Some 13 presidential ballots and up to 20 legislative and local elections will determine the political risk outlook for many African countries in 2021. Crucial votes are also expected in the Middle East this year. PANGEA-RISK identifies the main elections to watch and assesses the risk outlook across these regions as elections proceed during the second year of the pandemic.
A violent dispute over land rights at the Black Nile in Sudan risks escalating nationalism and warmongering over a hydropower dam at the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. The dam is also at the centre of a renewed ethnic conflict that threatens to spill over from the 2020 Tigray War. A new US administration and potential mediation by the UAE will play a critical role in coming months to avoid another war in the Horn of Africa, even while the Tigray conflict still simmers and risks destabilising the whole region.
In the coming year, Sudan is likely to make the most significant improvement to its country risk outlook following several recent developments, while Egypt and Iran are also set to make important headway in 2021. However, previous investment favourites Ethiopia and Zambia, alongside Turkey, will see substantial deterioration in their country risk outlook this year. PANGEA-RISK assesses the key drivers of risk in Africa and the Middle East for the year ahead.
The first COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in Europe and North America have prompted expectations of an impending return to “normality.” However, as low- and middle-income countries struggle to secure access to vaccines, the prospects for a vaccine-driven economic recovery in Africa remain distant. Moreover, supply chain issues and vaccine hesitancy remain prominent challenges for the continent.
South-south economic, political, and security ties between the Middle East and Africa are growing at a rapid rate with significant opportunities on the horizon. With today’s official launch of PANGEA-RISK, an intelligence venture that will provide country risk analysis and forecasting across both regions, we explore the nature of the involvement of some of the Middle East’s key players – namely the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel – in Africa in this special report.