The West African cocoa sector is still feeling the pain from lower revenues over the past two years, which is motivating Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to consolidate their markets; however, implementation of such plans will be hampered by serious financing concerns and lingering local content regulations.
While the South African economy is again stuck in a deep recession and measures aimed at fiscal consolidation are stalled, the new administration may have achieved sufficiently firm institutional gains to stave off a third sovereign credit rating downgrade by Moody’s in October.
The ongoing contract frustration experienced by telecoms firm MTN in Nigeria and the threat of punitive action against banks such as HSBC are highly indicative of intensifying populist and politically motivated rhetoric against foreign investors ahead of next year’s elections.
A booming economy and improved governance are creating fresh opportunities for project finance deals. While the economic and financial outlook is relatively strong, there are emerging concerns over political patronage and contract discrimination under the current administration.
Critical oil industry reform has once again become stuck in parliamentary processes, while political will to implement the various governance, licensing, and fiscal policy reforms is waning ahead of the 2019 elections.
Policy uncertainty ahead of next year’s elections, mounting concerns over debt sustainability, and rising fuel prices are likely to mar Namibia’s economic recovery and drag down the economy’s growth outlook.
In its latest attack on foreign commercial interests, Tanzania’s government has threatened to suspend broadcasting rights. In a strategy reminiscent of its tactics in the mining sector, the government seeks to extract financial concession from foreign investors, yet risks divestment and arbitration.
The government has announced a new anti-graft initiative in response to high-profile corruption scandals, yet it is unlikely to be effective as late payments increasingly impact state contractors and expand non-performing loans in the banking sector.
The government prepares to moderately raise taxes on the gold mining sector and to impose fresh local content requirements, although these are unlikely to herald a steer towards more populist and nationalistic policies.
Mining companies threaten production cuts and arbitration to protest new regulations, while the government uses the courts as leverage over the industry; yet further escalation is unlikely as both sides remain willing to find settlements.
- BURKINA FASO: EXPAT KIDNAP RISKS RISE AS HARSH COUNTER-TERRORISM TACTICS FAIL
- GHANA/COTE D’IVOIRE: SERIOUS CHALLENGES EMERGE TO COCOA SECTOR CONSOLIDATION
- MADAGASCAR: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TO PROCEED IN TENSE POLITICAL CLIMATE
- SPECIAL REPORT: IS SOUTH AFRICA HEADED TOWARDS A VAUNTED ‘TRIPLE-JUNK’ STATUS?
- ZAMBIA: UNCOVERED FRAUD MAY BE JUST ‘THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG’