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Published 25th April 1997

Vol 38 No 9


Business at war

As Laurent-Désiré Kabila's forces march towards Kinshasa, arguments about Zaïre's economic future are heating up

However Mobutu Sese Seko is finally chased from the Presidency, Zaïre's new rulers will inherit a formal economy that barely exists. In 1996 gross domestic product was just over half its 1988 level, and the population was still growing. The 1996 per capita income was about US$125, less than half the 1988 figure. Only the efforts of small-scale farmers, miners and traders – the informal sector – are averting pauperisation.

Keep trekking

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Afrikaner farmers move north, funded by the EU and some mysterious benefactors

One hundred and sixty years after the 'Great Trek' of Afrikaners from the Western Cape into the interior, a smaller, more bizarre trek is under way. Under government sponsorship, B...

Old wines, new bottles

Too long in the making, the new cabinet now faces constitutional and political challenges

After three months of indecision and wrangling, President Jerry Rawlings has still not produced a full cabinet list. Since his inauguration on 7 January for a second elected term i...

Flawed Landslide

A rerun is likely after parliamentary polls degenerated into chaos and confusion

Instead of confirming Mali's status as a multiparty democracy, the first round of legislative elections on 13 April, produced chaos at polling stations, an opposition boycott of th...

All fall out

A free-market Premier and an ex-military President have conflicting aims

It is always difficult to satisfy both international donors and home-grown politicians. President Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara (known as IBM), a military man with lukewarm s...


Blanchard's beach

The once-socialist government of Mozambique has made what may be the world's most extreme privatisation agreement. It is handing over the development of a region as large as Israel...

The debt dealers

Regional power politics in Africa seem to be delaying a decision on debt reduction for Uganda ahead of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund' s Spring meetings in Washingt...

Running for cover

Confusion abounds about General Sani Abacha's political intentions. Following an interview with the Washington Times in which Abacha said his possible candidacy in the 1998 preside...