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West Africa: Will Eco Work?

Disclaimer: This analysis is the product of a strategic partnership between SBM Intel, of Lagos, Nigeria, and Geomarkets Africa LLC. All the information contained in it is correct as of Tuesday, 25 June, 2019.  Finance ministers and central bank governors of 15 West African countries,

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Tanzania: Budget Day, Supply Chain Priorities, Absent Bagamoyo

Summary The Tanzanian parliament will vote June 13 to approve the government’s 2019/20 budget that calls for spending of 33 trillion Tanzanian shillings (approximately $14.6 billion). A significant amount of money, more than $2.2 billion, is set aside for national priority infrastructure development projects. Absent

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South Africa: implementing the first structural reform

Summary The resignation by Vuyani Jarana as chief executive officer of South African Airways is effectively the byproduct of structural reform implementation by the South African government. Analysis Jarana resigned as Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways with an effective date of August 31,

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Angola: second instance of coercive recovery of embezzled funds

Angola’s National Directorate for Preventing and Combating Corruption (DNPCC) recovered $286 million in embezzled funds being managed by the China Infrastructure Fund (CIF)-Angola. The recovery represents the second instance that the Angolan government has employed coercive measures and restored control over state assets. In both

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Côte d’Ivoire: elections, unity, and economic growth

April 11 marked eight years since then-President Laurent Gbagbo was captured by Ivoirian and French military forces. Gbagbo’s capture in 2011 and subsequent transfer to the International Criminal Court at The Hague for prosecution on war crimes charges brought an end to the country’s civil

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Zimbabwe: platinum mining, IMF talks, and reforms encouragement

Restoring healthy growth to the Zimbabwean political economy took several constructive steps forward on April 10. To be sure, however, these developments are still in their early-stages and are dependent on verifiable reformist behavior by the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government. 

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Mozambique: worrisome anomaly in militant attack targeting

While Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi stated in a public address on April 7 that the country’s defense and armed forces carried out an assault on a suspected Islamist militant camp in the Macomia district of the country’s Cabo Delgado province, capturing fighters and materiel, the

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Ethiopia: to liberalize the financial sector, capital market

Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia Yinager Dessie announced March 28 to the nation’s parliament that the government plans to liberalize the financial sector and capital market to provide for foreign participation. The development conforms to the track record of politically-sensitive economic reforms initiated

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Kenya, Uganda: absent supply chain funding commitments

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is hosting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa March 27-28. While the two leaders discussed deepening supply chain cooperation between the countries, there was no clear commitment by either government to fund the extension of upgraded

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Angola: first instance of coercive recovery of state assets

The Angolan government released from detention José Filomeno dos Santos and Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais following the recovery of $3.35 billion the two former Sovereign Fund of Angola directors had administered. Dos Santos, the son of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, was released

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Nigeria: electoral but no Niger Delta militant violence

Voters in Nigeria’s oil-producing Rivers State are awaiting results from the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission as to state governorship and state assembly elections held on March 9. The state-level elections were suspended by the electoral commission amid widespread polling station violence and disruptions. A

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Angola: providing for rebel-countering development

Angolan finance minister Archer Mangueira stated March 14 the World Bank will provide a $1 billion loan to the country to finance socio-economic and development projects. The $1 billion loan, along with a previously-approved World Bank $500 million loan, will be disbursed over the next

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Angola: UNITA validates FLEC grievances

Grievances expressed by the armed forces command of the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave (FLEC) were echoed by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) political party, a move that provides additional political legitimacy for an adverse insurgency against

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Zimbabwe: adverse outcome in economic talks with South Africa

Zimbabwe hosted presidential-level Bi-National Commission talks on March 12 with the South African government. The outcome of the talks between Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cyril Ramaphosa were insubstantial and, coming from an erstwhile ally, will likely redouble pressure on the Mnangagwa administration to effect meaningful

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Zimbabwe: indigenization reforms, preserving a $4 billion investment deal

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube stated his government is ending indigenous ownership requirements for foreign investment in the country’s platinum mining sector. Ncube added that local ownership requirements may be similarly removed from Zimbabwe’s diamond sector. Indigenous ownership requirements were introduced by the Zimbabwean government

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Zimbabwe: sanctions renewal, recourse to alternative lending

