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Magashule overplays his hand

Ace Magashule. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy
Ace Magashule. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy

After sidelining his main rival, President Ramaphosa has to take tough decisions on state companies, energy policy and jobs

There was no hint of triumphalism in Cyril Ramaphosa's measured speech on 10 May at the end of a dramatic three-day National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that saw his main opponent within the African National Congress, Secretary-General Ace Magashule, seal his own demise.

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Fatigue may be fatal

Cyril Ramaphosa and David Mabuza receiving South Africa's first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Cyril Ramaphosa and David Mabuza receiving South Africa's first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Africa's health ministers watch with alarm the disastrous fatality rate as the second wave of the virus rips across India

The Covid-19 experience in Africa has been something of a rollercoaster ride. Early predictions were calamitous, then it seemed to pass ominously mildly (unless you were in South A...


A country at war with itself

Muhammadu Buhari. Pic: Bernard Menigault / Alamy
Muhammadu Buhari. Pic: Bernard Menigault / Alamy

Political disputes between the federal and state governments are making the security crisis more intractable

Another day, another round of crisis meetings to tackle insurgents, armed criminal gangs and communal clashes. As the National Security Council of service and intelligence chiefs m...


The northern nexus

Muhammadu Buhari meets virtually with Antony Blinken. Pic: US State Department photo by Ron Przysucha
Muhammadu Buhari meets virtually with Antony Blinken. Pic: US State Department photo by Ron Przysucha

As the security emergency spreads across the core northern states, insurgents and bandits are devastating an already weakened regional economy

Until recently, governors in the northern states were chary of criticising President Muhammadu Buhari's government on security policy. That is changing as the crisis intensifies an...


Ofori-Atta promises a rebound

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

As public anger mounts about prices, jobs and graft, the Finance Minister insists the economic recovery is coming

Known for starting meetings with prayers and peppering them with Biblical quotations, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta took time off from the Christian Sabbath on 9 May to invite jo...


Transition under pressure

Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: International Hydropower Association
Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: International Hydropower Association

Prime Minister Hamdok is headed to Paris to negotiate a mammoth debt relief deal as economic hardship threatens stability

Struggling with one of the highest inflation rates in the world and a mountainous debt burden, Sudan saw a ray of light this week when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it...


Emmanuel l'Africain II

Mahamat Idriss Déby and Emmanuel Macron arrive to attend the state funeral of Idriss Déby Itno, N'Djamena, 23 April 2021. Pic:  Christophe Petit Tesson / Abaca Press / Alamy
Mahamat Idriss Déby and Emmanuel Macron arrive to attend the state funeral of Idriss Déby Itno, N'Djamena, 23 April 2021. Pic: Christophe Petit Tesson / Abaca Press / Alamy

With two upcoming summits, President Macron is trying once more to reset his country’s relationship with Africa

If President Emmanuel Macron needed a reminder of his country's reputation in Africa it came with the fury on the streets of Ndjamena to his ill-phrased remarks at the funeral of P...


Sunshine with a hint of cloud

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan addresses a joint Parliament session of Kenyan Members of Parliament and Senators in Nairobi, Kenya, 5 May 2021. Pic: Monicah Mwangi / Reuters / Alamy
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan addresses a joint Parliament session of Kenyan Members of Parliament and Senators in Nairobi, Kenya, 5 May 2021. Pic: Monicah Mwangi / Reuters / Alamy

President Samia Suluhu Hassan's goodwill visit to Nairobi early this month succeeded in substituting warmth and bonhomie for the mistrust and suspicion that characterised the late ...


Total wants new terms

Mozambique LNG Project. Pic: mzlng.total.com
Mozambique LNG Project. Pic: mzlng.total.com

French oil giant Total has been forced to follow through on its recent declaration of force majeure, and begin demobilising millions of dollars' worth of equipment from its gas pro...


Sankara's ghost

Thomas Sankara. Pic: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy
Thomas Sankara. Pic: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy

As President Roch Kaboré's government argues about the treatment of exiled former president Blaise Compaoré, the military courts seem determined to throw the book at him. On...


Gertler's billions

Dan Gertler. Pic: www.dan-gertler.com
Dan Gertler. Pic: www.dan-gertler.com

Dan Gertler's mining deals could cause losses to Kinshasa's treasury of at least US$3.7 billion, more than double previous estimates, according to new data from a coalition of Cong...


Edging Farmajo towards the exit

Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed 'Farmajo'. Pic: AMISOM Photo/ Ilyas Ahmed
Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed 'Farmajo'. Pic: AMISOM Photo/ Ilyas Ahmed

Belated foreign pressure persuaded President Mohamed 'Farmajo' to step back from the brink, now mediation and talks might help end the turmoil

Threats to cut foreign funding and local opposition pressure have finally forced President Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed 'Farmajo' to ditch a planned two-year extension to his tenure. P...


Don’t show us the money

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

Kenyans worry that the government is leading donors on a familiar dance as it continues to increase borrowing


Death on the front line, a coup, and then an about turn

Emmanuel Macron Félix Tshisekedi pay their respects at the funeral of Idriss Déby Itno. Pic: Christophe Petit Tesson / Abaca Press / Alamy
Emmanuel Macron Félix Tshisekedi pay their respects at the funeral of Idriss Déby Itno. Pic: Christophe Petit Tesson / Abaca Press / Alamy

Having endorsed a takeover by General Mahamat Déby after his father's death, France and the African Union are having second thoughts

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Fear and loathing in Monrovia

George Weah. Pic: Alexandros Michailidis /Alamy
George Weah. Pic: Alexandros Michailidis /Alamy

Another suspicious death adds to growing unease about George Weah's rule and the consequences of speaking against him


The battle over the bench

Judge John Hlophe swearing in Minister Bongani Bongo in October 2017. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Judge John Hlophe swearing in Minister Bongani Bongo in October 2017. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

A bid to impeach a senior judge is part of the wider fight between loyalists of President Ramaphosa and his predecessor


Coalition’s sky-high ambitions

Félix Tshisekedi. Pic: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/Alamy
Félix Tshisekedi. Pic: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/Alamy

A new government plans to transform its finances and take on rebel groups but is reliant on a band of political godfathers


Oil reform gathers pace

Pic: Jan / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Jan / stock.adobe.com

Lobbying frenzy as parliament prepares long-awaited bill to reform and restructure energy industry