Jump to navigation

Tanzania

Magufuli wants a mega-dam

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Experts say solar power is a better bet than projects like the Stiegler's Gorge dam, which has got the go-ahead in spite of conservationist concern

Plans to build a dam across the Rufiji River at Stiegler's Gorge pre-date Tanzania's independence, but no public or private finance could be found for the venture until 2018, when President John Magufuli's government announced that the 2,115 megawatt project would finally be built.


Crisis summit as insurgents head south

G5 Sahel summit group photo, Nouakchott, 30 June 2020. Francophonie General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo, Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Kabore, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, France President Emmanuel Macron, Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Chad President Idriss Deby, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Chair of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki. Pic: Ludovic Marin/Pool/ABACA/PA Images
G5 Sahel summit group photo, Nouakchott, 30 June 2020. Francophonie General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo, Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Kabore, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, France President Emmanuel Macron, Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Chad President Idriss Deby, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Chair of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki. Pic: Ludovic Marin/Pool/ABACA/PA Images

A deadly attack on Côte d'Ivoire focused the attention of President Macron and regional leaders in Nouakchott

The regional summit in the Mauritanian capital on 30 June started with a note of collective self-congratulation sounded by President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani speaking of reinforcemen...


Back to the scene of the crime

Maria Saro-Wiwa, widow of Ken Saro-Wiwa, joins protesters outside the Shell Centre on London's South Bank in 1997. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images
Maria Saro-Wiwa, widow of Ken Saro-Wiwa, joins protesters outside the Shell Centre on London's South Bank in 1997. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images

View site

A plan to restart oil production in Ogoniland amid a failing environmental clean-up risks repeating all the mistakes of 25 years ago

This week lawyers for the 40,000 people in the Ogale and Bille communities in the Niger Delta have been pressing their case in London's Supreme Court to hold Royal Dutch Shell liab...

READ FOR FREE

Retreating from the stage

FCO Sign. Pic Dark Dwarf, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
FCO Sign. Pic Dark Dwarf, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Merging the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office is more about opinion polls than policy substance

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that the Department for International Development (DFID) will be subsumed into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in September pr...


State companies in the firing line

24 June 2020. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers virtual Supplementary Budget speech to Parliament. Pic: GCIS
24 June 2020. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers virtual Supplementary Budget speech to Parliament. Pic: GCIS

With the ANC leadership united to fight the pandemic, President Ramaphosa may bring in liberalising reforms and end the bail-outs

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's post-Covid-19 budget is a balancing act that offers President Cyril Ramaphosa a chance to radically restructure the country's ailing state-owned ent...


The pandemic's collateral damage

Peter Sands at a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria press conference in October 2019. Pic: Boussuge Mathis/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images
Peter Sands at a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria press conference in October 2019. Pic: Boussuge Mathis/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

The focus on the coronavirus, coupled with logistical problems, is drawing resources from the fight against Africa’s other serious diseases

Covid-19 is serious enough, but in Africa the unintended consequences of diverting health service resources may be even worse. 'The knock-on effects of Covid-19 on the fight agains...


Frelimo’s belated cry for help

(L-R) Filipe Nyusi, Edgar Lungu, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mokgweetsi Masisi attend SADC summit on politics, defence and security cooperation. Harare, 19 May 2020. Pic: Shaun Jusa/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
(L-R) Filipe Nyusi, Edgar Lungu, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mokgweetsi Masisi attend SADC summit on politics, defence and security cooperation. Harare, 19 May 2020. Pic: Shaun Jusa/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Regional security bodies have been criticised for not doing more about the Islamist insurgency but Maputo was reluctant to sound the alarm

The crash of a Bathawk microlight aircraft belonging to the Dyck Advisory Group private military contractor (PMC) in Mozambique on 15 June has thrown a spotlight on a topic Maputo ...


The big borrow

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 11 March 2020. Pic: Климов Максим / stock.adobe.com
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 11 March 2020. Pic: Климов Максим / stock.adobe.com

Cairo has lined up external credit worth $15bn to help it deal with Covid-19, but the debt will be sustainable only if there is a rapid recovery

The first hard indication of the extent of the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic on Egypt’s finances came in early April, when the central bank released data showi...


