Jump to navigation

Published 6th September 2013

Vol 54 No 18


Ghana

The Court lowers the curtain

President Mahama congratulates the judges and the people of Ghana
President Mahama congratulates the judges and the people of Ghana

Image: Flagstaff House Communications Bureau

The judges’ finding for President Mahama raises as many questions as it solves but the focus will shift quickly to economic matters

The final act lasted just 20 minutes. That is how long Justice William Atuguba, Chairman of the nine-member Supreme Court panel, spent on 29 August on delivering the judges’ ruling in favour of President John Mahama. It followed more than eight months of argument over the legitimacy of last December’s elections (AC Vol 54 No 15, The vote on trial & How the parties judge the judges).


Opposition turns to tax and graft

After the 29 August Supreme Court judgement, the political theatre will shift to economic policy and accountability issues. Oppositionists accuse the National Democratic Congress g...


Economic tests looming

There are only two-and-a-half years before the next election cycle. It may not be long enough to improve the fiscal position

Finance and Economic Planning Minister Seth Tekper has a tricky message for Ghanaians. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been in charge of the economy for nearly five year...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

For a society so wedded to capitalism, Nigerians are notoriously ambivalent about their business leaders. Many assume that no giant of industry gets to the summit without shady deals with government and politicians. Others harbour a respect, oscillating between grudging and fulsome, for operators who persevere and launch commercial empires.

Now a new breed of business titan is emerging, a colleague in Lagos insists: ‘We have gone...

For a society so wedded to capitalism, Nigerians are notoriously ambivalent about their business leaders. Many assume that no giant of industry gets to the summit without shady deals with government and politicians. Others harbour a respect, oscillating between grudging and fulsome, for operators who persevere and launch commercial empires.

Now a new breed of business titan is emerging, a colleague in Lagos insists: ‘We have gone from robber barons through cut-throat corporatism to philanthro-capitalism without passing Go.’ He points to the boom in United States-style foundations financed by billionaires such as Aliko Dangote, General Theophilus Danjuma and Tony Elemelu, along with a new enthusiasm for longer-term productive projects.

Most spectacular is Dangote’s project to build Africa’s biggest oil refinery and fertiliser plant in south-west Nigeria. Announcing on 4 September that he had brought in US$3.3 billion in syndicated loans from local and international banks, Dangote said his company would contribute $3 bn. in equity and was raising the remaining $3 bn. from other investors. The project is scheduled for 2016, after which Nigeria would no longer need to import petroleum products or fertiliser, he says. Having persuaded the Central Bank to lend about a third of billion dollars at a discounted rate, Dangote must be confident that the government will end the subsidy system that makes importing fuel so lucrative.

Read more

Cracks widen in the PDP

Seven state governors have walked out of the governing party, dealing a critical blow to its election strategy

As he started a three-day state visit to Kenya on 5 September, President Goodluck Jonathan might try to put his own government’s political disarray into perspective. His host...


Two cheers for the Juba deal

The Jubaland agreement may have saved Somalia from a descent into disastrous factionalism. It is a glimmer of hope amid plenty of bad news

When the government of Somalia and the Jubaland administration of Ahmed Mohamed Islaan ‘Madobe’ signed an interim agreement on 27 August, the sighs of relief were audib...


Kivu on the brink

The M23 rebels have suffered heavy losses, so Kigali may have to choose between abandoning them or risking deeper involvement

Tension between Rwanda and Congo-Kinshasa has escalated almost to open war after two weeks of renewed fighting in eastern Congo. The national army, the Forces armées de la r...


The waiting game begins

ZANU-PF restrains its exultation at electoral victory and the MDC its gloom as both contemplate the vast challenges ahead

Opposition reactions after President Robert Mugabe’s re-election and inauguration have lacked drama. Movement for Democratic Change supporters in urban strongholds believe th...


Bah reveals official links

Breaking his silence, Ibrahim Bah denies he has blood on his hands and claims to have set up many ventures and worked closely with ministers

In an attempt to clear his name, former warlord Ibrahim Bah has been talking to Africa Confidential by telephone from a secret location. He has contradicted the government’s ...


Frelimo may compromise

Renamo’s campaign for a bigger slice of public life has little support but Frelimo seems unable to capitalise on that and may make concessions

As the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique’s armed stand-off continues with the opposition Resistência Nacional Mocambicana (Renamo), Frelimo is beg...


KK cuts a dash

The Movement for Democratic Change’s application to the Constitutional Court to void the elections created uncertainty over the timetable for the inauguration of President Ro...


Holes in Kabila’s big tent

The President’s aim of creating a national consensus is stirring up political discontent and the arrest of dissenters doesn’t help

Establishing national unity under a modified constitution is President Joseph Kabila Kabange’s main concern just now, because that would give him the best chance of winning t...


Banda redraws party lines

The MMD is in dangerous disarray. The UPND is attracting defectors and popular support, even from Banda himself

Former President Rupiah Bwezani Banda’s support for the United Party for National Development is weakening his own Movement for Multiparty Democracy. To oppose the governing ...



Pointers

Merry-go-rounds

The date has been set for the first round of the long-awaited presidential election: 25 October. A second round, if needed, and the parliamentary polls follow on 20 December. The n...


Yet another front

Ever since a major attack in mid-July at Kamango, in the Beni area of North Kivu, observers have wondered why the Allied Democratic Front-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda...


New name, same game

Inspired by a vision from God, King Mswati III has declared his country a ‘monarchical democracy’. This will make it clear to the international community that Swaziland...


Demos galore

The opposition Semayawi Party has said it will hold a demonstration on 7 September, having failed to stage a promised public show of opposition to the government in Addis Ababa on ...