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Strife hampers Bio's reforms

Julius Maada Bio. Pic: Dmitry Feoktistov/Tass/PA Images
Julius Maada Bio. Pic: Dmitry Feoktistov/Tass/PA Images

The government's reforming zeal on education and administration is far from healing wider social divisions

Rowdy partisan battles and a pandemic-weakened economy are slowing the government's efforts to create jobs and invest in education and public health. Promoting national reconciliation after two decades of civil strife is proving harder than the cheerleaders of President Julius Maada Bio had claimed.


Watering down the wine

Bobi Wine. Pic: Sally Hayden / SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images
Bobi Wine. Pic: Sally Hayden / SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

The failure of oppositionists Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye to agree an alliance boosts President Museveni's electoral chances

The country's opposition parties are divided over tactics and local rivalries ahead of national elections next year. The hopes that the political sensation Robert Kyagulanyi, aka B...


A government walkover

CCM supporters, September 2020. Pic: CCM Tanzania
CCM supporters, September 2020. Pic: CCM Tanzania

Years of restrictions and violence against the opposition makes President Magufuli a shoo-in for re-election in October

Tanzania is set for six weeks of phoney election campaigning before, as is widely expected, President John Pombe Magufuli secures a second five-year term on 28 October at the gener...


Exile flies into a trap

Paul Rusesabagina. Pic: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga/PA Images
Paul Rusesabagina. Pic: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga/PA Images

The celebrated hotel manager turned regime opponent was flown to arrest in Kigali by the President's favourite charter jet company

Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life character behind the 2004 Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda, ended up on show in Kigali in handcuffs on 4 September raising myriad questions of internat...


Regions take on the centre

Oromo community protest, London, 3 July 2020. Pic: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images
Oromo community protest, London, 3 July 2020. Pic: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

With mass protests and unofficial elections, oppositionists in Oromia and Tigray are demanding the federal system be redrawn

Although Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government says it is trying to unite a divided Ethiopia, its opponents argue it is dismantling the multinational federation and replacing it w...

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Building back bigger

"File: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Buhari.png" by NarenderShimla is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
"File: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Buhari.png" by NarenderShimla is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Planning to spend over 20 billion dollars on grand projects, the Buhari government is raising tariffs and tolls as well as taking on more debt

Many Nigerians are disappointed that, as President Muhammadu Buhari is a year into his second term, he has not done more to halt the scourge of corrupt trading deals and build up n...


How to defend the indefensible

Ace Magashule. Pic: GCIS
Ace Magashule. Pic: GCIS

If ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule isn’t caught up in a prosecution, the President’s clean-up could be stopped in its tracks

Leading South Africa's delegation for crisis talks in Zimbabwe on 8 September – no matter how tortuous – must have been a welcome break for Ace Magashule, away from the...


Cyril wins a battle over graft

Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: GCIS
Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: GCIS

With backing from ANC leaders and vast evidence, the President can make good on his pledge to prosecute rogue officials

It may prove to be the most decisive two days in Cyril Ramaphosa's presidency. He went into the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress on 29 August facing a ...


First the good news…

Cape Town, South Africa, July 2020. Pic: RealTime Images/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images
Cape Town, South Africa, July 2020. Pic: RealTime Images/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Although Africa may escape the worst of the health emergency, concern is mounting about its effects on economies and public services

As Africa cautiously welcomes the positive news that it looks like it will escape the worst ravages of Covid-19 infections, it is also having to deal with the fallout of several re...


A shaky start for the new broom

Pic: Visual Content / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Visual Content / stock.adobe.com

President Chakwera's fight against corruption is popular but concerns are growing about nepotism and schisms in his coalition

The first sixty days of office have not been kind to President Lazarus Chakwera. Swept into office on a wave of campaign promises of clean government and the creation of a million ...


Parties campaign as jihadists advance

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Pacific Press/SIPA USA/PA Images
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Pacific Press/SIPA USA/PA Images

The election contest is a lively affair between elite rivals but none of them has a clear plan to defeat the armed insurgents that have cut across the country

Burkina Faso is holding presidential and parliamentary elections on 22 November, although many parts of the country are unlikely to participate because the safety of polling booths...


Listing reputations

Pic: johan10 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: johan10 / stock.adobe.com

The listing of Botswana in February on the European Union's list of countries deemed not to be cooperating in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing came as a s...


Sins of the commission

"File:Zitto Kabwe 2011.jpg" by Pernille Bærendtsen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
"File:Zitto Kabwe 2011.jpg" by Pernille Bærendtsen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The opposition claims President John Magufuli is pulling out all the stops to prevent its candidates being registered for the October general election, although it is unlikely to m...


Africans in the lead

DG Selection Process 2020: Press conference - Ms Amina C. Mohamed, Kenya by World Trade Organization is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
DG Selection Process 2020: Press conference - Ms Amina C. Mohamed, Kenya by World Trade Organization is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

By the end of this year, two of the most important international organisations, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corp...


