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Published 27th May 2011

Vol 52 No 11


South Africa

Election results keep Zuma in contention

Jacob Zuma

Enough black voters have stayed loyal to the ANC in local elections to boost Jacob Zuma’s hopes of a second presidential term

In spite of many failures in governance and widespread anger among its supporters, the ruling African National Congress decisively won the municipal elections on 18 May. Popular discontent about the corruption, incompetence and indifference of the ANC’s leaders was not enough to tip core voters into rival political camps. President Jacob Zuma emerged with stronger prospects of winning re-election as party leader next year.


Fighting for Abyei

Bombing and looting on the North-South border this week may undermine Sudan’s formal partition in July

The Khartoum regime’s all-out military attack on and occupation of the strategic region of Abyei is part of its hardening policy in the lead-up to Southern Sudan’s independence on ...


Long memories in Abyei

1820: Official start of Southern liberation struggle, as just proclaimed by Government of South Sudan (GOSS); shows how important history is in Sudan



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Africa provides both protagonist and backdrop in the drama surrounding the 14 May arrest for sexual assault of Dominique Strauss Kahn, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Strauss Kahn’s accuser, a maid at the Sofitel hotel in New York, is now under police protection. She hails from Guinea’s Labe region where journalists are pursuing her family in search of clues to her character.

At the IMF, Strauss Kahn has presided over important changes durin...

Africa provides both protagonist and backdrop in the drama surrounding the 14 May arrest for sexual assault of Dominique Strauss Kahn, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Strauss Kahn’s accuser, a maid at the Sofitel hotel in New York, is now under police protection. She hails from Guinea’s Labe region where journalists are pursuing her family in search of clues to her character.

At the IMF, Strauss Kahn has presided over important changes during the past four years, increasing the representation of Africa and other developing states and acting to forestall the worst effects of the 2008 global economic crisis. Now his exit raises the chance of an African successor.

There are three undeclared African candidates for the IMF post: South Africa’s Trevor Manuel, Egypt’s Mohamed El-Erian and Zambian-born Stanley Fischer, who also has American nationality. Of the three, Manuel’s astute management of his country’s finances after the economic and social devastation of apartheid marks him out as a candidate with exceptional technical and political skills. There are signs of growing support for Manuel and South Africa, the newest member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) emerging economies.

As Europe coalesces around France’s Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as its preferred candidate, those who want to break the tradition of the West monopolising the top IMF/World Bank jobs will have to find their own nominee – and Manuel is eminently qualified.

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Cocoa holds the key

President Ouattara needs to stop the smuggling and bring the soldiers under control

After his grand inauguration at Yamoussoukro on 21 May and pronouncements on the need for Ivorians to reconcile and rebuild the country, one of new President Alassane Dramane Ouatt...


Coal train blues

Vast coal mines are ready to export millions of tonnes to Asia but disputes over transport and contracts are holding back the trade

Mining companies with a stake in Mozambique’s 23 billion tonnes of coal reserves are seeking alternative export routes to Asia because of disputes between the government and Indian...


Prosperity and paranoia

Sinister rumours and grenade attacks coexist with the government’s proud economic record

Weapons at the ready, soldiers and police line the main roads out of Kigali in the afternoons. Few of President Paul Kagame’s critics speak out within Rwanda (AC Vol 52 No 3). Two ...


Where the BEE sucks

A trial in June could mark the start of a reckoning for massive fraud in the public sector workers’ pension fund

Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) company Avid Investments collapsed in 2004, losing 30 million Namibian dollars (US$4.3 mn.) to the embezzlement of Social Security Commission (SSC)...


Wade wants to stay on

Wade looks to farm prices and prestige for electoral success

Despite a growing sense that he is losing his political touch, President Abdoulaye Wade is determined to stand in February’s presidential election, people close to him have told Af...


All the way down

Burundi has a few things in common with Rwanda. One is United States’ gratitude for its soldiers’ work in peacekeeping: Rwandans serve in Darfur, Sudan, and Burundians in the Afric...


Can the King stop the spring?

Astute reforms have held revolution at bay but the monarchy could be running out of time

So far, monarchies have proved more resilient to the democracy wave sweeping North Africa and the Middle East than the nationalist dictatorships, but in Morocco, some business and ...



Pointers

Blue Nile blues

Egypt’s revolution seems to have boosted prospects for a settlement with Ethiopia over the Nile waters dispute. Cairo’s interim Prime Minister, Essam Abdel Aziz Sharaf, made a cord...


The fastest growing family

The United Nations’ latest projection of world demographic trends* predicts that Africa’s population will reach 2.2 billion by 2050, 24% of the global population. Nigeria’s populat...


Bellingham brings warrants

Britain’s Africa Minister Henry Bellingham was in Nairobi ‘promoting British interests’, officials said. However, few expected that to include delivering extradition warrants for t...