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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 energising the opposition. Ahead of national elections due in October, opposition groups will try to stall Ouattara's campaign by mounting a constitutional challenge to his bid for a third term.


Mnangagwa in search of enemies

Emmerson Mnangagwa. Pic: UN Photo/Rick Bajorna
Emmerson Mnangagwa. Pic: UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

After two years of dangerous drift, military officers and state officials are covertly talking to oppositionists about the President’s exit and a transitional authority

The extraordinary morning broadcast by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 4 August reinforced the national sense that his legitimacy is eroding as fast as the value of Zimbabwean doll...

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In virus veritas

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

The Covid-19 pandemic is revealing some uncomfortable truths about the country’s politics as the pressures and dangers increase

Most accept that the ruling African National Congress and President Cyril Ramaphosa started the pandemic well. The President masked up immediately and has stayed masked, unlike man...


In Edo, all politics is national

Still from Daily Nigerian on YouTube
Still from Daily Nigerian on YouTube

State elections next month in the heart of what was once West Africa’s biggest empire is testing the coherence of the country’s two main parties

Last month, a massive new video screen appeared at the busiest intersection in Benin City, centre of a once towering kingdom and now capital of Edo state. Where the region's most f...


Fury greets Gertler report

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The mining billionaire denies any link to online abuse aimed at an investigative consortium’s report on money-laundering and grand corruption

Early last month, a joint investigation by news media and NGOs claimed mining magnate Dan Gertler had set up a money-laundering ring which apparently allowed him to evade United St...


Realpolitik, with plenty of guns

Abdallah Hamdok. Pic: Simone Kuhlmey/Zuma Press/PA Images
Abdallah Hamdok. Pic: Simone Kuhlmey/Zuma Press/PA Images

The government and many armed groups say a ground-breaking peace deal is possible within weeks. But they are yet to convince the sceptics

Suleiman al Dabailo, chairman of Sudan's Peace Commission, is talking up the progress made in power-sharing negotiations between the transitional government and the armed groups fr...


Rivals fight for control of Sirte

Khalifa Haftar. Pic: Panayotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto/PA Images
Khalifa Haftar. Pic: Panayotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto/PA Images

A test of strength over Gadaffi’s home town and local oil assets threatens to become a regional war pitting Turkey against Egypt

The conflict in Libya started as a civil war, became a proxy war, and is mutating again as it reaches a potential new watershed. With battle lines now drawn up around Sirte, home t...


Pandemic prospects

Matshidiso Moeti. Pic: Paul Spranger/Global Media Group/SIPA USA/PA Images
Matshidiso Moeti. Pic: Paul Spranger/Global Media Group/SIPA USA/PA Images

Cases are increasing rapidly but lockdown policies have been easing and there is little public or political appetite to tighten them again

With Covid-19 positive cases doubling in the last two weeks, Africa is expected to notch up its millionth patient in the coming days. 'We are at a pivotal point,' said Dr Matshid...


Groaning about zoning

Muhammadu Buhari. Pic: Anton Novoderezhkin/Tass/PA Images
Muhammadu Buhari. Pic: Anton Novoderezhkin/Tass/PA Images

A proposal that the President's election should be based wholly on merit – not rotation between north and south – has caused a storm

Politicians and pundits in Nigeria have shown a rare unanimity in outrage at comments by Mamman Daura, widely regarded as President Muhammadu Buhari's most influential advisor, abo...


Clearing a path

Hassan Ali Khaire. Pic: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/PA Images
Hassan Ali Khaire. Pic: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/PA Images

Farmajo sacked his premier for not supporting his plan to postpone fair elections further and prolong his time in office

Prime Minister for over three years, Hassan Ali Khaire was unceremoniously sacked on 25 July after an overwhelming parliamentary vote of no-confidence. EU External Affairs Commissi...


From a grateful nation

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

Not content with being among the world's best-paid politicians, Kenyan lawmakers have ensured that their predecessors are also amply rewarded for their service. On 5 August, after ...


Polls boss row

Julius Maada Bio, London, 20 January 2020. Pic: DFID, 20200120144519ZJW_4639 cropped CC BY 2.0
Julius Maada Bio, London, 20 January 2020. Pic: DFID, 20200120144519ZJW_4639 cropped CC BY 2.0

Two years after bitterly disputed and tight presidential elections, political leaders have divided along party lines over the appointment of the National Electoral Commission's (NE...


Plenipotentiary redundancy

Pic: theartofpics / stock.adobe.com
Pic: theartofpics / stock.adobe.com

Benin is planning to close 24 of its 27 embassies around the world in the second major retrenchment of the country's diplomatic corps since President Patrice Talon took office, Afr...


From debt to aid

Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in April that they would 'strive to protect aid budgets' in the wake of Covid-19. Many civil society acti...


The Presidents' club backs Keïta

Bamako, 19 April 2020, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta casts his ballot. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Bamako, 19 April 2020, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta casts his ballot. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

An emergency summit has given full backing to the President but leaves grave doubts about his chances of forming a national unity government

The 27 July online summit of West African leaders has given full, emphatic backing to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK) in his confrontation with the opposition and threatened...


Oromia cracks open again

Hachalu Hundessa
Hachalu Hundessa

The murder of a musician-turned-activist and harsh repression has reignited tensions in the Prime Minister’s restive back yard

Oromo nationalists had hoped that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's administration would address their demands after thousands of activists lost their lives in protests that paved the wa...