The junta haggles on transition

Kati, 19 August 2020. (Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images)
Kati, 19 August 2020. (Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images)

The colonels face down the demands of regional leaders while the West wants to get back to fighting the jihadists. Keïta is all but forgotten

It's been a week of hard bargaining in Bamako and over the West African airwaves as the putschists who turfed Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of the presidency negotiate with the E...

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Inside the state capture project

A recorded telephone released on social media exposes the extent of Kuda Tagwirei's business empire and its ties to the presidency

If the leaked audio recording of his telephone call with ruling party acolyte Temba Mliswa is any guide, businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei's role in government is stronger than ever ...


Time to re-open

Dr Stanley Okolo. Pic: WAHO
Dr Stanley Okolo. Pic: WAHO

Africa’s lockdown era is nearing the end as policy-makers focus on how to live with Covid-19 rather than defeat it

The shadow-boxing over Covid-19 in Africa appears to be over. While retaining measures to protect public health wherever possible, the priority is now shifting to opening up econom...


All power to the governors

Timipre Sylva. Pic: Valery Sharifulin/Tass/PA Images
Timipre Sylva. Pic: Valery Sharifulin/Tass/PA Images

Watching the confusion and rivalries in Abuja, the states are trying to take control of resources and security

Timipre Sylva's meeting with Nyesom Wike at the governor's mansion in Port Harcourt on 23 August bore all the signs of an old friends' reunion. Both are political kingpins from the...


Graft puts ANC on the spot

Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: GCIS
Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: GCIS

Allegations of Covid-related procurement fraud by ruling party officials are threatening to derail public confidence in the President

President Cyril Ramaphosa is in a desperate fight for the credibility of the African National Congress after a spate of arrests and asset seizures over fraud in the procurement of ...


Trading favours

Donald Trump and Uhuru Kenyatta, the White House, 6 February 2020. Pic: Stefani Reynolds/DPA/PA Images
Donald Trump and Uhuru Kenyatta, the White House, 6 February 2020. Pic: Stefani Reynolds/DPA/PA Images

A trade deal between Nairobi and Washington appears to make political and economic sense for both sides but critics see dangers for Kenyatta

President Donald Trump has used his presidency to launch trade wars against China, the European Union and his North American Free Trade Association partners. His government has blo...


Terms of re-engagement

Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: Bernd von Jutrczenka/DPA/PA Images
Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: Bernd von Jutrczenka/DPA/PA Images

Normalise relations with Israel and compensate the victims of Al Qaida terrorism was the straightforward message from United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to Sudan's Prim...


The downside of a landslide

Supporters of Alassane Ouattara attend an event in Abidjan, 23 August 2020. Pic: Yvan Sonh/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Supporters of Alassane Ouattara attend an event in Abidjan, 23 August 2020. Pic: Yvan Sonh/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

That the Commission électorale indépendante (CEI) would clear President Alassane Ouattara to stand for a third term – as happened on 24 August – was never...


Don't you know who I am?

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Pic: Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Pic: Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Ex-President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has just returned home after a week of detention and interrogation by police over allegations of corruption during his 11 years in office. It i...


No road back for Keïta

Colonel-Major Ismaël Wagué (C) speaks during a press conference in Kati, 19 August 2020. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua/PA Images
Colonel-Major Ismaël Wagué (C) speaks during a press conference in Kati, 19 August 2020. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua/PA Images

Mutinous soldiers have delivered the coup de grâce to a failing regime as envoys go through the motions of trying to restore the president

The pro forma condemnation by West African leaders of the overthrow of the hapless President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on 18 August – not to mention the strong popular supp...


Bridgette's border war escalates

Bridgette Motsepe and her husband Jeff Radebe. Pic: GCIS
Bridgette Motsepe and her husband Jeff Radebe. Pic: GCIS

A South African billionaire wants to sue the government in Gaborone as President Masisi's battle with his predecessor intensifies

It is political drama of the pandemic age. At an international press conference on video-link on 19 August, mining magnate Bridgette Motsepe rejected accusations of money-launderin...


Noisy neighbours

SADC Summit, August 2020. Pic:GCIS
SADC Summit, August 2020. Pic:GCIS

The public health emergency and the economic meltdown are deepening the dependence of South Africa's neighbours on the region's dominant power

Trying to manage the biggest Covid-19 outbreak in Africa as well as rebuilding the economy and institutions after the disastrous presidency of Jacob Zuma add up to South Africa's b...


The Kenyatta-Odinga deal starts fraying

Pic: Twitter @AtwoliDza
Pic: Twitter @AtwoliDza

As the Building Bridges Initiative stalls, politicians are readying for a battle over the top jobs

The Building Bridges Initiative – the political deal concocted between opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta – is in trouble again. Enough trouble...


Citing force majeure, Ouattara will run for a third term

Alassane Ouattara. Pic: Eliot Blondet/ABACA/PA Images
Alassane Ouattara. Pic: Eliot Blondet/ABACA/PA Images

Two heavyweight exiles with legal problems – Guillaume Soro and Laurent Gbagbo – are set to reopen the old fights as they oppose the President’s re-election

The decision by President Alassane Dramane Ouattara to tear up his promise to make way for a new generation of leaders is a gamble that risks dividing the ruling party and energisi...