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Macky Sall faces the third-term curse

Pic: @PR_Senegal
Pic: @PR_Senegal

Opposition candidates are coordinating across rural areas and provincial cities to break the ruling alliance's grip on parliament

Opponents of President Macky Sall are assembling a broad alliance ahead of the parliamentary elections on 31 July. If they are successful, this will influence Sall's calculations about the costs of breaking his past promises on term limits and standing for a third presidential term in 2024.


President Buhari's edict shakes up presidential race

Pic: @GodwinIEmefiele
Pic: @GodwinIEmefiele

All ministers vying for office in next year's elections have been ordered to quit. Bank governor Emefiele is yet to confirm his presidential run

In one executive order the country's presidential contest has been up-ended and a sweeping cabinet reshuffle has been triggered. On 12 May, President Muhammadu Buhari called on pol...


Burhan lets the Islamists back in

Abdel Fattah al Burhan. Pic: Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua/Alamy
Abdel Fattah al Burhan. Pic: Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua/Alamy

Shorn of political alternatives and determined to remain in power, the junta is falling back on Islamists of all stripes to shore up the regime

Six months after the Sudanese military seized power again, a new reality is taking shape for the junta. Whether it was always part of the military's aims, or simply a consequence o...

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Unloved Hemeti under pressure

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti'. Pic: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / REUTERS / Alamy
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti'. Pic: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / REUTERS / Alamy

The junta's second-in-command's parallel armed forces and business interests give him muscle but win him few friends

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti', number two in Sudan's ruling Sovereign Council, is under pressure from all sides, as his relations deteriorate with the military, increasing...


Farmajo faces the ultimate test

Pic: @M_Farmaajo
Pic: @M_Farmaajo

Parliament looks like picking a new president on 15 May because the incumbent has alienated far too many MPs

Looked at from the perspective of last April, the latest political developments seem improbable, even absurd. A year ago Mogadishu was on a war footing and President Mohamed Abdull...


Kenya sponsors risky anti-militia plan

Pic: East African Community FB
Pic: East African Community FB

Nairobi has assembled regional states to fight Congolese armed groups, but they include the very countries the groups depend on for aid

An agreement by regional governments to form a joint military force to deploy against armed groups in Congo-Kinshasa looks like a diplomatic masterstroke by Kenya, which is coordin...


Zondo hands ANC a time-bomb

Raymond Zondo. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Raymond Zondo. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The final report of the State Capture Commission is set to shake up the ruling party and present Ramaphosa with his toughest choices yet

The first four reports of the epic State Capture Commission headed by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo are a clear indication that the ruling African National Congress is in for a rough...


Alarms sound on debt, inflation and food

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2022

International financial institutions warn that economic dislocation from Moscow's war on Ukraine could trigger social upheaval on the continent

Senior officials in the UN and other international agencies have been ratcheting up their analyses of the damage to Africa's economies following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Ahunn...


Bamako's junta forces hard choices

António Guterres. Pic: Public domain
António Guterres. Pic: Public domain

With French troops pulling out, and the UN mission at risk, African leaders mull how to fill the security vacuum

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has presented West African governments with hard military choices, by proposing the African Union establish a new force that could repl...


Ouattara keeps options open for his successor

Alassane Ouattara with new Vice-President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Presidential Palace in Abidjan, 21 April 2022. Pic: Luc Gnago / REUTERS / Alamy
Alassane Ouattara with new Vice-President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Presidential Palace in Abidjan, 21 April 2022. Pic: Luc Gnago / REUTERS / Alamy

The octogenarian President has lined up a beauty parade of contenders – even as his supporters say he may stand again in 2025

Succession gossip – rarely quiet for long in Abidjan – is simmering after President Alassane Ouattara appointed a new deputy and reshuffled the cabinet and the top rank...


Consensus candidate plan upsets the frontrunners

Atiku Abubakar at an election rally. Pic: Rey T. Byhre / Alamy Stock
Atiku Abubakar at an election rally. Pic: Rey T. Byhre / Alamy Stock

Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu – political godfathers turned contenders – may lose out in primaries as alliances shift

The next four weeks will be critical as over 30 contenders compete to become the country's next president – the parties have until 3 June to submit all their nominations for ...


SPECIAL REPORT: How Vincent Bolloré came to dominate business in Togo – using money, media and merchandise

President Faure Gnassingbé and Vincent Bolloré. Pic: Louis Vincent
President Faure Gnassingbé and Vincent Bolloré. Pic: Louis Vincent

Africa Confidential presents a Special Report on the Breton tycoon’s growing influence in Africa. Far from quitting the continent, Vincent Bolloré’s business and political interests in Africa are deepening – even as he faces trial in Paris for grand corruption in league with two West African leaders. By Andrew Weir and Nicolas Vescovacci

Billionaire Vincent Bolloré, who has built up monopoly control over some of the biggest container terminals in Africa, is heading back to the French courts with two of his to...

