Recent talks ostensibly aimed at ending a three-year civil conflict were more aimed at ‘window-dressing’ than seeking a permanent resolution of the crisis. As a result, the US has terminated preferential trade status, yet Cameroon’s economy will be shielded by an IMF programme and continued trade with key partners China and Brazil.
The increasing frequency and intensity of protests and associated violence in Ugandan urban centres is a worrying indicator of political instability, coupled with a deteriorating socio-economic outlook towards the next electoral cycle. Meanwhile, the outlook for oil production is indefinitely pushed back as final investment decision is stalled beyond the current timeline.
Botswana’s ruling party has rid itself of the nationalism, protectionism, and cronyism of the previous administration. It will now seek to liberalise the economy, diversify away from mining sector dependence, and boost development of agricultural southern regions.
Islamist militants are capturing territory in north-central Burkina Faso, while steadily advancing towards the capital. Security forces are increasingly reluctant to engage militants and mutinies are becoming more frequent, while political pressure is mounting on the government. Coup plots abound and street protests will intensify ahead of next year’s elections.
Although Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi played little more than a symbolic role within Islamic State affiliate groups in Africa, his death is likely to achieve the undesired effect of increasing the terrorism threat in many African countries primarily through renewed intent and unchanged capabilities.
As Ethiopia readies itself for a referendum in November that is expected to usher in the creation of its tenth federal state, EXX Africa explores the details of the vote and the potential impact it is expected to have on political and social dynamics in the country.
Despite Togo’s impressive performance on the latest Doing Business Index and its recently secured credit ratings, the political and security climate remains vulnerable to potential mass protests and western criticism of repression of political rights.
The government has pledged political reforms and the release of political prisoners to end a post-election crisis that has tarnished Benin’s democratic credentials. However, the opposition has mostly been excluded from the national dialogue and increasingly restrictive measures are being imposed to curb unrest. The deterioration of socio-economic indicators due to a bilateral trade dispute with Nigeria may also stoke political tensions in the lead up to the next election cycle.
The main opposition’s rejection of election results is based on credible evidence of voter intimidation and ballot manipulation which EXXAfrica flagged three months ago. However, the results are unlikely to be overturned by the courts and a return to civil war or sustained widespread violence is unlikely. Violent demonstrations are however expected in urban hotspots in coming weeks and months.
Regardless of the outcome of next week’s elections, Botswana faces its most significant political shift in over 50 years. The transition comes just in time as the economy is slowing and pressure is mounting to reform beneficiation policies in the mining sector.
- EXX Africa director Robert Besseling presented a geopolitical risk outlook for African investments at Willis Towers Watson in London, UK
- CAMEROON: THE UNSPOKEN CIVIL WAR
- EXX Africa director Keri Leicher participates at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg to discuss investments into Africa
- ETHIOPIA: TELECOMS SECTOR LIBERALISATION IS KEY TEST FOR PRIVATISATION STRATEGY
- UGANDA: PROTESTS, TRADE DISRUPTION, AND OIL DELAYS DESTABILISE POLITICAL OUTLOOK