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Kapofi sparks outrage over genocide deal

Pic: Oleksii / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Oleksii / stock.adobe.com

The SWAPO government's defence of Berlin's compensation offer for its troops' genocide against the Herero and Nama fuels opposition, raising questions about a new hydrogen deal

Anger about the May 2021 genocide 'reconciliation' with Germany – under which Berlin is due to pay Namibia just €1.1 billion (US$1.3bn) over 30 years for its colonial massacres in 1904-8 – has been reignited by Defence Minister Frans Kapofi's defence of the deal. The row over the genocide deal and questions about its possible linkage to a pioneering but opaque hydrogen energy investment risks turning it into the first foreign relations farrago for the new government in Berlin in an era of growing awareness of colonial atrocities.


Prisoners' release sparks war cries

Pic: @eskinder_nega
Pic: @eskinder_nega

Intended as a conciliatory move, the release of political prisoners has met with calls to intensify the war with Tigray

When the federal government released several high-profile political prisoners this month, supporting its planned 'national dialogue', leading Amhara politicians hit back warning th...


Moscow guns for African gold

Russia-Africa Summit, Sochi, October 2019. Pic: GovernmentZA (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Russia-Africa Summit, Sochi, October 2019. Pic: GovernmentZA (CC BY-ND 2.0)

At this year’s summit, Putin has to offer African officials a better reason than mercenaries to switch allegiance from their traditional allies

President Vladimir Putin's government is organising the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in November: it is a moment of truth to prove how Russia has made a breakthrou...


Living in limboland

Abdelmajid Tebboune. Pic: Xinhua / Alamy
Abdelmajid Tebboune. Pic: Xinhua / Alamy

The military-backed clean-up and stronger export earnings are unlikely to help the economy. Reform is promised but structural change is unlikely

President Abdelmajid Tebboune's government breathed a typically Algerian sigh of relief as more stable oil prices and the higher gas prices have infused the cash-strapped treasury ...


The ANC faces a reckoning on corruption

Parliament, Cape Town, 3 January 2022. Pic: Sumaya Hisham / Reuters / Alamy
Parliament, Cape Town, 3 January 2022. Pic: Sumaya Hisham / Reuters / Alamy

Opposition parties hope to exploit factional battles in the ruling party ahead of its elective conference in December

The sight of flames blazing from the 147-year-old parliament building in Cape Town in the early hours of 2 January was a discouraging start to what is set to be another tough year....


Contenders fill the stage

Pic: @MBuhari
Pic: @MBuhari

As economic and security woes mount, electoral calculations will shape policy and business strategy

With presidential and national assembly elections due in February 2023, political campaigns will go into overdrive this year as alliances are made and deals struck. Outgoing Presid...

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Military tactics dominate

Remains of a tank in Tigray. Pic: henk bogaard / stock.adobe.com
Remains of a tank in Tigray. Pic: henk bogaard / stock.adobe.com

A one-sided dialogue is unlikely to deliver peace as Prime Minister Abiy pushes for total victory

Both sides in the war between federal and Tigrayan forces will condition their willingness to negotiate on the military situation. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed starts the year having ...


Hustlers and handshakes

Pic: @RailaOdinga

Pic: @RailaOdinga

Government is on hold as a presidential race reliant on personalities and corralling regional blocs takes centre stage

Big challenges to President Uhuru Kenyatta's government are looming this year on the economic management front and on regional security. But barring a phenomenal new crisis, the po...


Opposition steps up disruption

Pic: @NAkufoAddo
Pic: @NAkufoAddo

With the two parties evenly matched in parliament, the opposition NDC tries for some tactical victories against the government

Eyeing tougher economic conditions, corruption allegations and growing concerns about regional security, the opposition National Democratic Congress reckons it should be able to wr...


A praetorian transition

Cop
Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: IHA (CC BY 2.0)

The battle between the generals and the resistance committees is intensifying after the exit of Prime Minister Hamdok

The resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on 2 January ended the transition to civil rule and elections as defined in the August 2019 agreement. But it has clarified the pol...


Reasons to be fearful

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022

Diplomatic spats with erstwhile European allies and rumblings in Western Sahara are unsettling the Makhzen

As they survey the country from the Makhzen (ruling establishment), King Mohammed VI (M6) and his advisors view the new year with some foreboding. The reasons aren't obvious.


Choosing Moscow

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022

Support from Russia will allow Touadéra to suppress opposition and avoid conciliation with rebels

The disputed elections last year that gave an opportunity to mercenaries from Russia's state-linked Wagner Group to assert their influence on politics in the Central African Republ...


Tales of adversity weigh on Nyusi

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022

Embattled by the insurgency in the north and the hidden loans scandal, President Nyusi faces a bruising year

Another troubled year is in store for President Filipe Nyusi as his unpopularity in the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo) grows due to his de...