The U.S. government renewed Executive Order 13288 for another twelve-month period, maintaining travel and monetary sanctions on more than one hundred and forty officials of the Zimbabwean government, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The renewal of the U.S. executive order sanctions, which otherwise would have expired

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Nigeria: Buhari’s patronage of the Niger Delta

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is visiting the Delta State capital of Warri on March 4. Buhari’s visit, coming in between his recent reelection as Nigerian president and the country’s upcoming state governorship and state assembly elections, is to ensure an accommodative accord between his federal

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Angola: Cabinda threat, Eurobond auction

The Angolan government intends to auction $2 billion in Eurobonds during the second quarter this year. Due diligence the Angolan government has disclosed for previous Eurobond auctions, which most recently include three issuances worth $3.5 billion in 2018, factored in the risk to the Angolan

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Mozambique: operationalizing oppositional security cooperation

Mozambique President and ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) leader Filipe Nyusi and Ossufo Momade of the country’s opposition Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) party met in the nation’s capital, Maputo, February 27 to consolidate agreements incorporating oppositional security forces into command of the country’s armed and

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Nigeria: managing Buhari’s win by the Niger Delta

Preliminary results from Nigeria’s presidential election indicate that incumbent leader Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress will defeat principal challenger Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party and secure a second four-year term in office. Buhari has reportedly obtained sufficient votes in the

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Mozambique: attacks in Cabo Delgado not to disrupt Anadarko FID

The two attacks late February 21 by suspected Islamist militants on contractors involved in the Anadarko-led greenfield liquified natural gas project in northern Mozambique is profile raising but won’t disrupt the Final Investment Decision the international oil company will make by late March or early

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Zimbabwe: no dollar peg & other liberalizing public policies

Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe John Mangudya announced February 20 that the country’s newly created currency, the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) Dollar, will see its exchange rate value determined by market forces, bringing at least partial change to the country’s monetary policy.

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Mozambique: advancing on political, economic and security accords

The Mozambique government announced February 14 the approval of a governance decentralization agreement. The decentralization accord, to empower political representation at the provincial level in the country, affirms and broadens cooperation with the government’s principal opposition party the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO). Together with advances

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Nigeria: Niger Delta yet on standby

Nigeria holds presidential and national assembly elections on February 16. As the results are too early to forecast, confidence among stakeholders and especially militants in the country’s oil and gas producing Niger Delta region is on standby. Nigeria’s national elections on February 16 will be

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Eritrea: renewing redundant supply chain infrastructure

Support is advancing to upgrade Eritrea’s Massawa port such that supply chain connectivity may be made robust and redundant not only for Eritrea but for Ethiopia as well, in addition to other foreign powers holding geopolitical interests along the Red Sea region. https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/Eritrean_ports_of_Massawa_Assab/8Ij14EiP3M Massawa, along

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Côte d’Ivoire: bringing clarity to political alliances

With the February 8 resignation of President of the National Assembly Guillaume Soro, Côte d’Ivoire political alliances are advancing in clarity and shape. While Soro’s resignation reveals the assertiveness of incumbent Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, the development underscores a greater likelihood of political change

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Chad: Consecutive French air strikes reveals strategic threat

French general staff confirmed February 7 that French aircraft conducted additional air strikes in Chad targeting rebels following an initial bombing run by French forces on February 3. The second series of airstrikes, during February 5-6, was located in the area of Am Djarass, approximately

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Zimbabwe: sanctions renewal and credit challenges

The Zimbabwean government is continuing to put forward its case to have sanctions on its officials lifted. Most recently, Minister of Lands and retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri was directed by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to brief Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on

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Chad: why the French military intervened

French military aircraft struck a column of Chadian rebels February 3. What compelled the French intervention in Chad was the anomalous scale of the column and strategic nature of the location of the French strike. Clashes in northern Chad are not an unusual occurrence, but

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Mozambique: closer to first gas

Confidence in Mozambique’s geomarket outlook was further raised February 1 by the announcement that Anadarko secured another significant Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the future supply of liquified natural gas from offshore deposits of the southern African country. Anadarko’s SPA brings the oil and

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Angola: righting commercial arrears

January 31 marks the deadline for private companies to submit claims of arrears owed to them by the Angolan government. The development underscores Angolan government efforts to de-politicize its commercial relations and restore domestic and foreign investor confidence. The concern of arrears of commercial debts

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: building out economic policy

Following his January 24 inauguration as President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi is establishing the functions of his new office. Economic policy direction has not yet been addressed, but continuity is the likely path forward, insofar as regulating the country’s mining

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Zimbabwe: far apart on civil service confidence

The Zimbabwean government will field a 48-hour ultimatum on January 30 from the country’s civil service umbrella organization to resolve public worker’s wage demands. Given the Zimbabwean government’s largely empty treasury, it is not likely a satisfactory agreement will be reached, which will likely lead

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Mauritania: selecting regime continuity post-Aziz

Mauritania government spokesman Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham announced January 29 that Defense Minister Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani was selected as the ruling Union for the Republic (UPR) party candidate to stand in the country’s upcoming presidential election. The selection of Ghazouani to succeed incumbent President

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Chad: minimizing geopolitical volatility

The Chadian government received approval for the third tranche of an Extended Credit Facility with the International Monetary Fund, citing information the IMF released January 24. The roughly $49 million in funding is to support economic reforms initiated and sustained by the Chadian government. Combined

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Senegal: asserting petroleum accountability

Senegal’s national assembly approved January 24 the government’s new Petroleum Code. The adoption, as it occurs one month before the country holds presidential, regional and municipal elections, asserts accountability and transparency into the development of the country’s promising oil and gas sector. The adoption of

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Zimbabwe: diamonds and ZANU-PF continuity

Zimbabwean government-controlled media reported January 24 that President Emmerson Mnangagwa approved the appointments of Russia’s ALROSA and China’s Anjin Investments as the country’s foreign partners to explore and mine diamond concessions in Zimbabwe. The development marks progress in the Zimbabwean government’s commitment to creating new

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Ethiopia: an arrest to assert internal reform

The January 23 arrest by police forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state of Bereket Simon, a very senior former Ethiopian government official who served as key lieutenant to former (and deceased) Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is intended to constrain active dissent toward reformist leadership and

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Zimbabwe: known unknowns for sanctions lifting

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa called January 22 for an investigation into violence committed by the country’s security forces on civic demonstrators protesting the country’s very challenging socioeconomic conditions, of which a gasoline price hike was the tipping point. Mnangagwa’s address was his first since canceling

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Zimbabwe: frosty welcome in Davos

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa will participate in the World Economic Forum set to be held January 22-25 in Davos, Switzerland, aiming to persuade the gathering of global political and business leaders that his southern African country is open for business. The Zimbabwean leader will likely

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Mauritania: rising geopolitical outlook

As Mauritania approaches a geopolitical inflection point in the form of a presidential election set to be held roughly April 15, the outlook for the country is positive and rising. The combination of significant investment in Mauritania’s oil and gas sector and a likely smooth

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Gabon: Ondimba’s return, mature continuity

President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba returned home late January 14 from his convalescence in Morocco, where he had been following a stroke he suffered while in Saudi Arabia on October 24. Ondimba did not appear in the Gabonese public, but nonetheless asserted the functions

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Zimbabwe: the challenge to de-politicize economic reform

In the nearly six months now since Zimbabwe held national elections, the country’s politics and economy remain almost at a standstill. To the government, opposition, and civil society, relief can’t come soon enough. The challenge, though, is reconciling what needs to change in order to

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Angola: fine-tuning accountable government leadership

Angolan President João Lourenço continued to fine-tune his government’s political leadership, adjusting on January 4 the membership of the Council of the Republic, as well as reshuffling on January 2 the governors of the country’s Luanda, Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul provinces. The moves are

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: broadening cross-border cooperation

The presidents of Eritrea and Ethiopia met January 7 to open the Omhajer-Humera border crossing between the two countries. Located at the westernmost point of the shared border, the opening is the third such development and is a further validation of bilateral political and economic

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Gabon: no precedent for a military coup

Members of the Gabonese military attempted to overthrow the government of President Ali Bongo Ondimba on January 7. Announced on state television by Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang and calling their members the Patriotic Movement of the Defense and Security Forces of Gabon, the attempted coup

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Somalia: regional elections, al Shabaab rehabilitation

Summary The pathway is clearing for Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur to run for the presidency of the South West State of Somalia. Robow, a politically rehabilitated former deputy commander of the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab, will be supported so as to help secure

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Angola, Portugal: de-politicization of commercial diplomacy

Summary Angolan President João Lourenço will visit Portugal from November 22-24 in what is a visit aimed to normalize and consolidate the de-politicization of commercial diplomacy not only between the two lusophone countries but by the Angolan state. Analysis Lourenço will visit Portugal to build

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Nigeria: 2019 elections, Niger Delta doesn’t lose

Summary Nigeria’s leading candidates in the country’s February 16 presidential election have now released their campaign manifestos. For the country’s’ politically-sensitive oil-producing Niger Delta region, neither top candidate is a losing proposition. Analysis Atiku Abubakar, the candidate for the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), presented

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Zimbabwe: budget policy, ZANU-PF getting out of business

Summary Zimbabwean finance minister Mthuli Ncube will deliver his inaugural national budget statement to the country’s parliament on November 22. The budget proposed for 2019 will be informed by the Zimbabwean government getting out of the business of business. Analysis Mthuli Ncube will deliver to

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Eritrea: lifting of United Nations sanctions

Summary The likely lifting of United Nations Security Council sanctions on Eritrea will validate the path and pace of Eritrean political and economic reform and restore Western diplomatic ties commensurate to what Eritrea is enjoying with its near abroad. Analysis The United Nations Security Council

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: oppositional disunity

Summary Disunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo political opposition undermine their campaign credibility, however the focus on personalities rather than policy preferences safeguards the stable outlook for Congo’s political-economy.  Analysis Democratic Republic of the Congo opposition leaders gathered over the weekend in Geneva

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Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia: summit in Bahirdar

Summary The leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia will meet November 9 in the Ethiopian city of Bahirdar for what is their second summit in as many months. The agenda for Bahirdar is to review progress on trilateral political and economic agreements, while the summit

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Gabon: continuity of geostrategic stability

Summary The Gabonese government effecting substantive hydrocarbons as well as economic policy despite the extended health-related absence from Gabon of President Ali Bongo Ondimba reflects continuity of the country’s geostrategic stability. Analysis Gabonese Oil and Hydrocarbons Minister Pascal Ambouroue provided a briefing November 7 on

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: oppositional conclave in Geneva

Summary Democratic Republic of the Congo opposition presidential candidates are gathering in Geneva November 7-10 to strategize on a common platform and candidate for the country’s December 23 presidential election. From Geneva the parties will have roughly six weeks to assure themselves and their constituents

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Zimbabwe: mining sector privatization, consolidating democratic reforms

Summary Zimbabwean Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando stated November 5 his government intends to privatize the assets of the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) so as to rationalize underperforming mining companies. The inclusion of elite-captured mining operations, notably in diamonds, will also

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Senegal: transparent & accountable oil and gas legislation

Summary The publicly transparent and democratically accountable submission in December of new oil and gas legislation by the Senegalese government a full two months preceding national elections underscores the country’s elevated political economic outlook. Analysis Senegalese President Macky Sall has stated his government will submit

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Somalia: from security to development paradigm

Summary Somalia is beginning to build out a capability beyond a security paradigm, with meaningful diplomatic, official public and private assistance being mobilized to support the country’s albeit modest transition from a state of Islamist militancy siege to measurable growth and development. Analysis November will

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Mauritania: continuity, stability post-legislative elections

Summary The Mauritanian government has liaised with internal and foreign political, economic and security stakeholders to convey and safeguard stability and continuity following recent legislative elections that saw the ruling Union for the Republic (UPR) party dominate the outcome. Analysis The administration of President Mohamed

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Angola: confidence, oil & gas, and political-economic decentralization

Summary The Angolan government’s decentralization of political and economic competencies to provincial and municipal jurisdictions notably includes crude oil and natural gas responsibilities and intends to convey a regime conducive to investor confidence and commitments. Analysis The Angolan government inaugurated October 29 the decentralization of

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Mozambique: funding of FRELIMO-RENAMO security, political cooperation

Summary Official development assistance recently conveyed to Mozambique helps to solve for inclusive security and development governance requirements while the opposition Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) and ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) parties resolve on municipal elections and political cooperation disputes. Analysis Approximately $200 million of

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Gabon: budget, austerity, and relief for stressed social contract

