Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Liberia’s general elections, a litmus test

    September 28, 2017

    On 10 October, Liberians will elect their next president and two legislative chambers in a watershed election with a potential for reigniting old grievances. The incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is stepping down in accordance with the constitution which limits her to two six-year terms in office. However, there is no clear winning candidate on either side of the ruling party or the opposition, suggesting the election will be open to some surprises which will likely be determined in a run-off between the two main contenders.

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  • Zimbabwe’s Big Man falls ill

    August 21, 2017

    With one year left until the next general election – due to take place between July and August next year – the battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe is heating up. Again. Mugabe, the nonagenarian president who would rule Zimbabwe in perpetuity if he could, has travelled to Singapore three times this year for medical treatment. The authorities have stated that he has travelled there for routine medical checks, but his age and a growing number of demands for him to name a successor suggest otherwise. Although Mugabe’s succession has repeatedly been on the agenda for the past decade, the 2018 general election is likely to be a watershed moment for Zimbabwe’s future trajectory.

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  • Situation Report: Guinea’s balancing act in mining

    August 14, 2017

    Corruption investigations and constitutional reform are increasing political and stability risk in Guinea.

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  • Trend Assessment: South Africa has gone from bad to worse

    July 28, 2017

    On 8 August, President Jacob Zuma will be subjected to a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly, the lower house of the legislature. That is the ninth time Zuma has faced similar actions, but this time the outcome could be politically fatal as the Constitutional Court allows it to be conducted through secret ballot. However, the parliament speaker, Baleka Mbete – an ally of Zuma – has not given any indication on whether that will be the case. Underneath it all lies appalling governance, and allegations of a series of major corruption scandals are shaking the foundations of the presidency, the ruling party, and the core of the South African economy. 

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  • Trend Assessment: Tanzania’s toughening stance against miners

    June 30, 2017

    One of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, Tanzania, is intent on refining its mineral resources domestically. But an uncertain policy environment and the erratic behaviour of the president is likely to reduce investor confidence, which risks dampening a decade of strong growth.

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