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Published 24th October 2014

Vol 55 No 21


Africa’s growth plans face stronger headwinds

Growth and development in Africa's economies
Growth and development in Africa's economies

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In a much harsher international climate, Africa’s economic managers are promoting regional trade and boosting investment in power and transport

Bankers hosting parties for their government friends were a little more discreet than usual – perhaps in deference to rising political and economic uncertainties – at the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on 9-11 October in Washington DC. But to judge by the overflowing corridors of the discreet five-star Hay-Adams Hotel on 16th Street, they were still making plenty of deals, in Africa’s frontier and emerging markets as well as in Western economies.


Frelimo wins, Renamo revives

Persistent reports of fraud will not prevent wide acceptance of Nyusi’s victory, amid hopes of a more inclusive government

The most closely-fought campaign in 20 years of multiparty elections saw the governing party claim a decisive but controversial victory. Civil society organisations, the independen...


Doctors at large

The First Lady is now running in the succession race but even she has hurdles to clear on her tour of the stadium

Dr Grace Mugabe and Dr Joice Mujuru graduated together with PhDs from the University of Zimbabwe in September and were capped by President Robert Mugabe in his role as Chancellor a...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Africa has lost two strong independent voices in the past week: Efua Dorkenoo, the Ghanaian women’s rights activist, and Ali Mazrui, the Kenyan academic and author.

Dorkenoo left her home in Cape Coast and went to work as a nurse in London, where she saw the agony of a woman who had been infibulated giving birth in the mid-1970s. This prompted her to launch a campaign against Female Genital Mutilation. After she relentlessly petitioned officials, Britain passed The Prohibition of Fem...

Africa has lost two strong independent voices in the past week: Efua Dorkenoo, the Ghanaian women’s rights activist, and Ali Mazrui, the Kenyan academic and author.

Dorkenoo left her home in Cape Coast and went to work as a nurse in London, where she saw the agony of a woman who had been infibulated giving birth in the mid-1970s. This prompted her to launch a campaign against Female Genital Mutilation. After she relentlessly petitioned officials, Britain passed The Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act in 1985, and most Western and many other governments followed suit. Although the World Health Organisation hired Dorkenoo as a director of its Women’s Health Department, it was not until 2012 that the United Nations codified FGM as a human rights violation.

Mazrui, a polymath academician with an encyclopaedic knowledge of African politics and culture, also battled entrenched interests. A professor at Uganda’s Makerere University in the early 1970s, he was asked by the military ruler Idi Amin Dada to become his chief advisor on foreign affairs. Mazrui replied publicly with a searing condemnation of Amin’s brutal rule, then left to take up a teaching post at Ann Arbor University, Michigan, United States. His radical, groundbreaking, nine-part television documentary series, 'The Africans', co-funded by the US Public Broadcasting Service and the BBC, sparked criticism and praise for its condemnation of both colonialism and Marxism. More recently, Mazrui remarked to a friend that his life had been 'one long debate'.

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Bad time for an oil boom

Governance issues would be complicated enough if it weren’t also for the arrival of new guests at the feast

Like its neighbours Tanzania and Uganda, Kenya has found that hydrocarbon discoveries require complicated legal and institutional reforms to manage the resource and deal with inves...


Mbabazi on the ropes

The President’s manoeuvres to oust his erstwhile friend as Secretary General of the NRM are accelerating

President Yoweri Museveni aims to limit possible leadership challenges from within the governing National Resistance Movement through wide-ranging changes to the party’s cons...


Fraud claims taint Frelimo win

Early signs indicate a landslide for the ruling party, but claims of rigging are growing and there is serious potential for unrest

Frente de Libertação de Moçambique members in Maputo are already celebrating victory in the general election, even though the formal results are not due for se...


Party rivalries grow as Sata ails

The President’s departure for medical treatment on the eve of the country’s 50th birthday seems to confirm the severity of his condition

Few believe that President Michael Sata would miss such a prestigious event as tomorrow's 50th anniversary of Zambia's Independence. And yet a State House statement said he had lef...


Follow the money

A leak from Italian prosecutors reveals more details about the recipients of the US$800 million from the OPL 245 licence sale

Telephone taps of Italian middlemen in the deal over Oil Prospecting Licence 245 reveal extraordinary detail about the manoeuvring that led to the agreement between the Nigerian go...


Frelimo braces for impact

A major swing towards the opposition is likely but the spectre of poll-fraud casts a shadow over tomorrow’s vote

All the signs point to victory for Frente de Libertação de Moçambique presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi in the polls on 15 October, but the outcome of the pa...


Crisis returns as talks falter

Negotiations over the future of the north have resumed without much sign of any rapprochement

Lethal attacks by jihadists on United Nations' forces and armed clashes among Tuareg factions take place against a background of another round of sluggish peace talks in Algiers. N...


Comrades in arms deals

Ever more visits by European and US military officials to North African capitals suggest old connections are back on course

The global news agenda has moved on since the attack on the Tiguentourine gas plant near In Amenas in Algeria in January 2013 and the ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi th...



Pointers

Next stop, Rome

Senior officials from the African Union, European Union and United Nations were at the Police Club House in Khartoum on 13-16 October for the AU's Regional Conference on Human Traf...


Cashgate, gaolgate

The arrest of former National Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo and his wife on 18 October is proof that the Cashgate scandal has yet to peak, say political and legal insiders in Lilong...


Coalition time

Tunisia elects a new, 217-member Parliament on 26 October and all eyes are on the possible coalitions that will follow. A formal coalition between the front-runners, the Islamist H...