Summary The Gabonese government has proposed budget support for the country’s public sector in a move that complies with austerity pressures yet defends Gabon’s stressed social contract. Analysis The Gabonese government took steps to preserve a significant measure of the country’s social contract, authorizing a

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Zambia: 54 years of independence & accountability

Summary Zambia celebrated fifty-four years of independence on October 24. The country has in many ways been a role model in Africa for holding government performance to account, amid internal challenges over styles of liberal and illiberal governance and economic policy. Analysis Zambia achieved its

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Chad: imperative of economic diversification and growth

Summary Initiatives by the Déby administration to diversify and grow the country’s economy aim to ameliorate socioeconomic livelihoods and reduce stress within the Chadian government, civil society and country’s national and regional security posture. Analysis The Chadian government is encouraging the diversification of economic activity

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Mozambique: municipal elections, oil & gas, empower FRELIMO-RENAMO cooperation

Summary Municipal election results from Mozambique alongside new hydrocarbons exploration activities empower the ruling FRELIMO and opposition RENAMO political parties to demonstrate government decentralization and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration initiatives. Analysis Results from Mozambique’s October 10 municipal elections, when placed alongside new exploration developments in

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Nigeria: Atiku, Buhari now claim their campaigns

Summary The selection of Atiku Abubakar as the People’s Democratic Party nominee sets the stage now for Nigeria’s presidential election frontrunners to campaign for their political economic priorities. Incumbent President Buhari enjoys established channels of asserting central authority and control. The Nigerian opposition leader will

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Mozambique: deepening FRELIMO-RENAMO cooperation

Summary Deepening political, economic and security cooperation in Mozambique between the ruling FRELIMO and opposition RENAMO political parties positions the country favorably for upcoming natural gas final investment decisions, no matter the outcome of October 10 municipal elections. Analysis Mozambique President Felipe Nyusi is on

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Eritrea: transforming foreign into domestic initiatives

Summary The Eritrean government has initiated a collaborative process designed to shape and direct emerging domestic policy priorities informed by transformational reforms underway in the Horn of Africa region. Analysis The Eritrean government convened a cabinet meeting September 28 to begin to provide shape to

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Tanzania: renewing government-business strategy

Summary The Tanzanian government is strategizing a renewed policy environment together with the country’s business sector so that public investments in energy, infrastructure, and transportation can re-incentivize private domestic and foreign investment. Analysis Recurring government efforts indicate Tanzania intends to resolve on legislative and regulatory

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Zimbabwe: fusing a parliamentary cooperation

Summary Getting to the yes of meaningful foreign investor and official foreign assistance is pressing Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa administration and it’s Nelson Chamisa-led opposition to fuse parliamentary cooperation and overcome the fears each has of the other. Analysis Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reaching out to

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Eritrea: complexities of political reform

Summary Peace, diplomacy and foreign investment pledges continue to be dramatic developments in Eritrea. But complex challenges while materially improving internal economic conditions means the government will be restrained in effecting domestic political reforms. Analysis The Eritrean government faces a complex set of challenges as

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Ethiopia: agenda for the EPRDF extraordinary congress

Summary The agenda for the October 3-5 Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front extraordinary congress is to reelect or elect new council and executive leadership. More fundamentally the congress to be held in the southern town of Hawassa is to address deep divisions the ruling alliance

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Nigeria: political risk status quo in finance ministry

Summary The September 17 appointment of Zainab Ahmed as acting Finance Minister means political risk status quo for this department of the Nigerian government. Analysis Zainab Ahmed was appointed acting Finance Minister September 17 to take over from Kemi Adeosun, who resigned her position days

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Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Ethiopia: a summit in Jeddah

Summary A trilateral summit will reportedly be held September 16 in Jeddah between the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. The public agenda holds that the Saudi king will bear witness to the signing of a reconciliation pact between the Horn of Africa neighbors,

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Nigeria: merit and the presidential debate

Summary The call for a presidential debate between Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Young Progressive Party contender Kingsley Moghalu brings into the public domain the issue of accountability, transparency, and governance that customarily in Nigeria is the province of party godfathers.  Analysis Nigerian presidential contender

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Ethiopia: EPRDF executive council meeting, test of unity

Summary The September 14 executive council meeting of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front represents its first test of intra-party unity since Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April. Despite deep tensions within the four-party alliance structure, a pending $1 billion funding proposal from the

