President Weah is facing a backlash against his government over a failing economy and spiralling inflation, while mounting perceptions of graft and mismanagement are undermining his administration’s credibility. The political opposition is galvanising around a protest movement that may force a reshuffle of Weah’s closest aides and political supporters, although firm policy changes are unlikely unless foreign donor pressure intensifies.
Four months into his presidency, Félix Tshisekedi has at last agreed to appoint a prime minister loyal to his predecessor and main political rival Joseph Kabila. As a result, the incoming government will ensure that all key policy decisions will remain with Kabila. But Tshisekedi seems to have secured the return from exile of one of Congo’s most dynamic and powerful opposition leaders whose political support will be crucial to build up his own political constituency. If the power-sharing agreement holds, Congo’s thriving mining sector is set to improve the country’s economic outlook.
A three-year lending programme with the IMF, if approved by the Fund’s board, will offer immediate relief across Congo’s balance of payments and improve political stability in the short-term. However, IMF-mandated transparency conditions and disclosure of pre-export financing facilities will meet political resistance, while austerity and restructuring policies are likely to trigger a public backlash in the form of strikes, protests, and perhaps renewed political instability.
Cyril Ramaphosa has achieved a reversal of his party’s electoral decline in May’s elections. In fact, he faced a greater challenge from rivals within his own party than from South Africa’s weak political opposition. His next challenge will be to balance fractious interests in the next cabinet to avoid a permanent party split, while building a platform for restructuring cash-strapped state-owned enterprises that could trigger a backlash from labour unions and other allies. Much of the ANC’s actual election manifesto will be shelved to ensure fiscal discipline.
The head of state energy giant Sonangol is replaced just as the company plans extensive asset divestments. There is ample precedent indicating that Angola’s new ruling elite is seeking to capitalise on positions of patronage, while the country’s embattled president is facing off ruling party rifts and the prospect of mounting unrest over IMF-mandated austerity measures. EXX Africa looks at what the changes at Sonangol mean for Angola’s political and economic prospects.
Just over one year in office, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has made some remarkable achievements and won international acclaim and good will from multilaterals. Towards the 2020 elections, ongoing outbreaks of ethnic, sectarian, and political violence pose a broader threat towards the supremacy of the ruling federal coalition, while economic liberalisation and promised privatisations will be on hold until at least after those polls.
The political stalemate between the new military establishment and the protest movement that is increasingly tilting in favour of Islamist ideology risks dragging a politically destabilised and economically weakened Algeria into a broader regional conflict that would put at risk contracts signed with key investment partners from across the Gulf and Europe.
The obstinate political opposition has forced President Talon to exclude them from parliament. As his power goes unchecked by a pliable judiciary, Talon is expected to implement his pro-investment and liberalising economic agenda. The prospect of further lucrative project finance deals and the need to keep a key counter-terrorism ally on-board may limit international criticism of President Talon’s more authoritarian tendencies, as is highlighted by a recent kidnapping of French nationals.
Guinea’s remarkable mining boom may be threatened by a looming showdown in the political arena as President Alpha Condé gears up to run for an unconstitutional third term, despite widespread resistance against his re-election bid and the growing prospect of a unified opposition challenge at elections next year that could trigger fresh ethnic violence.
In an endorsement of pro-market reforms and liberalising policies, Botswana’s long-time ruling party has nominated President Masisi as its presidential candidate for the October elections. However, a murky political rivalry still threatens to split the party, while Botswana’s slowing economy and growing inequality may provide opposition impetus and thus undermine Masisi’s re-election.
- CAMEROON: BUOYANT ECONOMY DESPITE SECURITY THREATS
- LIBERIA: GOVERNMENT COMES UNDER MOUNTING PRESSURE AS ECONOMY FALTERS
- DRC: A TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS
- EGYPT: DESPITE SECURITY CONCERNS, THE OVERALL RISK OUTLOOK IS REMARKABLY OPTIMISTIC
- EXX Africa analysis on Angola’s Sonangol is cited by the Centre for African Journalists newswire