The government has pledged political reforms and the release of political prisoners to end a post-election crisis that has tarnished Benin’s democratic credentials. However, the opposition has mostly been excluded from the national dialogue and increasingly restrictive measures are being imposed to curb unrest. The deterioration of socio-economic indicators due to a bilateral trade dispute with Nigeria may also stoke political tensions in the lead up to the next election cycle.
Nigerian indefinite border restrictions on official trade with Benin and Niger are another setback to the continent’s free trade efforts, as import bans drive up inflation and stimulate demand for smuggled fuel and rice. Publicly stated motivations for the trade restrictions backed by the IMF do not disclose murkier political and commercial intentions behind the border closures.
The president makes a bold political gamble to force parliament to lift an interest rate cap which has starved private sector lending and is slowing economic growth. His government hopes to persuade the IMF to restore a standby credit facility to protect Kenya’s distressed credit ratings, yet other factors may thwart such a strategy.
Regardless of the outcome of next week’s elections, Botswana faces its most significant political shift in over 50 years. The transition comes just in time as the economy is slowing and pressure is mounting to reform beneficiation policies in the mining sector.
Guinea is at a crossroads between a peaceful political transition or another military intervention. Despite growing resistance from civil groups and opposition parties, President Alpha Condé is determined to go ahead with plans to change the current constitution before the 2020 presidential elections. The threat of regional sanctions and international isolation may still force him to change his mind on mooted third term ambitions.
The government seeks more revenue from the mining sector to provide a quick fix to a distressed economy caused by shrinking development assistance and depreciation of the local currency due to dwindling foreign reserves. Investors face heightened risk of arbitrary changes to the tax regime, contract renegotiation, and demands for repatriation of earnings.
The world’s second-worst Ebola epidemic has been marked by attacks against aid workers involved in the response effort. EXXAfrica’s latest analysis briefing looks at why this is the case in light of the wider political-security environment in eastern DRC.
In the most likely scenario, a disparate group of Islamists and social conservatives will unite to elect Tunisia’s new president and form a new coalition government to face off a populist threat. This comes at the same time as the IMF visits the country to review the 2020 budget and critically important external financing plans.
Despite a recent lull in violence, a new outbreak of ethnic unrest in Amhara region indicates that federal secessionism remains rife across many regions. Authorities are ill-prepared to hold a critical statehood referendum, highly anticipated parliamentary elections, and a fiercely contested vote for control of the capital. EXX Africa analyses the electoral timeline over the next eight months and the prospect of more violence and commercial disruption.
The US is taking a prime position to benefit from oil sector opportunities in Somalia as the Horn of Africa country increasingly re-engages with international partners and donors. Somalia’s government is using warlord allies and the Shabaab militant group to secure its interests against rival federal states and neighbouring Kenya in an intensifying dispute over border demarcation and contested oil drilling rights.
- BENIN: TRADE DISPUTE AND POLITICAL TENSIONS DESTABILISE COUNTRY’S EXEMPLARY MODEL
- MOZAMBIQUE: ELECTION MANIPULATION IS UNLIKELY TO TRIGGER RETURN TO CIVIL WAR
- NIGERIA: TRADE RESTRICTIONS DRIVE UP NIGERIAN INFLATION AND BOOST FUEL SMUGGLING
- KENYA: PRESIDENT STEPS UP PRESSURE TO LIFT THE LENDING RATE CAP TO APPEASE THE IMF
- BOTSWANA: POLITICAL TRANSITION WILL DRIVE MUCH-NEEDED ECONOMIC REFORMS