Despite their upset defeat in the first-round presidential elections, establishment parties will rally behind a unity candidate in the second round and maintain a strong course for legislative dominance. This makes the probability of a strongman populist president emerging from this electoral cycle marginally less likely. Regardless of the outcome, the IMF programme is likely to remain in place.
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 latest outbreak of anti-immigrant violence in South Africa has been unusual only because of its timing coinciding with a major investment conference and the potential political motivations behind the attacks on foreigners. EXX Africa investigates the political and economic drivers of such violence, as well as the commercial impact of retaliatory action against South African interests elsewhere in Africa.
Following a two week ban on protests, political demonstrations are set to resume across major cities. Security forces will seek to protect border crossings and airports from blockades, although a spike in retaliatory attacks, intimidation tactics, and political assassinations may increase the prospect of violence that would threaten relations with donors and the IMF. Optimistic economic projections may also be thwarted by commercial disruption and weak tobacco sales.
The presidential election remains too close to call as establishment parties are set to rally behind a unity candidate in the second round to fend off a challenge from emerging populist candidates. Low voter interest in the presidential contest indicates that the real political battle will focus on the parliamentary vote in October. Whoever wins the elections, the current IMF programme is likely to remain in place. Benefits from the loan programme are starting to show as inflation slows and the government issues new bonds to finance its budget deficit.
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.
The key parties in Cote d’Ivoire are realigning ahead of the presidential vote in 2020, injecting some much-needed competition into the country’s political sphere that has been dominated for the past 8 years by President Ouattara. However, if the incumbent decides to run for a third term, he is likely to face a backlash of ethnic and identity politics from united opposition parties that would increase the risk of violence and commercial disruption, although a repeat of the 2010-11 civil war is unlikely.
- 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