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President Putin's Africa summit in July will be key diplomatic test

Vladimir Putin. Pic: Public Domain
Vladimir Putin. Pic: Public Domain

Foreign Minister Lavrov tours Southern Africa as Moscow wins more battles in information war with Europe and the US

Russian officials are confident that South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend President Vladimir Putin's Russia-Africa summit due to be held in late July in St Petersburg. The summit, postponed from last year due to Russia's war in Ukraine, will be a form of loyalty test for African leaders to Moscow.


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...


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 Kremlin is working hard to diversify its influence in Africa and involve more of the Russian state in it, as far as international sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukrain...


Obi rules at Chatham House

Peter Obi
Peter Obi

Of Nigeria's presidential candidates so far to set out their stall at London's Chatham House think tank, the Labour Party's Peter Obi easily won on points on 16 January. The other ...


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

There's no date yet for the ruling New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential primaries but prospective candidates are preparing for the elections required within 12 months of the ne...


Clipping the President's talons

Pic: FB PatriceTalon.PR
Pic: FB PatriceTalon.PR

Having broken the government's monopoly in the national assembly, winning 28 of the 109 seats in last Sunday's legislative elections, the Démocrates have established themsel...


How the polycrisis will play out

Satellite image of Africa. Pic: agefotostock / Alamy
Satellite image of Africa. Pic: agefotostock / Alamy

A succession of political, economic and international structural changes will shake the continent amid a global downturn

With a third of the world, including many African economies, forecast by the IMF to go into recession, unsustainable debts with all their socio-political consequences will take cen...

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Election noise louder but signals weaker

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

Cash-fuelled presidential campaigning dominates politics as economy falters and security frays

Presidential and national assembly elections on 25 February presage sweeping changes. Among 11 million new voters, most of them aged between 18 and 34, many are frustrated with wha...


Financial meltdown weakens NPP

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

Pushed into a U-turn as it negotiates a $3 billion bailout with the IMF, the governing party’s credibility has crashed

Militants of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have a spring in their step in the new year as they gear up to fight the December 2024 general elections. They h...


Devaluation heads a list of tough changes

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

A year of weak growth and high inflation lies ahead, following a balance of payments crisis that forced the government to seek IMF assistance

Although the impact of the economic crisis has been softened by financial support from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the form of deposits and investment, this...


The return of one-man rule

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

The new President has quickly established political dominance at home as the direction of his government takes shape

Having secured, however fleetingly, full-spectrum dominance over the domestic political scene, and with the debt crisis in remission after the International Monetary Fund injected ...


Horse-trading risks poll delay

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2023

The President is trying to decide whether to contest or postpone December's polls while juggling his political alliances and musing on threats in the east

President Félix Tshisekedi has been consolidating power, but that does not mean accountability and better governance are any closer than when he fraudulently won the preside...


A fragile truce with many foes

Passengers prepare to travel to Mekelle. Ethiopian Airlines resumed flights from Addis Ababa in December 2022. Pic: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters/Alamy
Passengers prepare to travel to Mekelle. Ethiopian Airlines resumed flights from Addis Ababa in December 2022. Pic: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters/Alamy

Peace negotiations in Tigray will need careful nurturing to survive while crises among other nationalities reach boiling point