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Regional fights hold back the union project

Pic: Mauro Rodrigues / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Mauro Rodrigues / stock.adobe.com

Ramping up its international role, the African Union is still struggling to respond to the continent's conflicts

Joining the G20 and signing a new cooperation deal on peacekeeping missions with the UN, the African Union is expanding its footprint in the international system. But its summit in Addis Ababa on 17-18 February showcased its political contradictions and its lack of strategic independence. It is far from self-funding and many member states are still in heavy arrears of levies owed to the AU headquarters.


Enoch pulls a rabbit out of his fedora

Enoch Godongwana briefs media ahead of budget speech, February 2024. Pic: GCIS CC BY-ND 2.0 DEED

The ANC government is struggling to raise revenue and fund vote-winning social programmes ahead of elections in May

Sustained low growth is haunting the policy calculations of Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, who presented his budget to parliament on 21 February. He conceded that revised 2023 ...


Spiralling prices imperil Tinubu’s reforms

Olayemi Cardoso. Pic: @cenbank
Olayemi Cardoso. Pic: @cenbank

Facing political pushback and food riots, the government is rethinking its devaluation and subsidy cuts

There was no hiding the desperation when Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Olayemi Cardoso announced on 27 February that interest rates would be hiked from 18.75% to 22.75%, the lar...


Israeli gas enters Sisi's Gaza calculations

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2024
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2024

Egypt has warned that Israel will face serious consequences if it attacks Rafah, but its options are constrained by economic considerations

The Gaza conflict has placed Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el Sisi in an uncomfortable position. He has been unable to exert much influence on the course of the conflict, beyond a...

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Ecowas buckles as it goes for regional unity

Pic: Mohamed Bazoum FB
Pic: Mohamed Bazoum FB

Facing a break-up, the West African bloc drops the sanctions with which it was pressuring the Sahel putschists to restore civil rule

Playing on their popular support on West Africa's streets amid growing dissent, the Sahel's putschist regimes have exposed the weakness of the leaders of the Economic Community of ...


Nation mourns the 'nearly man' Lowassa

Funeral of Edward Lowassa. Pic: @ChademaTz
Funeral of Edward Lowassa. Pic: @ChademaTz

Despite his burning ambition the late Edward Lowassa was ever the bridesmaid and never the bride, but his career exemplified national politics

Edward Lowassa, who has died aged 70, was a close friend, confidant and ally of ex-President Jakaya Kikwete who spent a fortune advancing his prospects and embracing any part of th...


All eyes on 2025 – and the northern border

Tidjane Thiam. Pic: https://pdcirda.ci
Tidjane Thiam. Pic: https://pdcirda.ci

Recent elections have left the ruling RHDP in a comfortable political position but Tidjane Thiam's ascent in the PDCI has raised the stakes

Unless a yet-to-be-known actor has a spectacular political ascent, the 2025 presidential election will be a contest between the Parti démocratique de Côte d’Ivoi...


Rifts threaten Bobi Wine's party

Pic: @HEBobiwine
Pic: @HEBobiwine

The opposition party is under pressure from not only the government but also its own socially conservative supporters

Supporters of Uganda's biggest opposition political party, the National Unity Platform (NUP) of Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu 'Bobi Wine', are warning that generational jealousy and p...


Taking Amhara to Washington

Addis Ababa. Pic: Thiago Trevisan / stock.adobe.com
Addis Ababa. Pic: Thiago Trevisan / stock.adobe.com

Loyalists to Abiy Ahmed turned dissidents take their case to the US capital to lobby Congress and the Biden administration

The ultra-nationalist Amhara Fano Unity Council (AFUC) led by Fano militia leader Mihret Wodajo is stepping up its political advocacy in the United States after registering lobbyi...


After Sall's U-turn, elections likely within two weeks

Pic @Macky_Sall
Pic @Macky_Sall

The top court's rejection of plans to postpone the vote steers the country back to constitutionalism

It took President Macky Sall less than a day to accept the ruling by the Conseil constitutionnel on 15 February that the postponement of the presidential election and the extension...


Junta press-gangs the press

Rasmané Zinaba and Bassirou Badjo. Pic: @BalaiCitoyen
Rasmané Zinaba and Bassirou Badjo. Pic: @BalaiCitoyen

Rasmané Zinaba and Bassirou Badjo, youth leaders in the pro-democracy movement Balai Citoyen (Citizen Sweep), were abducted on 20 February and 21 February respectively by un...


Tuareg-Wagner clash in Libya?

Pic: Bumble Dee / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Bumble Dee / stock.adobe.com

Unconfirmed reports in Tripoli claim that a group of Tuareg fighters in southwestern Libya has captured some Wagner Group soldiers there in revenge for the capture of Kidal, in nor...


Hidden loans kingpin dies

Pic: iskandar-safa.com
Pic: iskandar-safa.com

Iskandar Safa, the Franco-Lebanese entrepreneur at the centre of the US$2 billion 'hidden loans' scandal that impoverished Mozambique and drew top state officials and Frente de Lib...


Financial shades of grey

Financial Action Task Force
Financial Action Task Force

The decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global anti-money laundering watchdog, at its annual plenary session on 23 February, to put Kenya and Namibia on its 'gr...


Fury as Sall's vote delay unleashes mayhem

Pic: @Macky_Sall
Pic: @Macky_Sall

The President's mismanagement of his succession crashes the country's reputation for stability and its growth prospects

President Macky Sall's announcement on 3 February postponing this month's elections has wrecked what was left of his legacy and is undermining Senegal's governance amid multiple cl...

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The region on the rack

Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Macky Sall, February 2024. Pic: @PR_Senegal
Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Macky Sall, February 2024. Pic: @PR_Senegal

Double standards on governance rules are straining the credibility of the Ecowas bloc

Facing multiple challenges to their authority, West African leaders are trying to dampen down what seem to be mutually reinforcing crises for their regional organisation. On 28 Jan...


How the poor help the rich

Pic: @Sadiya_farouq
Pic: @Sadiya_farouq

Top officials are accused of raiding a state-funded programme meant to offer desperately needed relief for struggling communities

The detention of former Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq on 2 January on charges related to alleged fraud over US$38 million of public funds has led to a trail of d...


Biya's belt-tightening has risks

Pic: @PR_Paul_BIYA
Pic: @PR_Paul_BIYA

With pressure from the IMF mounting, the government has embarked on austerity measures which could impact political stability


Finding a perfect pitch

AfCON winning team, 11 February 2024, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Pic: Kim Price/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA/Alamy
AfCON winning team, 11 February 2024, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Pic: Kim Price/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA/Alamy

Fuller stadiums and more goals made a successful African Cup of Nations – but its stars need more financial and political backing


All eyes on KwaZulu-Natal

Moses Mabhida Stadium. Pic: Kevin Sawyer / mmstadium.com
Moses Mabhida Stadium. Pic: Kevin Sawyer / mmstadium.com

The multi-sided battle for votes in the province may decide the national election – and whether the ANC loses its parliamentary majority


Generals persist with banned arms deal

Pic: Vitus-Gregory Gondwe FB
Pic: Vitus-Gregory Gondwe FB

The army went ahead with a major arms purchase even after the government cancelled it and said all deals with Zuneth Sattar were over


Ruto gambles on Eurobonds

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2024
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2024

Nairobi's Treasury joins borrowers paying over 10% interest to meet escalating debt service demands


China's base desires

Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema with Li Jinjin, China's Ambassador to Gabon. Pic: @oliguinguema
Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema with Li Jinjin, China's Ambassador to Gabon. Pic: @oliguinguema