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South Africa: compromised economic stimulus credibility

Summary A trio of policy statements released September 12 by the Economic Freedom Fighters and former President Jacob Zuma compromise the credibility of the Ramaphosa administration in delivering policy stability and macroeconomic confidence. Analysis The Ramaphosa administration is preparing an economic reform package for release

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Zimbabwe: the Zim dollar, confidence in apolitical economy

Summary The proposed reintroduction of the Zimbabwean dollar provides a means to measure domestic and foreign confidence in the Mnangagwa administration. Zim dollar confidence depends in turn on apolitical economic policy and unfettered output, which Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube enjoys a strong start with. Analysis

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: borders reopen, cross border FDI to follow

Summary The leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia met September 11 to officially reopen the two principal supply chain border crossing gateways connecting Ethiopia, Eritrea and global markets. The inaugural events validate newfound geopolitical confidence held between the two governments, and paves the way for expected

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Eritrea, Ethiopia, China: $1bn+ for Nevsun affirms detente

Summary The $1.4 billion friendly takeover by China’s Zijin Mining Group of Nevsun Resources will provide a significant boost to copper-zinc mining in Eritrea. The acquisition was empowered by the unfolding detente between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and reflects effectively a $400 million peace dividend since

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South Africa: political risk & Nene’s MTBPS

Summary There are seven weeks until South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene delivers his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. Facing an economy now in recession places renewed pressure on Nene, but an evolving ANC-EFF electoral coalition raises the political risk of the finance minister’s constrained

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Africa, China and the West: the contest of conditionality

Editor’s note: for a complimentary copy of this analysis please send a request to support@geomarketsafrica.com. Summary The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) taking place in Beijing September 3-4 is an opportunity for African governments to address Chinese and Western models of political economic conditionality. Kenya and

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Eritrea, Russia: strategic diplomacy in Sochi

Summary The August 31 meeting in Sochi between the Russian and Eritrean foreign ministers notably expands the range of Eritrea’s strategic relations that Asmara has achieved since its detente accord with Ethiopia. Geopolitical strategy rather than commercial ties explain what Asmara and Moscow see in

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Kenya: bill to increase debt ceiling, defense of hegemon imperatives

Summary A legislative bill to raise the Kenyan government’s debt ceiling may provide the means for the Kenyatta administration to finalize a highway construction contract with Bechtel and complete other supply chain infrastructure. Kenya’s political imperative to defend its place as East Africa’s commercial hegemon

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Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa securing path for reform

Summary In the five days since Emmerson Mnangagwa was inaugurated Zimbabwean president he has elevated transparency, accountability, and reassurance within the country’s security forces while also beginning an outreach to his civilian and oppositional constituents. Mnangagwa’s efforts have yielded preliminary British, European Union and German

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Nigeria: $8 billion order against MTN, political risk as usual

Summary Despite the market-discouraging dramatic order by the Central Bank of Nigeria for MTN and four of its bankers to repatriate over $8 billion in allegedly improperly externalized dividends, it was political business as usual August 30 for Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive’s Congress. Analysis It

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Nigeria: no PIB, improved Niger Delta political stability

Summary Political stability in Nigeria’s oil producing Niger Delta region was improved August 29 when President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign the pending Petroleum Industry Bill. Analysis Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on August 29 rejected signing the legislature’s Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). A day earlier

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Chad: anomalous incident at Glencore’s Mangara oil field

Summary A truck carrying crude oil caught fire and exploded at Glencore’s Mangara oil field in Chad. The incident is anomalous, and given the Chadian regime’s heightened security, political and economic stress, it bears monitoring. Analysis Glencore stated August 28 a truck used to transport

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Ethiopia: GERD contract lost, reforms gained

Summary The Abiy Ahmed administration canceling of the electromechanical works on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is to ensure a technically capable team complete the job. The contract cancellation compromises ethnic Tigray interests in the country’s Metals and Engineering Corporation who held the contract, but

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Africa and the Social Contract

Editor’s note: for a complimentary copy of this analysis please send a request to support@geomarketsafrica.com. Summary This past week in Africa saw the social contract as understood affirmed – in Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe – or challenged, in the case of Chad,

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Zimbabwe: ConCourt rules for Mnangagwa

