A series of recent investment commitments by oil majors is set to speed up development of the nascent energy sector, despite ongoing graft and defamation lawsuits and a prominent threat of contract alteration as a political debate over redistribution of energy sector revenues intensifies.
The continued imprisonment of President Macky Sall’s closest rival to re-election in 2019 is unlikely to derail attempts to unite various opposition parties and to stage more widespread anti-government demonstrations ahead of the July legislative elections.
Recent intelligence indicates that Islamist militant groups’ intent to target Senegal has increased, yet their capability to stage successful attacks is still mitigated by Senegalese security forces’ counter-terrorism proficiency and the rudimentary state of regional militant networks.
The government will return to the debt markets to finance its ambitious infrastructure development programme, entice foreign investment in extractive sectors, and further boost the regional champion’s economic growth; yet several factors will continue to weigh on the country’s external account.
A new mining code will become effective this month, raising royalties and local content provisions, while increasing auditing requirements for mining operators to improve reporting transparency in the sector.
While it is still too early to assess the longer term implications of a Trump presidency on Africa, trade agreements such as AGOA and security cooperation are unlikely to be significantly affected, yet various indicators point to risk of even slower African economic growth due to a stronger dollar and pledges to cut US foreign aid commitments.
President Macky Sall is seeking opposition support for a broad revision of the constitution that will improve the legislative framework for the production of oil and infrastructure development, while improving his re-election prospects in 2019.
Exx Africa has issued repeated warnings of the threat of Islamist terrorism to tourist facilities in Abidjan; other West African cities such as Dakar, Accra, and Lagos will also face a growing risk of attack.
- EXX Africa director Robert Besseling moderated a panel on Africa’s commodity rollercoaster at GTR Commodities in Geneva hosted by Global Trade Review (GTR)
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