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Published 22nd March 2019

Vol 60 No 6


Tanzania

Farming gamble fails

Pic: SAGCOT
Pic: SAGCOT

Ambitions for venture capital in agriculture – once the Next Big Thing – are foundering

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), one of ex-President Jakaya Kikwete's favourite projects, touted globally as a radical policy to support smallholders while promoting foreign venture capital investment in the sector, is in deep trouble after the government cancelled the US$47 million Matching Grant Fund (MGF). The facility aimed to match private investment with public funds and was backed by a World Bank loan worth $70m, which the Bank is now withdrawing on the government's request.

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Sibling rivalry turns ugly

A mixture of real fears and deep paranoia on both sides lies behind the current crisis, stirring memories of a vicious clash nearly 20 years ago

Ten days after Rwanda closed its main border post with Uganda on 28 February, forcing trucks and buses from Uganda into days-long delays at the customs post of the quieter Mirama H...


Election credibility on trial

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019

With his party winning new ground in state elections, the opposition presidential candidate alleges systematic voter fraud

Promising to call evidence from forensic scientists, statisticians and psephologists, the People's Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar filed his petition challen...



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THE INSIDE VIEW

In Mozambique, Cyclone Idai has torn through the homes of over 1.7 million people in what is turning into a regional catastrophe.  Eye-witnesses speak of an 'inland ocean' forming west of Beira, which has been almost completely cut off from the rest of the country. Within hours, the chaos spread to neighbouring Malawi and Zimbabwe, which appear to have been even less well prepared for the disaster.

Although early reports said around 100 ...

In Mozambique, Cyclone Idai has torn through the homes of over 1.7 million people in what is turning into a regional catastrophe.  Eye-witnesses speak of an 'inland ocean' forming west of Beira, which has been almost completely cut off from the rest of the country. Within hours, the chaos spread to neighbouring Malawi and Zimbabwe, which appear to have been even less well prepared for the disaster.

Although early reports said around 100 people had been killed in Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi reckons that as many as a thousand have lost their lives in the ensuing devastation. The United Nations, which has flown in an assessment team, says that its meteorological experts warn that it could become the worst humanitarian disaster ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere.

This cyclone looks likely to be more devastating than the floods of 2000, when it rained for five weeks with over 700 fatalities. Then, Mozambique won plaudits for its emergency response and the resilience and generosity of its people.  Since then, the ruling clique, including both the past and current presidents, Armando Guebuza and Nyusi, have been held responsible for presiding over a US$2 billion secret loans scandal which has deprived citizens of vital public services. Now, the priority is to rescue the thousands of people trapped by the disaster, but this tragedy should also shine a light on the systemic corruption in the country and the elite's effort to conceal it.

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A spring in the step

The president may be on his way out, but who will replace him is far from clear as the protest movement ploughs on

The Arab Spring has finally reached Algeria. People power on a scale not seen in 30 years forced elderly and infirm President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to agree not to stand for a fifth...


Ncube wins foreign fans

The economy is crashing at home, with worse in the pipeline, but the Finance Minister’s plans are winning support overseas

Backed by France, Japan and South Africa, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is pushing a tough economic reform plan to pay off Zimbabwe's international arrears by the end of the year a...


ANC’s not-so-clean slates

The ruling party’s candidate list for May’s elections is full of Zuma loyalists, which could damage the President’s image and cost votes

President Cyril Ramaphosa's anti-corruption campaign is being undermined by key leaders of the ruling African National Congress loyal to former President Jacob Zuma. They have enab...


Kabila corners Tshisekedi

The ex-president may have left the official residence but he now has the power to remove his successor at will

Elections to fill the 108 seats of Congo-Kinshasa's senate have delivered Joseph Kabila's political coalition a decisive majority in the upper house and handed him the power to imp...



Pointers

Reformers take power

The Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) of Domingo Simões Perreira won the 10 March parliamentary elections but fell short of the absolute majority ...


Is it an olive branch?

President John Magufuli's Foreign Minister, Augustine Mahiga, took Brussels aback last month when he announced that talks would re-open on the stalled Economic Partnership Agreemen...