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Mind the gap

Pic: eunikas / stock.adobe.com
Pic: eunikas / stock.adobe.com

Devolution was supposed to help bridge the yawning gap between Kenya's rich and poor counties by driving fairer allocation of resources. In reality, it is at best slowing the pace ...


Conglomerates race for cobalt

Pic: Wirestock / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Wirestock / stock.adobe.com

Two of South Africa's leading mining companies – Anglo American and African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) – are scrambling for mining rights in Congo-Kinshasa. They are concen...


Hichilema's team steps on the gas

Hakainde Hichilema's team meets IMF delegation, 4 May 2022. Pic: @HHichilema
Hakainde Hichilema's team meets IMF delegation, 4 May 2022. Pic: @HHichilema

After successful talks in Washington DC last month, Zambia's treasury officials hope to finalise a US$1.4 billion Extended Credit facility with the International Monetary Fund by t...


Alarm grows over vote-rigging plans

Vladimir Putin and João Lourenço at the Kremlin, April 2019. Pic: Mikhail Metzel / TASS / Alamy
Vladimir Putin and João Lourenço at the Kremlin, April 2019. Pic: Mikhail Metzel / TASS / Alamy

Never has the ruling party faced as powerful an opposition as in the election due in August. But officials hope an oil bonanza will boost the party war chest

Falling living standards, mass unemployment and hunger mean the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) and its leader, President João Louren&c...

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Hichilema accused of 'losing focus’

Hakainde Hichilema. Pic: Public domain
Hakainde Hichilema. Pic: Public domain

The President's public appearances are criticised for fighting yesterday's battles instead of concentrating on rocketing prices and the debt burden

President Hakainde Hichilema gave a long and emotional press conference on 25 April further cataloguing his persecution by the previous government – which many critics believ...


War offers Ramaphosa more options

Palladium mining equipment. Pic: Sunshine Seeds / stock.adobe.com
Palladium mining equipment. Pic: Sunshine Seeds / stock.adobe.com

African mining and energy companies move into new markets and try to steer around sanctions on Russia

Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and western sanctions complicate strategy for some South African mining companies but other African companies are benefiting as Europe scrambles for al...


Refugee deal faces delays as legal and political challenges grow

Boris Johnson and Paul Kagame, 2018. Pic:Aaron Chown/Reuters/ Alamy
Boris Johnson and Paul Kagame, 2018. Pic:Aaron Chown/Reuters/ Alamy

The arrangement under which London could send asylum-seekers to Kigali would be politically useful for both countries' leaders

Britain's plan to send asylum-seekers who cross the English Channel to Rwanda was due to start next month but faces serious legal challenges which could delay its introduction for ...


The junta's revolving door – Kaboré released and Compaoré convicted

Thomas Sankara supporters gather after Blaise Compaoré is convicted of complicity in his murder, Ouagadougou, 6 April 2022. Pic: Anne Mimault/Reuters/Alamy
Thomas Sankara supporters gather after Blaise Compaoré is convicted of complicity in his murder, Ouagadougou, 6 April 2022. Pic: Anne Mimault/Reuters/Alamy

Pierre-Henri Damiba's military regime is managing the politics better than its war against the insurgents

Of the three military regimes in West Africa under pressure to hand over to civilians, Burkina Faso's junta led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is proving the most...


Navigating through the fog of cold war

Pic: oleksii / stock.adobe.com
Pic: oleksii / stock.adobe.com

Only one national cause defines policy in Algiers and Rabat – and it isn't Ukraine

For Algeria and its ally, the Polisario Front, as for their bitter rival Morocco, a 'national cause' remains their main preoccupation. For Algeria it is independence of the Saharan...


An Oromo rebellion constrains Abiy

Abiy Ahmed and Issayas Afewerki, July 2018. Pic: Tiksa Negeri / REUTERS / Alamy
Abiy Ahmed and Issayas Afewerki, July 2018. Pic: Tiksa Negeri / REUTERS / Alamy

Under international pressure, the federal government promised a truce in Tigray but is now losing ground to the Oromo insurgency

Just weeks after its 24 March announcement of an 'indefinite humanitarian truce' in the civil war in northern Ethiopia centred around the defiant Tigray region, the federal governm...


Rivals struggle to balance their tickets

Azimio La Umoja rally, Nairobi, March 2022. Pic: Thomas Mukoya / REUTERS / Alamy
Azimio La Umoja rally, Nairobi, March 2022. Pic: Thomas Mukoya / REUTERS / Alamy

The presidential candidates are agonising about their running mates as the deadline for nominations approaches