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.
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.
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.
Despite more comforting assurances from the finance ministry, Zambia is again struggling to meet its obligations to the public payroll, construction contracts, and debt servicing. Meanwhile, the Zambian economy is noticeably slowing, and market confidence is sliding. As time runs out for an IMF credit deal, we assess the drivers of risk that could steer the country towards a default on sovereign debt this year.
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.
- 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