about stamping out corruption? He did sack Bank of Tanzania Governor Daudi Balali on 9 January for corrupt practice...


Frontier market

Fund managers are keeping one eye on the global market twitches and another on some of Africa’s rockier political systems as they try to assess news risk in 2008. For the last five...



Pointers

Accounting problems

Investigations into the relations between Zimbabwean ministers and Britain’s Barclays Bank may reopen following the admission by several ruling party politicians that they operate ...


Higher level

The African Development Bank should become the foremost development institution on the continent and it should invest in big cross-border infrastructure projects, promote African e...


Taxing times

Two politicians – South Africa’s highly effective Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and France’s forthright Cooperation Minister Jean-Marie Bockel – are adding to the pressure on inte...