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Published 12th December 2008

Vol 49 No 25


Ghana

The winner has to wait

Ghana Presidential Election Results
Ghana Presidential Election Results

Image Copyright Africa Confidential

After one of the closest presidential elections ever, the front-runners are preparing for a run-off vote in less than three weeks’ time

The hard-fought general elections on 7 December saw many national political figures lose their parliamentary seats. Neither of the two leading presidential candidates gained enough votes to win outright in the first round. Amid tough economic times, voters sent a message to both parties that they had reservations about their ability to tackle the looming crisis. In the presidential elections, the governing New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emerged just 1.2% ahead of his rival, John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress, with 49.13%. A run-off vote between the two front-runners will be held on 28 December. Parliamentary results had not been officially released before Africa Confidential went to press, but the NPP could lose its majority in the 230-seat chamber.


Mutinies, money and Mugabe

After soldiers rampage through Harare, the Reserve Bank Governor delivers cash directly to the barracks

The 1 December ‘mutiny’ precipitated fierce clashes between the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), which deployed anti-riot police after several o...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

International financial institutions have now decided that Africa – despite its tenuous links to the global banking crisis – will suffer a serious economic downturn. Africa has been growing faster this year than at any time in the past 40 years and has posted GDP growth figures of over 5% for the past five years. Two months ago, the IMF happily predicted that Africa would ride out the storm, achieving the second highest regional growth figures after East Asia. All that has changed, says the ...
International financial institutions have now decided that Africa – despite its tenuous links to the global banking crisis – will suffer a serious economic downturn. Africa has been growing faster this year than at any time in the past 40 years and has posted GDP growth figures of over 5% for the past five years. Two months ago, the IMF happily predicted that Africa would ride out the storm, achieving the second highest regional growth figures after East Asia. All that has changed, says the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects 2009 report, which forecasts that growth in Africa will dip to 4.6% in 2009. And the United Nations, after reporting that capital flows to Africa would increase despite the global slowdown, is now forecasting less investment in Africa, too. In so doing, the Bank and the UN have shattered more shibboleths about de-coupling and how the international economic system works. The first was that Asian economies would continue to grow, invest and trade regardless of the chaos in the Western banking system: falling trade figures and closing factories in China exposed that fallacy. A lesser shibboleth held that African economies, which are mostly agrarian and remote from the world of derivatives and credit default swaps, would sail on obliviously. Sadly for Africa, this global connectivity means that falling demand in the West has quickly led to lower prices and shrinking markets for its exports, even in Asia’s hyper-economies.
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No change we can believe in

The US dollarisation of Zimbabwe’s economy has a caused a crisis over small change. There are plenty of US$100 and $50 notes but not enough of the lower denominations. The gap is p...


More unga than chungwa

A year after the flawed elections, much of the fire has gone out of the once radical opposition Orange Democratic Movement. Odinga, the firebrand ODM leader, held a meeting for his constituents in Nairobi’s Kibera’s slum to thank them for voting for him. He yelled the rallying cry ‘ODM!’, expecting the crowd to respond as it used to ‘Chungwa!’ (Orange!), the party colour and symbol, but they roared back ‘Unga!’, the maize flour that makes up the staple diet of ugali.

Politics is now taking second place to overwhelming concerns about the economy. Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement had promised lower rents and food prices, b...


Boutef, the Life President

The latest constitutional changes abolish presidential term limits and weaken parliament

If the willingness of a parliament to rubber-stamp the extension of presidential powers and the diminution of its own signals the atrophy of a country’s political system, then Alge...


Back to Addis

Ethiopia argues that its withdrawal from Somalia will help the power-sharing talks brokered by the United Nations Special Representative Ahmadou Ould Abdallah. A principal conditio...


Crisis? What crisis?

The world slump has made nonsense of the budget plans – and slashed expected oil revenues

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria says there is no need to panic, the country is adequately insulated from the global slowdown and will not suffer any recession. Charles ...


Who fixed the election and how

The first of the two commissions on Kenya’s election crisis – both advocated by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and his group of eminent persons – was charged wi...


Another third term in Africa

Algeria’s 12 November constitutional amendment consisted of two main proposals: to remove the limit of two five-year terms for the president, and to change the title and role of ‘h...


Out with an editor

The once media-friendly President has lost patience with Uganda’s fourth estate

Journalists are no longer in favour with President Yoweri Museveni, who seems to blame them for his waning popularity. He once treated his encounters with the press as jousting mat...


Nkunda wants the whole deal

The government cannot afford another war – and probably could not win it, so it must talk to its nemesis

No one in the Kinshasa government wanted to talk to the rebel General Laurent Nkunda. So the talks which began in Nairobi on 8 December were a big political risk, especially for Pr...


Hunting the killers

The Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence was chaired by Kenya’s Justice Phillip Waki and included Gavin A. McFadyen, former Assistant Commissioner for Operations in th...


A sheikh returns to the fray

As Islamist militias prepare for a final strike on Mogadishu, another Islamist leader signs a power-sharing deal and talks of peace

The return of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to Mogadishu following the signing of a power-sharing agreement in Djibouti on 26 November will shape the coming stuggle for control of the...



Pointers

Jungle justice

Lingering court cases such as the murder of Judge Bernard Borrel in Djibouti, the Angolagate arms trial and the arrest of Rwanda’s Rose Kabuye cast a shadow over French President N...


Here for the beer

The South African brewery giant SABMiller opened a new beer factory in Juba this week, the first plant in Sudan since President Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri symbolically threw at least s...


Zuma's Christmas

Among the issues facing African National Congress President Jacob Zuma over the coming holiday season will be the High Court’s decision on whether he should be prosecuted for corru...


Trying to cope

As the Congress of the People prepares to launch its party on 16 December in Bloemfontein, the governing African National Congress is challenging it legally and physically. The ANC...