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Nigeria

Economic woes test voter loyalties

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

Facing chronic fuel shortages and a contentious reissue of the national currency, politicians search for targets to blame

The country's economic emergency in all its facets – chronic fuel shortage, protests against a politicised redesign and reissue of the naira, and the threat of ballooning national debt to finance recurrent costs – is dominating the run-up to the 25 February presidential and legislative elections.


Electoral Commission goes on trial again

Pic: @WilliamsRuto
Pic: @WilliamsRuto

As a tribunal hears claims of fraud in the electoral commission, President Ruto and Raila Odinga accuse each other’s supporters of treason

As President William Ruto's government tries to fast-track the selection of new commissioners to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), it has been exchanging ...


Can Ramaphosa get the lights back on?

Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

With rolling power cuts obliterating support for the ANC, the government is being pushed to act against vested interests

After four days of deliberations, on 29 January the ruling African National Congress agreed in principle to declare a national disaster in response to rolling power cuts which Pres...


Clashes damage recognition campaign

Pic: Bumble Dee / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Bumble Dee / stock.adobe.com

The security force shootings in Las Anod have highlighted the grievances of Somaliland residents who don't want independence for the statelet

The security force shootings in Las Anod at the turn of the year are having major repercussions in the region, including on the disputed Sool region and on Hargeisa's long-running ...


West Africa’s juntas look east

Ibrahim Traore and soldiers, Ouagadougou, October 2022. Pic: Vincent Bado/Reuters/Alamy
Ibrahim Traore and soldiers, Ouagadougou, October 2022. Pic: Vincent Bado/Reuters/Alamy

Ouagadougou is set to be the next military regime to invite Russian mercenaries after giving France a month for its troops to leave

Captain Ibrahim Traoré's regime has brushed aside the concerns of fellow members of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and gone even further than Mali an...

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MPs expose airline fiasco

Jenifer Bamuturaki. Pic: @Parliament_Ug
Jenifer Bamuturaki. Pic: @Parliament_Ug

Africa Confidential has obtained a devastating secret report on huge losses and mismanagement afflicting the flag-carrier, Uganda Airlines

Uganda Airlines has lost US$137 million since it launched in August 2019, according to a parliamentary public accounts committee report which was suppressed by the Speaker of Parli...


Speaker accused of undermining parliament

Pic: @UG_Airlines
Pic: @UG_Airlines

Opposition MPs say Parliament's Speaker blocked a debate on corruption in the national airline, and is President Museveni's stooge

When Parliamentary Speaker, Anita Among, suppressed discussion on 17 January of a report into corruption and mismanagement at Uganda Airlines she triggered a political furore. Oppo...


Finance and energy access come first

Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber. Pic: Christoph Soeder/dpa/Alamy
Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber. Pic: Christoph Soeder/dpa/Alamy

The IMF, World Bank and G20 face growing pressure to raise funds for climate goals ahead of the UN COP28 summit in Dubai

Arguments over emissions cuts, climate finance and developing economies' access to energy are set to dominate the UN COP28 Climate summit in Dubai in November. Despite sharpening g...


Low turn-out saps Saïed

Kaïs Saïed casts his vote. Pic: @TnPresidency
Kaïs Saïed casts his vote. Pic: @TnPresidency

Pressure on President Kaïs Saïed to step down is mounting after a series of political reverses and stark evidence of his diminishing popularity, the most recent of which ...


Mswati digs in and defies SADC

Activists  in Nakuru, Kenya pay tribute to Thulani Maseko. Pic: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy
Activists in Nakuru, Kenya pay tribute to Thulani Maseko. Pic: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy

King Mswati III remains deaf to pleas for reform despite growing pressure on him in the wake of the assassination of democracy activist and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko in hi...


Resurrecting the 'Russosphere'

'Merci Wagner': pro-government demonstrators in Bamako. Pic:  @ultradeadd
'Merci Wagner': pro-government demonstrators in Bamako. Pic: @ultradeadd

The spike in pro-Russian sentiment in the Sahel has been linked to an obscure Belgian activist, Luc Michel. Describing himself as a 'Stalinist', Michel, 65, founded a Belgian versi...