Summary Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court confirmed Emmerson Mnangagwa the victor in the country’s July 30 presidential election. Mnangagwa’s next job, following his inauguration on August 26, will be to cooperate with and regain the confidence of his domestic civilian constituents so as to restore foreign investor

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Angola, Germany: credit, engineering, tech, boost for econ reform

Summary The Angolan president secured $500 million in credit facilities during his August 22-23 visit to Germany. German engineering and technology may be used with the funding to establish hydroelectric power generation and steel manufacturing, underscoring the Angolan leader’s imperative of raising economic growth through

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South Africa: uncomfortable econ data

Summary Two uncomfortable questions of unemployment and land expropriation posed to President Ramaphosa in South Africa’s parliament August 22 speak to the constancy of African National Congress political imperatives no matter the ruing party’s leadership change. Analysis South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faced two challenging

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Chad: rebel, union, economic pressure

Summary Consecutive attacks by the rebel CCMSR combined with civil society protests against government austerity measures are raising pressure on the administration of Chadian President Idriss Déby. The challenges facing Déby are sub-critical however, and do not obstruct his imperative of authoritarian rule. Analysis Chadian

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Eritrea: robust diplomacy, patience for economic dividend

Summary The Eritrean government has conducted an extensive diplomatic engagement program in the six weeks since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Asmara. The diplomatic outreach raises the political outlook for Eritrea, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region, however the time to maturity of

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Africa and the Contest over Political, Economic Monopolies

Editor’s note: for an unembargoed copy of this analysis please send a request to support@geomarketsafrica.com. Analysis Political and economic monopolies are common tendencies in many jurisdictions. Monopolistic behavior can provide stability and certainty, which some actors use while trying to achieve collective good purposes. Monopolies

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South Africa: ANC, constrained to reverse the rand slide

Editor’s note: for an unembargoed copy of this analysis please send a request to support@geomarketsafrica.com. Summary The South African rand has steadily depreciated under African National Congress rule, falling sixteen percent in the span since Cyril Ramaphosa became the country’s president. Economic policy priorities divide

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Senegal: elections, oil & gas, rising political economic outlook

Summary Senegal is attracting meaningful investor interest in its emerging offshore oil and gas sector. As the country prepares for a presidential election in 2019, the incumbent Macky Sall is asserting competitive democratic principles over the hydrocarbons space, in compliance with Senegal’s political imperatives, to

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The Congo and the Contest over Term Limits in Africa

Analysis The decision this week by President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to stand down from seeking reelection when his country holds elections in December addresses a deeply controversial subject in Africa: the status of term limits on presidential leaders.

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Ethiopia: ONLF ceasefire, affirming the de-escalating risk outlook

Summary The arrival August 12 of representatives of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in the Ethiopian capital following their declaration of a unilateral ceasefire underscore the improving political and economic look for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region. Analysis The unilateral cease-fire declared

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Zimbabwe: the day after Mnangagwa’s inauguration

Summary Emmerson Mnangagwa will be inaugurated Zimbabwean president on August 12. His challenge come August 13 will be to restore political and economic confidence at home so that he can restore confidence abroad. Analysis Emmerson Mnangagwa will be inaugurated Zimbabwean president on August 12. On

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Côte d’Ivoire: collapse of the RHDP, deepening geopolitical risk

Summary The political risk outlook for Côte d’Ivoire rose measurably following the announcement by Henri Konan Bédié that his party has quit the fledgling ruling alliance led by President Alassane Ouattara. Ethnopolitical divides in Côte d’Ivoire are reasserting themselves compelling the Ivoirian government to inflate

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Angola: negotiations with De Beers validates Lourenco reforms

Summary Negotiations between the Angolan government and the De Beers Group validate diamond sector reforms initiated by Angolan president Joao Lourenco and underscore an improved outlook for the Angolan economy. Analysis Angolan President Joao Lourenco hosted on August 7 De Beers Group Chief Executive Officer

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DRC: Kabila’s successor, stability, continuity

Summary Emmanuel Ramazani is the nominee to succeed President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The development complies with Congo’s constitution and electoral commission requirements, which will see Kabila lauded an exemplar of presidential leadership. Recent reforms and restructuring as well as

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Angola: ameliorated political risk, UNITA’s call for dialogue

