The West African cocoa sector is still feeling the pain from lower revenues over the past two years, which is motivating Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to consolidate their markets; however, implementation of such plans will be hampered by serious financing concerns and lingering local content regulations.
While the South African economy is again stuck in a deep recession and measures aimed at fiscal consolidation are stalled, the new administration may have achieved sufficiently firm institutional gains to stave off a third sovereign credit rating downgrade by Moody’s in October.
In the first six months of its administration, the new government had taken a measured and pragmatic approach to pursue internal and external peace, enhanced political pluralism, and economic privatisation, yet remains challenged by both socio-political and institutional pressures.
The ongoing contract frustration experienced by telecoms firm MTN in Nigeria and the threat of punitive action against banks such as HSBC are highly indicative of intensifying populist and politically motivated rhetoric against foreign investors ahead of next year’s elections.
An escalation of violence is likely in the pre-election period in the Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions, while road closures, kidnap threats, and robberies will pose a heightened risk in afflicted locations.
The newly elected president has consolidated his political authority through shaking up the cabinet, while he is sending a reformist message to creditors that he will prioritise growth as a mechanism for development, beginning with measures to stabilise the country’s precarious fiscal and monetary positions.
A booming economy and improved governance are creating fresh opportunities for project finance deals. While the economic and financial outlook is relatively strong, there are emerging concerns over political patronage and contract discrimination under the current administration.
The new government will seek international re-engagement, political conciliation, and economic recovery, while taking a measured approach, prioritising less disruptive policy, and personnel changes and gradually moving toward more comprehensive change.
Incomplete data on farm attacks are facilitating the politicisation of the issue by lobby groups and political parties, even though a review of available statistics shows a downward trend in attacks and murders over the past 16 years.
Despite a political agreement between the government and opposition, political, industrial, and labour disputes will continue to drive high risk of disruptive and potentially violent protests across the country.
- BURKINA FASO: EXPAT KIDNAP RISKS RISE AS HARSH COUNTER-TERRORISM TACTICS FAIL
- GHANA/COTE D’IVOIRE: SERIOUS CHALLENGES EMERGE TO COCOA SECTOR CONSOLIDATION
- MADAGASCAR: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TO PROCEED IN TENSE POLITICAL CLIMATE
- SPECIAL REPORT: IS SOUTH AFRICA HEADED TOWARDS A VAUNTED ‘TRIPLE-JUNK’ STATUS?
- ZAMBIA: UNCOVERED FRAUD MAY BE JUST ‘THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG’