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.
A three-year lending programme with the IMF, if approved by the Fund’s board, will offer immediate relief across Congo’s balance of payments and improve political stability in the short-term. However, IMF-mandated transparency conditions and disclosure of pre-export financing facilities will meet political resistance, while austerity and restructuring policies are likely to trigger a public backlash in the form of strikes, protests, and perhaps renewed political instability.
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.
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.
Uganda’s long-time strongman leader is seeking to extend his tenure of the presidency at a time of probable economic slowdown and sustained opposition momentum. These are key motivators for political instability. The government is cracking down on any resistance from the opposition, NGOs, and foreign partners, as well as broadening its tax base to offset falling government revenues.
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.
As the government considers development of LNG import infrastructure, we highlight some key challenges facing Ghana’s petroleum and gas import business, including political intervention and payment delays, as well as the risk of contract frustration as a new wave of local content regulation is being proposed.
Former president Kabila will need to retain control over mining revenues and avoid a deterioration of insecurity in eastern provinces, while keeping Rwanda on-side, to ensure he can stave off an emerging challenge from his successor who seeks to dilute Kabila’s dominance over Congo’s political, military, and economic spheres.
The central bank has warned that mounting debt servicing costs risk depleting international reserves at an accelerated rate. However, there is no sign that the government is willing to slow debt accumulation or crack down on state corruption. While a default scenario remains unlikely, the pathways for recourse are narrowing.
The parties of the new and former president are struggling to form a governing coalition, while the outlook for further change to mining regulations and taxes remains uncertain. If a workable government can be formed and global cobalt prices bottom out, DRC’s economic trajectory will make a strong recovery.
- 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