Journalist death prompts criticism

John Williams Ntwali
John Williams Ntwali

International criticism is mounting against President Paul Kagame's government after 90 mainly Africa-based rights and media groups called for an independent and impartial probe in...


History won't repeat itself

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. Pic: Samir Bol/Reuters/Alamy
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. Pic: Samir Bol/Reuters/Alamy

Political parties are negotiating a new path to elections while the generals protect their interests and militant oppositionists take to the streets

The bold hopes surrounding fresh talks between Sudanese political parties on 9 January to agree a final deal for a transition to civil rule 'within a few weeks' look overblown.

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Lourenço faces a tough rebuild

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

An emboldened opposition and internal dissent point to hard months ahead for the President

President João Lourenço came out of last August's elections doubly weakened – by the opposition, which made historic gains despite the ruling Movimento Popular ...


Could a cold war turn hot?

Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Kaïs Saïed. Pic: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters/Alamy
Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Kaïs Saïed. Pic: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters/Alamy

Chaos on the EU's southern flank could mean trouble as Algeria and Morocco turn up the heat and Tunisians lose patience with their never-ending crisis

High levels of oil and gas revenues meant Algeria ended 2023 with good economic results on paper, as foreign reserves rebuilt to over US$60 billion and enough money entered the sta...


Hichilema faces critical delivery test

Pic: @HHichilema
Pic: @HHichilema

Belts are tightening and scepticism is growing about the government's ability to fulfil its election pledges

At the present rate of progress President Hakainde Hichilema and his United Party for National Development (UPND) – elected in a landslide by voters fed up with six years of ...


Government by chequebook

Abdel Hamid Dubaiba. Pic:Islam Alatrash/SOPA Images/Sipa US Alamy
Abdel Hamid Dubaiba. Pic:Islam Alatrash/SOPA Images/Sipa US Alamy

Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dubaiba will use the central bank to shore up his power base and buy off opponents

Elections look unlikely again this year. After the eastern-based House of Representatives (HoR) blamed the failure of the December 2021 presidential elections on Prime Minister Abd...


The colonels and captains settle in

Mamady Doumbouya attends his swearing-in ceremony as transitional president in Conakry, 1 October 2021. Pic: Xinhua/Alamy
Mamady Doumbouya attends his swearing-in ceremony as transitional president in Conakry, 1 October 2021. Pic: Xinhua/Alamy

Beset by jihadist insurgents, the juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso are shakier than Guinea – but none offer long-term answers to their countries' problems

The military juntas running Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso – in place since August 2020, September 2021, and January 2022 respectively – are set, according to their own timetables,...


Grand ambitions, little money

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meet with Angolan President João Lourenço, Washington, D.C. December 13, 2022. Pic: Freddie Everett/State Department photo/Public Domain
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meet with Angolan President João Lourenço, Washington, D.C. December 13, 2022. Pic: Freddie Everett/State Department photo/Public Domain

After the summits in Brussels and Washington, their big promises will be tested on debt, trade and investment this year

For many of the delegates who travelled to Washington DC for the United States-African leaders' summit on 13-15 December, the first such gathering in eight years, it was a microcos...


Sall manoeuvres for a high-risk third term

Pic: @Macky_Sall
Pic: @Macky_Sall

The president's camp is preparing for the 2024 elections and the challenge from Sonko and the growing opposition movement

Ousmane Sonko, the charismatic leader of the Pastefs les Patriotes opposition party, is in full campaign mode for the presidential elections due in early 2024 – although Pres...


Moscow's goals are global not local

Yevgeny Prigozhin at the funeral of a Wagner group fighter, December 2022. Pic: Aleksey Smagin/Kommersant/Sipa US/Alamy
Yevgeny Prigozhin at the funeral of a Wagner group fighter, December 2022. Pic: Aleksey Smagin/Kommersant/Sipa US/Alamy

President Putin's backing for authoritarian regimes in West and Central Africa bolsters his confrontation with France and the EU


The succession race starts

Alan Kyerematen hands over to caretaker Minister of Trade and Industry, Samuel Abu Jinapor. Pic: @AlanKyerematen
Alan Kyerematen hands over to caretaker Minister of Trade and Industry, Samuel Abu Jinapor. Pic: @AlanKyerematen