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.
Ahead of upcoming Independence Day celebrations, Eritrea’s government has shut down social media services and shuttered border posts with Ethiopia and Sudan. The country has seen few real benefits from its peace agreement with Ethiopia last year and risks stumbling back into political and economic isolation, even tough a resumption of cross-border war remains unlikely and economic and geostrategic imperatives will force a continued opening of Red Sea trade routes.
As a military contest over the capital, Tripoli, devolves into a stalemate, the security situation across Libya shows signs of deterioration as the country’s rival political administrations become increasingly estranged. With growing international involvement in the conflict, EXX Africa assesses the political and security outlook in Libya and the attendant risks to commercial operations.
Zimbabwe’s finance minister seems to be in complete denial on the economic crisis facing the country, including the threat of hyperinflation, a collapsing power supply, and ongoing cash shortages. The government is offering yet another economic rebasing as a solution, which will do little to allay investor concerns or to unblock a proposed debt deal with creditors. The prospect of fresh protests and another military intervention is fast approaching.
Constitutional amendments in Togo have set up a continuation of the political status quo for at least another six years, which assures contract certainty for investors in the country’s infrastructure financing boom. However, opposition forces have not been immobilised and the outlook for protests and strikes remains prominent, especially towards 2020 elections. Such events may distract security forces from a nascent terrorism threat derived from southward-moving Islamist militancy.
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.
- 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