A favourite for an impossible job

Amina Mohamed
Amina Mohamed

After several near misses in her search for a top international job, Amina Mohamed is a WTO front-runner. But what does she stand for?

Of all the candidates gunning for the helm of the World Trade Organisation, Amina Mohamed probably ranks as the best prepared for the contest. Along with the rival campaign of Nige...


A dangerous wave

Temperature check, Gauteng, June 2020. Pic: GCIS
Temperature check, Gauteng, June 2020. Pic: GCIS

There are over 750,000 coronavirus cases in Africa and numbers continue to rise amid concerns that South Africa could prove a harbinger

As the World Health Organization warns of rapidly rising Covid-19 caseloads in Africa, its top official for the continent says that poor and crowded urban areas in South Africa hav...


A state of disconnect

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

African treasuries are putting a positive spin on their own finances, but the message from the markets is grim. Something has to give

The message from African finance ministers is that while the overall picture facing the continent is bleak in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many economies are resilient eno...

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Clash of the leaders

June 2020, Security Council videoconference about Minusca in CAR. Pic:UN Photo/Loey Felipe
June 2020, Security Council videoconference about Minusca in CAR. Pic:UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Ex-President Bozizé and current President Touadéra seem set on a collision course while elections are in the balance

Allegations of fraud, bribery and mobilising for a coup d’état are flying in all directions in Bangui as the political parties and their sponsors consider elections du...


Fight in the last chance saloon

Pic: daboost / stock.adobe.com
Pic: daboost / stock.adobe.com

After hearing the arguments, a London court is about to rule on whether Abuja can challenge a record-breaking US$10 billion award against it

A substantial part of Nigeria's foreign financing strategy and the fortunes of a New York hedge fund, in partnership with an obscure entity registered in the British Virgin Islands...


The shake-up that didn’t happen

Yemi Osinbajo. Pic: Guo Jun/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Yemi Osinbajo. Pic: Guo Jun/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Plummeting prices prompted a radical plan to restructure the state oil company – then the vested interests fought back

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and several of the country’s most senior ministers recommended hard-hitting reforms to rein in the sprawling and notoriously unaccountable state ...


Ugly compromises

Pic: sezerozger / stock.adobe.com
Pic: sezerozger / stock.adobe.com

President Farmajo is pushing through a flawed electoral system and the fallout has led to demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital

The main response of the government to the crowds that have gathered to protest the new electoral law and the postponement of elections is to fire shots over their heads. Throughou...


Unhealthy ambition

Chitalu Chilufya
Chitalu Chilufya

The sudden arrest of the health minister is more about the jockeying for high office than campaigns against corruption

Once one of President Edgar Lungu's closest allies and considered by many his most likely successor – or at least his running mate in next year's general election – Chitalu Chilufy...


In it together

Emmanuel Macron, Nouakchott, 30 June 2020. Pic: Eliot Blondet/Maxppp/PA Images
Emmanuel Macron, Nouakchott, 30 June 2020. Pic: Eliot Blondet/Maxppp/PA Images

The Sahel's armies commit atrocities, but fail in battle against the jihadists. Europe is sending more troops and training resources and investing in development

Takuba, the deployment of a multinational European and Sahelian Special Forces contingent to the Sahel, part of a broadening European engagement in the region, formally began on 15...


Ballots and bishops

Martin Fayulu. Pic: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga/PA Images
Martin Fayulu. Pic: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga/PA Images

There is uproar over the choice of a new electoral commission head many fear will make the 2023 elections as dubious as the last

It was just like old times. Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and other Congolese cities have just witnessed noisy demonstrations by civil society organisations, churches and oppositionists den...


Quest for a new dauphin

Amadou Gon Coulibaly
Amadou Gon Coulibaly

The death of the prime minister faces the president with difficult choices. One of his riskiest options is to try to stay on

Politics is in deep turmoil following the sudden death on 8 July of the man widely expected to have become the new president by the end of the year, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Couli...


In search of confidence

Tunisian President Qais Saïed (2nd R) meets with Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi (2nd L) and Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh (1st R) in Tunis, Tunisia, on 15 July 2020. Pic: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Tunisian President Qais Saïed (2nd R) meets with Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi (2nd L) and Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh (1st R) in Tunis, Tunisia, on 15 July 2020. Pic: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Elyes Fakhfakh, Tunisia's prime minister for less than five months, has been forced to resign over allegations that he owned shares in companies that won state contracts.


Red lines in the sand

Sirte January 2012. "ECHO/DDG - Mine clearance Sirte" by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Sirte January 2012. "ECHO/DDG - Mine clearance Sirte" by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

In June, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi said that the Libyan central coastal town of Sirte and the airbase at Jufra further south, both held by General Khalifa Haftar's Li...


Public relations premier

Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda
Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda

The promotion of Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda as Gabon's first woman Prime Minister is an astute piece of PR that may be welcomed in Paris and other European chancelleries even ...


Lissu heads for home

File:Tundu A. M. Lissu.jpg by Likumbage is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
File:Tundu A. M. Lissu.jpg by Likumbage is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Two and a half years after being shot 40 times by suspected government gunmen outside the National Assembly in Dodoma, opposition leader Tundu Lissu says he will return to Tanzania...