Rose-tinted budgets

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Finance ministers promise economic growth and increased tax collection. But that doesn’t square with the reality

Optimism appears to be the name of the game as treasury ministers from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda followed the recent practice of coordinating their 2020/21 budgets ahead of the ne...


Locking down the system

Abdelmajid Tebboune. Pic: Ammi Louiza/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images
Abdelmajid Tebboune. Pic: Ammi Louiza/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

The elite is using the pandemic to consolidate its position while the grass-roots opposition struggles to regain traction

President Abdelmajid Tebboune's government is emerging from the coronavirus crisis financially much poorer but more politically secure, as the lockdown has given the post-Abdelaziz...


A golden hoard

Bukavu. Pic: Francesca Volpi / stock.adobe.comc
Bukavu. Pic: Francesca Volpi / stock.adobe.comc

Artisanal gold production funds local militias and is exported from neighbouring countries. A UN report invites more scrutiny of the trade

Artisanal gold exports from eastern Congo-Kinshasa have been high for some time, but no formal figures are available because nearly all production is unrecorded and informal. Betwe...


An 80s classic

Alassane Ouattara. Pic: Annegret Hilse / SVEN SIMON/DPA/PA
Alassane Ouattara. Pic: Annegret Hilse / SVEN SIMON/DPA/PA

There are plenty of heads of state in their 80s, but few who stand for presidential election at the age of 86. That's what Henri Konan Bédié – who was president from 1993 to 1999 –...


Taxing targets

Dar es Salaam. Pic: franco lucato / stock.adobe.com
Dar es Salaam. Pic: franco lucato / stock.adobe.com

The budget Minister for Finance and Planning Philip Mpango presented to parliament on 11 June held no surprises for citizens, but the next day's passing of the Finance Act caused a...


Narrow gaps

Pic: 12ee12 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: 12ee12 / stock.adobe.com

Malawi's rerun presidential election on 23 June went off relatively peacefully, and early returns as Africa Confidential went to press indicate that President Peter Mutharika has l...


Fake news flashback

Macky Sall. Pic: Xing Jianqiao/Xinhua News Agency/PA
Macky Sall. Pic: Xing Jianqiao/Xinhua News Agency/PA

An article smearing President Macky Sall's radical opponent in last year's presidential election may have been the work of one the country's most influential investigative journali...


Farewell to arms

SAS Drakensberg. Pic: Col André Kritzinger / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
SAS Drakensberg. Pic: Col André Kritzinger / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Debt-laden, dysfunctional and unable to find a modern role, the state arms-manufacturer is being steadily cut back

The debate about whether post-apartheid South Africa really needs its own arms industry and such a large military establishment has been raging since the country’s first demo...


Life without the 'Supreme Guide'

Evariste Ndayishimiye signs a condolence book for Pierre Nkurunziza. Pic: Evrard Ngendakumana/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Evariste Ndayishimiye signs a condolence book for Pierre Nkurunziza. Pic: Evrard Ngendakumana/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The new president has the chance to soothe neighbours exasperated by his late predecessor's belligerence

Evariste Ndayishimiye was sworn in as Burundi's president on 18 June, 10 days after the sudden death of his predecessor, Pierre Nkurunziza. The ceremony followed a ruling by the co...


Making free with repression

Awaiting food distribution, Pretoria, June 2020. Pic: Manash Das/Zuma Press/PA Images
Awaiting food distribution, Pretoria, June 2020. Pic: Manash Das/Zuma Press/PA Images

After a strong start mobilising people against the pandemic, Ramaphosa faces multiple complaints against the security forces and a looming economic meltdown

Civil rights activists, opposition politicians and business leaders are mounting legal and moral challenges to the lockdown, claiming it is being used as a cover for human rights v...


Ruling party wants a reset

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Pic: GCIS
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Pic: GCIS

Using the pandemic as a pretext, top ANC officials jostle for positions, some arguing for radical and sweeping policy changes

Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his centrist supporters were locked in combat with followers of former President Jacob Zuma, African...


