Jump to navigation

Published 5th November 2010

Vol 51 No 22


Angola

Daylight on Dos Santos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

The new constitution offers the President another twelve years in power but breaking with tradition, he is now actively campaigning for election

For the first time in his 31 years in power, Angola’s President, José Eduardo dos Santos, gave a State of the Nation address to the National Assembly in Luanda on 15 October. His decision to do so was doubtless informed by the looming elections in 2012. In the speech – a new feature on the political calendar after the revision of Angola’s constitution in February – Dos Santos acknowledged the challenges of ‘hunger and poverty’ and conceded that the economy had hit serious problems when the price of crude oil fell by over US$100 per barrel.


And then, there were two

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and challenger Alassane Dramane Ouattara will vie for the top job in a second round of voting at the end of this month

Ivorians will have to wait nearly another month, until 28 November, to know the outcome of the presidential election. The first round of voting on 31 October was close and none of ...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The International Monetary Fund’s broadly upbeat Regional Economic Outlook forecasts that Africa’s GDP will grow on average at about 5% this year and at 5.5% in 2011. Yet in its more traditional role as guardian of fiscal rectitude, the IMF sounds warnings to parties advocating more public spending. It explains Africa’s rebound from the 2008 financial crisis as a function of sounder management, higher local demand and growth in exports to Asia. With strong growth, balanced budgets, falling d...
The International Monetary Fund’s broadly upbeat Regional Economic Outlook forecasts that Africa’s GDP will grow on average at about 5% this year and at 5.5% in 2011. Yet in its more traditional role as guardian of fiscal rectitude, the IMF sounds warnings to parties advocating more public spending. It explains Africa’s rebound from the 2008 financial crisis as a function of sounder management, higher local demand and growth in exports to Asia. With strong growth, balanced budgets, falling debt and rising foreign reserves, many governments could increase spending and bolster growth as officials grapple with shifts in world prices and financial flows. Yet the IMF argues that Africa’s risk of contamination from the financial crisis are not over. Unemployment, especially in South Africa, remains high; exports are not yet back to 2006/07 levels; few job-creating small businesses can afford to borrow; and budget deficits, especially in oil-producing states, are worsening. In a rare piece of joined-up thinking, the Washington economists suggest that the 17 elections to be held in Africa next year – a 20-year record – could throw policy off course. Facing elections, governments may abandon or postpone the reforms that the IMF urges. Yet the IMF does not identify where such governments might access funds if they hit trouble – from Western markets, Asia or a return to the IMF? More importantly, what lending conditions will they face? Having had a good crisis, the IMF is back in business in Africa.
Read more

The boom in Juba and its consequences

Talk of war might be in the air but Juba is booming. Building sites are around every corner of South Sudan’s capital and so are foreign delegations and contract-wielding business people. Expecting independence next year, the South is marketing itself as a virgin land rich in oil, minerals and fertile soil. As one of the last remaining markets to open up to a world economy battling for natural resources, commercial and diplomatic interest is growing fast in the new state.

The National Congress Party regime in Khartoum wants to delay January’s referenda on the status of the South and Abyei. Discussions about oil revenue and borders are unresolved and...


UN rejects AU blockade plea

More troops for Amisom, perhaps, but no air or naval blockade for Somalia as the African Union tries to link Al Shabaab and piracy

The African Union has made a bold attempt to yoke the issue of Somali piracy to the Shabaab problem in the hope of getting United Nations Security Council support for an air and na...


Complex architecture but no deal

Africa is larger, politically more varied and much poorer than the island states that constitute its colleagues in the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) group. Like them, its relatio...


Party unity trumps national reforms

To placate the one-time friends who have fallen out with him, the President reshuffles his hand of party cards

A second term in office is President Jacob Zuma’s main aim. To see that he gets it, his cabinet reshuffle on 31 October seemed designed to win allies within the governing African N...


Jarch Capital has friends in the South

Last year, in Africa’s biggest land deal, Jarch Capital leased 400,000 hectares in Mayom County, Unity State, from one-time warlord Paulino Matiep Nhial’s family (AC Vol 50 No 2). ...


Trade talk troubles

The EU’s obstinacy over trade concessions to Africa is encouraging frustrated governments to turn increasingly to Asia

The partners are not equal in the negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on ‘free trade’ between the European Union and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)...


Kagame’s troops return to Congo

Chaos in the Kivus has given Kigali a pretext to send its soldiers back across the border in pursuit of political and economic objectives

The Rwandan Defence Force is back in Congo-Kinshasa but trying to keep a low profile. Presidents Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame agreed on the move at a 6 September meeting during Ka...


Khartoum’s new export trade

The prospect of losing most of its oil income if the South becomes independent next year has galvanised the National Congress Party. As the Sudanese pound hurtles downwards against...



Pointers

Lying big, often

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front approaches its annual congress in better shape than a year ago and owing much to Jonathan Moyo’s tactical thinking. He will prob...


The bout begins

The shadow-boxing is at an end. Uganda has its eight candidates for the 18 February presidential election after two fraught days of nominations at Namboole Stadium in Kampala on 26...


Sanctions fraying fast

As Harare steps up pressure for the European Union to abandon its sanctions on Zimbabwe, it has emerged that a British-based bank has found a legal way to circumvent the ban on loa...


Down but not out

The general elections were won, as predicted, by the Chama cha Mapinduzi, which did however suffer some setbacks. Exit polls showed President Jakaya Kikwete in the lead but with tw...