Improving relations with neighbouring Sudan and a nascent recovery in the all-important oil sector are motivating rival parties in South Sudan’s long-running civil war to seek to implement the 2018 peace deal and to form a transitional government. However, foreign investors may be dissuaded from committing to new projects due to continued insecurity, widespread corruption, and potential repayment issues as pre-export oil financing deals increase the debt burden.
The government will capitalise on Robert Mugabe’s legacy to consolidate its authority and establish further control over patronage networks in the banking and agricultural sectors. However, it is failing to make headway on an economic recovery, taming inflation, and restoring power supply. The opposition is set to resume protests and strikes in coming weeks, raising the risk of a complete economic shut-down. Foreign partners, even benevolent ones, will struggle to push through any form of debt relief and a mooted bailout as the crisis deepens.
The suspension of work on the Uganda to Tanzania crude pipeline is a major setback for the development of the Lake Albert oil sector and is likely to push back the deadline for commercial production even further. EXX Africa assesses the wider risk outlook for the Ugandan oil sector and the factors that could cause further delay to project completion.
Algeria’s ruling general is either preparing to install himself as a strongman-president of an Egyptian-inspired securocratic state or he is seeking to transition political power to a civilian administration that will protect the military’s interests. EXX Africa investigates the probability and implications of both scenarios.
EXX Africa reflects on some of the political and economic challenges facing Africa’s last absolute monarchy, as the small landlocked nation emerges from recent contested elections and finds itself in an economic crisis.
The incoming transitional government will need to address three priorities if it is to last its three-year term: namely seeking prosecution of those held responsible for war crimes and violence against protestors; unravelling Sudan’s ‘deep-state’ of competing power networks that continue to control lucrative assets; and driving a sustained economic recovery, most likely with Gulf financial support.
State-owned enterprises in Africa have a notorious reputation for being mismanaged and for repeatedly requiring financial bailouts. EXX Africa unpacks this notion by looking at some of the best and worst-performing entities across the continent. Our analysis spans from examples in Morocco, Ghana, and Ethiopia to Zambia and South Africa.
An ongoing mining contract review is motivated by a need to raise state revenues from the sector to support the government’s debt servicing and higher social development spending that was promised in the last election campaign. The review also supports the government’s crackdown on corruption associated with the previous government and a current trend to disfavour Chinese partnerships. If implemented prudently, the review may stimulate future investment by strengthening institutions, while improving transparency and accountability.
Two months out from elections, Mozambique’s government has secured a peace deal with the armed opposition and agreed on debt restructuring with most of its creditors. These are crucial steppingstones as the country seeks massive gas-related investment inflows and a potential new IMF programme. However, an intensifying Islamist insurgency, suspected electoral manipulation, and lack of progress on bringing perpetrators of the hidden loans scandal to account remain key obstacles towards longer term stability.
The embattled central bank has for now ruled out an outreach to the IMF despite weak growth, a plummeting currency, and rising debt. The government will need to make progress on restructuring public companies, attracting investment, and retaining its only investment grade credit rating, while also battling its political opponents that seek the ouster of President Ramaphosa by 2022.
- EXX Africa director Robert Besseling moderated a panel on Africa’s commodity rollercoaster at GTR Commodities in Geneva hosted by Global Trade Review (GTR)
- SOUTH SUDAN: DEBT BURDEN AND CORRUPTION MAY DISSUADE FRESH FOREIGN INVESTMENT
- TUNISIA: MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES SEEK TO MITIGATE IMPACT OF UPSET ELECTORAL DEFEAT
- ZAMBIA: CHINA SEEKS MINING ASSETS AS COLLATERAL TO PROTECT AGAINST LOOMING DEFAULT
- SPECIAL REPORT: SHOCK TO GLOBAL OIL PRICES WILL IMPACT AFRICAN PRODUCERS AND IMPORTERS