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Opposition grows to Hamdok's deal as military digs in

Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: sudan.gov.sd
Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: sudan.gov.sd

The prime minister has been restored to power under a deal that looks dangerous for democracy

The ceremony restoring Abdalla Hamdok to the premiership on 21 November had none of the celebratory atmosphere of the occasion in August 2019 when he was first appointed to lead the transition to civilian rule. This time, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti', commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), was present. But Fadlallah Burma Nasir, the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) who helped get Hamdok appointed two years ago, was not. This spoke volumes about the political reconfiguration that had just taken place and explained Hamdok's tense expression.

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No jaw, jaw – just war, war

Pic: @PMEthiopia
Pic: @PMEthiopia

Neither side in Ethiopia's growing conflict is ready to negotiate, as Addis Ababa targets the supposed enemy within

At the beginning of last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced he was going to take command of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) on the frontline against the rebels. ...


Inside the mining mega deal

Du Wei (centre, striped shirt) visits Sicomines with Ambassador Wang Yingwu and Economic and Commercial Counsellor Zhou Mangsheng in 2012. Pic: Chinese Embassy to DRC)
Du Wei (centre, striped shirt) visits Sicomines with Ambassador Wang Yingwu and Economic and Commercial Counsellor Zhou Mangsheng in 2012. Pic: Chinese Embassy to DRC

Touted as a new development model, the 'deal of the century' set a terrible example on corruption

A scholar who delivers lectures on doing business in Africa has emerged as the lynchpin of a massive bribery scandal drawing in Chinese business magnates and some of its largest co...


Bonds and budget blockers

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

As opposition lawmakers initially block the budget, the finance ministry and central bank face new economic headwinds

Faced by a powerful opposition party, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta's 2022 budget statement, presented on 17 November to Parliament, was always unlikely to have an easy passage. ...


ANC hits coalition conundrum

Police officers guard an election station where protests took place during municipal elections in Durban, 1 November 2021. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy
Police officers guard an election station where protests took place during municipal elections in Durban, 1 November 2021. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy

Power is ebbing away from the ruling ANC but opposition parties lack the numbers to form stable alliances

Intra-party rivalries will reach new heights in the run-up to the African National Congress's (ANC) elective conference in December next year as the allies of former President Jaco...


Deputy President Ruto steals a march on his rivals

William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, State House, Nairobi 2015. Pic: Noor Khamis / Reuters / Alamy
William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, State House, Nairobi 2015. Pic: Noor Khamis / Reuters / Alamy

As he prepares to break with the ruling Jubilee coalition, William Ruto is winning over voters in President Kenyatta's home base

The grand plan to parachute veteran oppositionist Raila Odinga into the presidency in the elections next August has run into powerful headwinds. The heaviest blow to Odinga's ambit...


Bank admits wrongdoing but hits out at data leak

Joseph Kabila and UN personnel. Pic: MONUSCO
Joseph Kabila and UN personnel. Pic: MONUSCO

Central Africa's biggest bank, BGFI, says it cleaned up its operations in Kinshasa back in 2018

After refusing to respond for years to accusations of grand corruption in its operations in Congo-Kinshasa, central Africa's biggest bank has come as close as its lawyers would all...


Jab race hits new snag

Pic: weyo / stock.adobe.com
Pic: weyo / stock.adobe.com

Slow and unpredictable supplies and donations continue to disrupt the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa. According to the World Health Organization, most vaccine donations ha...


Channelling wealth

Pic: Oleksii / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Oleksii / stock.adobe.com

The extradition of two Moi-era senior officials has inched closer after the Supreme Court granted authority to the Director of Public Prosecutions to pursue the cases.


Extradition mission

Pic: luzitanija / stock.adobe.com
Pic: luzitanija / stock.adobe.com

South Africa cannot make up its mind what to do with former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang, in jail for nearly three years since his arrest in December 2018 in Johannesbu...


Shooting the messengers

Lai Mohammed. Pic: Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters / Alamy
Lai Mohammed. Pic: Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters / Alamy

The row over the shootings at Lekki toll gate in Lagos a year ago is set to spill into the campaign for national elections in 2023. After an independent tribunal set up by Lagos St...


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Finance costs threaten the Nairobi-Mombasa express

A showpiece for Beijing-Nairobi cooperation the Standard Gauge Railway project is also one of the world's costliest

Concerns are rising about Kenya's capacity to repay the hefty loans it took from Chinese contractors and banks to finance the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) as the cost of servicing ...

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Aiteo struggles with output and pollution in the Delta

The latest oil spill devastation comes as political tensions rise in a region that has seen little benefit from its production of the country's main export

Since local producer Aiteo first reported a spill in the Niger Delta on 5 November, thousands of barrels of crude oil have flowed into the network of creeks polluting the environme...

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Uhuru wants his Jubilee

A Presidential prerogative appears to have granted Deputy President William Ruto another stay of execution

Plans to expel Deputy President William Ruto from the ruling Jubilee party have clashed with the presidential calendar. Uhuru Kenyatta's eighth and last State of the Nation address...

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Rich countries put a price on their delayed vaccine programmes

After failing to back the IMF's $50 billion vaccine plan, G20 countries are trying to make their aid programmes look more generous

Successive attempts to get the rich countries of the G7 and G20 to agree on a plan to vaccinate most of the world against Covid-19 have ended in acrimony this year with the biggest...

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Everyone wants to be president

Seif el Islam el Gadaffi. Pic: Balkis Press / Abaca Press / Alamy
Seif el Islam el Gadaffi. Pic: Balkis Press / Abaca Press / Alamy

Politicians past, present and aspiring scrambled to get on the ballot paper for the presidential election in December adding to doubts about its viability

Nominations for candidates in the country’s first-ever presidential elections closed on 22 November. With less than a month to go until the first round of voting, the politic...


Kampala bombings linked to Islamic State

Kampala, 24 October 2021. Pic: Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua/Alamy
Kampala, 24 October 2021. Pic: Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua/Alamy

Regional security services say they have uncovered training networks and a cash pipeline of hundreds of thousands of dollars to fighters affiliated with the group

The double suicide-bomb attack in Kampala on 16 November was the fourth terrorist explosion in Uganda in two months. Security services in the region are focused on what they see as...


Chasing the mining millions

Pic: KCM
Pic: KCM

The old government sold future copper output to Trafigura for a $40 million advance. The new government wants to know where it is


ANC faces post-poll turmoil

Enoch Godongwana delivers medium-term budget policy statement, November 2021. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Enoch Godongwana delivers medium-term budget policy statement, November 2021. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Following heavy losses in local government elections, the ANC's factions are blaming each other and arguing over coalition partners


Bamako and Moscow defy Paris

Abdoulaye Diop, Pic: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/Alamy
Abdoulaye Diop, Pic: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/Alamy

The Malian foreign minister's trip to Moscow will be read as a slap in Paris's face as the junta deepens relations with President Putin's government


Cracks in ZANU-PF edifice

ZANU–PF Building. Pic: Greg + Jannelle (CC BY 2.0)
ZANU–PF Building. Pic: Greg + Jannelle (CC BY 2.0)

Dissidents opposing Mnangagwa’s plans for a second term are starting to organise in the ruling party


A new political launchpad

Charles Soludo. Pic: Reuters / Alamy
Charles Soludo. Pic: Reuters / Alamy

After winning the governorship in Anambra, Charles Soludo has positioned himself for a future presidential campaign


When the parties go to pieces

Alassane Ouattara shakes hands with Laurent Gbagbo, Abidjan, 27 July 2021. Pic: Luc Gnago/Reuters
Alassane Ouattara shakes hands with Laurent Gbagbo, Abidjan, 27 July 2021. Pic: Luc Gnago/Reuters

All the main parties are floundering, seeking successors and relevance, as Gbagbo relaunches his political career


Cash takes on the kingpins

Raila Odinga. Pic: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy
Raila Odinga. Pic: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy

Raila Odinga's presidential bid relies on the grandees, while his rival William Ruto focuses on the money

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Lagos probe accuses military

State House of Assembly during #EndSARS protests, Lagos. Pic: Adeyinka Yusuf / Alamy
State House of Assembly during #EndSARS protests, Lagos. Pic: Adeyinka Yusuf / Alamy

Activists doubt that evidence of systematic killings by police and soldiers will prompt a serious response by government


Endgame of throne?

Cyril Ramaphosa received by King Mswati III, March 2019. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Cyril Ramaphosa received by King Mswati III, March 2019. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Africa's last absolute monarchy teeters as activists step up protests and demand action from South Africa