From great crash to weak bounce

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The pandemic is forcing oil producers to find new ideas to attract investment and absorb the shocks. Some show promise. Others may have left it too late

The great hopes of strong growth for Africa's oil and gas producers this year, particularly in East and Southern Africa, have been crushed as companies scramble to cut planned inve...

READ FOR FREE

New chief, old battles

Ibrahim Gambari. Pic: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard
Ibrahim Gambari. Pic: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

President Buhari's top aide Ibrahim Gambari faces an array of rival interests trying to shape the government's direction

In the best traditions of international bureaucracy, Ibrahim Gambari, 75, has been consulting widely but quietly as he acclimatises to his new role as President Muhammadu Buhari's ...


The dearth of data

Screening students and staff as schools reopen in South Africa Pic: GCIS
Screening students and staff as schools reopen in South Africa Pic: GCIS

The pandemic is spreading unevenly across Africa and officials warn of a growing number of hotspots threatening public health

When Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation on 4 June, he outlined a dilemma facing many governments. The scientists were telling him to maintain the lockdown while t...


Uhuru takes it out on his party

State House, Nairobi. Pic: UNCTAD
State House, Nairobi. Pic: UNCTAD

An angry President Kenyatta vents his frustrations on dissident Jubilee MPs. His deputy stays within the tent for now

For the first time in three years, President Uhuru Kenyatta invited all 404 Jubilee Party legislators – 337 MPs and 67 Senators – to a parliamentary group meeting at St...


Shabaab’s surge

Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo'. Pic: Vladimir Smirnov/Tass/PA Images
Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo'. Pic: Vladimir Smirnov/Tass/PA Images

The Islamist militia is making new strides in the north-east. It may even have designs on Ethiopia’s troubled Somali region and Somaliland

While most attention focuses on the preparations for elections later in the year, Al Shabaab is targeting Puntland in a campaign of assassination, and its operations throughout nor...


Haftar falls back

GNA fighters in southern Tripoli, 4 June 2020. Pic: Hamza Turkia/Xinhua News Agency/PA
GNA fighters in southern Tripoli, 4 June 2020. Pic: Hamza Turkia/Xinhua News Agency/PA

Now that General Haftar is in retreat, he says he’s backing Egypt’s ceasefire plan. The government in Tripoli may try to finish him off first

Fourteen months after launching his 'lightning' offensive to seize the Libyan capital and oust the UN-recognised Government of National Accord, eastern-based General Khalifa Haftar...


Elections or bust

UN police serving with Minusca in Bangui. Pic: UN Photo/Herve Serefio
UN police serving with Minusca in Bangui. Pic: UN Photo/Herve Serefio

The president failed in a bid to change the constitution. Now he will have to contest the elections due by December, Covid-19 permitting

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has failed in his effort to change the constitution so that he could stay in office should this year's planned elections fail to take place beca...


Affairs of state and of the heart

Laurent Gbagbo after his arrest in 2011. Pic: Basile Zoma/Galbe/ABACA/PA Images
Laurent Gbagbo after his arrest in 2011. Pic: Basile Zoma/Galbe/ABACA/PA Images

With the ruling party’s presidential candidate in Paris for cardiac checks, two leading oppositionists are allowed by the ICC to return home

Once again, the International Criminal Court is upending Ivorian politics. This time it's the Court's surprise decision on 29 May to lift its travel restrictions on former Presiden...


Poll chaos looms

Peter Mutharika. Pic: Anton Novoderezhkin/Tass/PA Images
Peter Mutharika. Pic: Anton Novoderezhkin/Tass/PA Images

The chances of holding fresh elections in time are dwindling as the President blocks key appointments and confirmation of the poll date

While political parties push ahead with mass campaign rallies – ignoring all social distancing and the ban on gatherings of more than 100 – there is still no confirmed date for pre...


Damning the parks

Dense forest, Katanga. Pic: Alvaro / stock.adobe.com
Dense forest, Katanga. Pic: Alvaro / stock.adobe.com

Although the government plans to increase the area of Congo-Kinshasa's national parks from about one-tenth to one-fifth of the vast nation, threats against those that already exist...


Keïta cornered

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta casts his vote. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta casts his vote. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Nearly a week after the charismatic conservative imam Mahmoud Dicko led tens of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets of Bamako demanding President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta's r...