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.
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.
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.
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.
As negotiations between the military leadership and the protest movement falter, the prospect of political violence will increase in coming weeks, while the loose alliance of armed groups and security forces risks fragmenting as Sudan’s patronage networks unravel. Meanwhile, Gulf financial aid may provide some short-term economic relief, but such assistance is politically unpopular and does not stimulate much-needed reform of the bloated Sudanese security sector and unaffordable state subsidies that lie at the heart of the economic crisis.
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.
Vast swathes of Cameroon’s northern and western regions are turning into a permanent conflict theatre, as there is no indication of the anglophone insurgency abating. Meanwhile, a concurrent Islamist insurgency is becoming more deeply entrenched. As counter-insurgency tactics fail, Cameroon risks stumbling into a drawn-out civil war, especially once the president’s eventual departure triggers fresh political instability.
Marginalised public sector employees and frustrated communities in economically side-lined regions are posing a heightened risk of strikes and protests, just as the fractious coalition government gears up for the 2020 legislative elections. Meanwhile, the King’s centralised administration pushes ahead with high-cost industrial and infrastructure projects in the country’s economic hubs, which only benefit the more affluent middle classes.
- 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