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.
In a raft of new legislation and directives, the government further curtails internet freedoms and extends control over revenues from the mining and telecoms sectors, while threatening to encroach its nationalist policies into the banking sector.
After refusing to reduce tariffs on second-hand clothing imports from the US, Rwanda has been suspended from a preferential trade pact, while any compromise will be complicated by Rwanda’s industrialisation agenda.
The end of the state of emergency is more due to the new prime minister’s successful co-opting of Tigray leaders and threatening of Tigrayan commercial interests, rather than a lasting improvement in the security climate.
The government is still likely to repeal the interest rate cap in the three month outlook as it comes under growing pressure from the IMF and lenders, despite sustained political and populist influences to retain the cap.
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