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.
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.
President Ramaphosa’s ANC is set to reverse a trend of electoral decline at general elections in three weeks, despite the party’s record of entrenched corruption, economic mismanagement, and political in-fighting. In this special report, we look beyond those elections and forecast the key drivers of political, security, and economic risk for Africa’s most developed economy in the post-elections climate.
The detention of Vodacom executives in Tanzania fits into the government’s broader crackdown on the telecoms and media sectors, as well as its restriction of political freedoms. While some donors will cut foreign aid, some European countries are seeking participation in the country’s massive industrial and infrastructure projects, including the development of the LNG sector.
Despite his touted anti-corruption agenda, President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing his own graft allegations, while his party’s election list includes many figures tainted by the ‘state capture’ era. The continued influence of his predecessor’s political faction may weaken Ramaphosa’s ability to select his own cabinet after next month’s elections and could impact ratings reviews by credit agencies.
Algeria’s military has forced the resignation of the president and will seek a continuation of its power base following elections due by the end of June. The army’s ability to negotiate a new political agreement with the opposition and protest leaders will be key in its success to ensure stability and mitigate further commercial disruption.
- 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