The IMF’s rushed intervention to provide massive new credit facilities to Gabon, Cameroon, and Chad may not be sufficient to prevent a regional currency devaluation later this year, as CEMAC’s economies all struggle with political and economic crises that deteriorate the investment climate.
A French initiative to launch the G-5 Sahel combat force to counter West African Islamist militancy will require further funding and logistical support if it is to stand any chance of success to combat insurgencies and drug trafficking in border regions.
Violent street protests are likely to become more frequent in urban centres, yet are unlikely to degenerate into major civil unrest due to security forces’ heavy-handed response to demonstrations.
While it is still too early to assess the longer term implications of a Trump presidency on Africa, trade agreements such as AGOA and security cooperation are unlikely to be significantly affected, yet various indicators point to risk of even slower African economic growth due to a stronger dollar and pledges to cut US foreign aid commitments.
The government imposes an unrealistic record fine on Exxon Mobil, indicating its intent to renegotiate Exxon’s licence to seek a greater equity stake in the venture ahead of an expected uptick in oil production.
Nigeria resettles previously displaced communities and signs infrastructure development contracts in a sign that the Boko Haram insurgency is already over, yet such projects still face heightened attack risks.
Chad’s deployment of experienced troops to Niger is likely to halt Boko Haram’s territorial advance around Bosso, yet retaliatory terror attacks are likely around Lake Chad and the Chadian capital.
As President Déby is set to secure a fifth term in office, attention will now shift to his eventual succession and economic diversification efforts that will initially favour French and Chinese investors.
The rise of digital financial services in Africa will prove to be an exciting growth opportunity, although will be constrained to key consumer markets and face significant regulatory hurdles.
- EXX Africa director Robert Besseling moderated a panel on Africa’s commodity rollercoaster at GTR Commodities in Geneva hosted by Global Trade Review (GTR)
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