Hichilema enjoys a honeymoon

Hakainde Hichilema in the National Assembly. Pic: Chalo Chatu Public domain
Hakainde Hichilema in the National Assembly. Pic: Chalo Chatu Public domain

Buoyed by strong local and international backing, the new government targets progress on debt and social policy

The big questions for President Haikainde Hichilema's new government are whether it will succeed in restructuring the country's US$14.71 billion foreign debt and live up to its ple...


The opposition sees a new chance

Luanda. Pic: Fabian / stock.adobe.com
Luanda. Pic: Fabian / stock.adobe.com

For the first time, the ruling MPLA will fight elections against an opposition coalition led by three credible contenders

Bringing together the biggest opposition parties, a new coalition will contest national elections in August on a combined ticket presenting the most serious threat to the 47-year r...


Après nous, le déluge?

Pic: Antony McAulay / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Antony McAulay / stock.adobe.com

Fruitless dialogue and the violent past of aspiring new leaders raise risks of turmoil despite the country's strong economic base

The country is entering unknown territory, with the three major political parties in various stages of disintegration. The stage is set for a era without the three men who have dom...


Jihadist terror tops the agenda

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Ludovic Marin/ Reuters / Alamy
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Ludovic Marin/ Reuters / Alamy

Amid increasingly deadly Islamist attacks, army reform is more urgent than ever and risks of a coup have risen

Reversing the spread of jihadist terrorist violence will be the dominant theme for Burkina Faso's government, especially as it has started to affect three of its four southern neig...


Sisi seeks security

Abdel Fattah el Sisi. Pic: sis.gov.eg
Abdel Fattah el Sisi. Pic: sis.gov.eg

Facing little opposition at home, the President is keen to boost his standing as a regional player

With no elections on the horizon, a dominant President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has no pressing reasons to make major changes to his government line-up. He will need to resolve the hea...


Hostage to the bad old ways

Félix Tshisekedi October 2021. (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Félix Tshisekedi October 2021. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

President Tshisekedi seems to have sewn up the 2023 elections, while realpolitik has put paid to his anti-corruption agenda

How time flies. In 2022 President Félix Tshisekedi enters the fourth year of his five-year 'mandate', with little so far to show the Congolese for it. His flagship programme...


Not letting go

Colonel Assimi Goïta and Bah N'Daw attend inauguration ceremony, Bamako, 25 September 25, 2020. Pic: Amadou Keita / Reuters / Alamy
Colonel Assimi Goïta and Bah N'Daw attend inauguration ceremony, Bamako, 25 September 25, 2020. Pic: Amadou Keita / Reuters / Alamy

Hanging on to power, the junta is using Russian mercenaries to counter regional pressure for elections

The colonels, in power since August 2020, seem impervious to international pressure, asserting they may need to stay in power for five more years, despite their earlier promise to ...


The junta seeks immunity

General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, Khartoum, December 4 2021. Pic: El Tayeb Siddig/ Reutersm / Alamy
General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, Khartoum, December 4 2021. Pic: El Tayeb Siddig/ Reutersm / Alamy

As they try to dominate the mooted transition, the ruling generals want to avoid prosecution for attacks on civilians


Tinubu fights for his legacy

Bola Tinubu. Pic: @AsiwajuTinubu
Bola Tinubu. Pic: @AsiwajuTinubu

Public opposition to the elite's handling of the #EndSARS protests will cost votes in the coming national elections


Raila's shallow coalition

Raila Odinga arrives at Kasarani stadium. Pic: Donwilson Odhiambo/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Alamy
Raila Odinga arrives at Kasarani stadium. Pic: Donwilson Odhiambo/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Alamy

Backed by the presidential camp, Odinga is now the establishment candidate, but he lacks his rival’s grassroots support


Economy under the weather

Pic: kriss75 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: kriss75 / stock.adobe.com

Drought and water mismanagement are pushing the country into famine. But with no serious opposition, Rajoelina reigns on


No justice for Cashgate crooks

Paul Mphwiyo.
Paul Mphwiyo.

After eight years of delay in probing the theft of $32m by public officials, prospects for closure under the new government are as dim as ever


Costly U-turn on killings

A protestor dances during a demonstration against police brutality at the State House of Assembly, Lagos, October 2020. Pic: Adeyinka Yusuf / Alamy
A protestor dances during a demonstration against police brutality at the State House of Assembly, Lagos, October 2020. Pic: Adeyinka Yusuf / Alamy

By rejecting the investigators' verdict on the Lekki shootings Governor Sanwo-Olu has lost voters' trust


President's situation is no joke

A popular comedian is ridiculing the head of state as he tries to counter popular discontent with a wave of anti-corruption arrests


Elections in grave danger

Farmajo's rival presidential candidates are so fed up with his manipulations of the electoral process they are calling for a boycott and mobilising their militias


Hamdok wavers as his isolation grows

Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: Simone Kuhlmey / Pacific Press Agency / Alamy
Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: Simone Kuhlmey / Pacific Press Agency / Alamy

The prime minister's position looks increasingly untenable as reformers distance themselves from the deal with the generals