Summary The political risk outlook for Angola is made better following a call for dialogue by Angola’s top oppositional movement, UNITA. With one month remaining until Angolan President Joao Lourenco’s succession to the ruling party’s presidency, the Angolan leader is presenting a strong case restoring

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Cote d’Ivoire: political risk and Ouattara’s state of the nation

Summary President Ouattara will address his nation on the eve of Côte d’Ivoire’s 58th anniversary of independence. The Ivoirian president will want to convey that national stability is being achieved, however the reemergence of once-buried ethnopolitical divisions undermines Ouattara’s confidence and points to elevated political

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South Africa: Ramaphosa’s Look East foreign policy

Summary South Africa hosting the summit of BRICS leaders July 26-27 allows President Cyril Ramaphosa to bring coherence to his foreign policy behavior. Under-confidence by conventional Western allies is empowering the South African president to look East for crucial avenues of economic support. Despite foreign

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Cote d’Ivoire: where good rains instill Ouattara confidence

Summary: Higher than average rainfall anticipated for Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa-growing regions will translate into an ameliorated political economic outlook for 2019. As presidential elections in 2020 approach, however, ethnopolitical divisions will spread as unfulfilled ambitions divide the country. Rainfall data published in Cote d’Ivoire July

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: presidential visit to Addis

Summary: The economic outlook continues to shine for Eritrea and Ethiopia following plans by the Eritrean president to lead three-day state visit to Ethiopia. Both governments will continue to carefully manage the sequencing of the normalization of bilateral ties so as to discourage dissent from

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Mozambique: FRELIMO and RENAMO reach accord

Summary: The Beira accord reached between the Mozambique government of President Felipe Nyusi and the country’s principal opposition party the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) affirms not only a positive political economic outlook for Mozambique but notably for natural gas exploratory interests held by ExxonMobil and

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Gabon: civil servants strike, Libreville’s inflection point

Summary A significant threat to Gabon’s social contract is placing the Ali Bongo Ondimba-led Gabonese Democratic Party in political peril. Facing an unprecedented inflection point, the Ondimba administration will likely compromise on its austerity reforms, breaching public spending caps with a consequential outcome on debt

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Zimbabwe: scant on reforms, high on public sector, polled to win elections

Summary Recent pay increases demonstrate that the Zimbabwean government under President Emerson Mnangagwa is not immune to electorally-motivated but reasonable public sector wage demands. The July 30 elections provides the Mnangagwa administration the opportunity to consolidate political legitimacy and thereafter effect substantial economic structural reforms

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Cote d’Ivoire: violence in Korhogo

Summary: Political stress is rising quickly despite there being more than two years until Cote d’Ivoire’s crucial general elections in 2020. Wanting to avoid a collapse of the state’s political integrity will compel President Alassane Ouattara and his ruling Rally of the Republicans party to

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: an unprecedented leader’s summit

An unprecedented summit between the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia underscores a rising political-economic outlook for both country’s economies, for foreign industry operating in the countries, and for national budgets once captured to fund hitherto states of siege. A summit was held in Asmara July

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: cancelled UNSG visit

Summary: The cancelled visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the United Nations Secretary General and the African Union Chairperson underscore the political imperatives of the Joseph Kabila regime for regime survival by electoral success. A visit to the Democratic Republic of the

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Mozambique: Rovuma LNG deal

Summary: LNG project advancements by ExxonMobil and Eni, alongside similar stages done by Anadarko, raise the economic outlook for Mozambique and will help the FRELIMO-led Mozambique government underwrite its political imperative of effecting geopolitically-crucial economic reforms. Analysis The Rovuma liquified natural gas (LNG) joint venture

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Mauritania: 3rd term risk

Summary: An apparent reversal by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on not wanting a third term in office raises political risk levels in Mauritania and could compromise the country’s legislative and regulatory stability that foreign oil majors including ExxonMobil, BP, and Total are basing final

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Senegal: oil policy by September

Summary: President Macky Sall’s instruction that his prime minister and cabinet adopt a public-private sector oil and gas framework by the end of September and with the full participation of civil society translates into a favorably long-term political-economic outlook for Senegal. Foreign oil and gas

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Sierra Leone: reforms by Bio administration elevate political risk

Summary: Policy reforms enacted by the government of recently elected President Julius Maado Bio are elevating political risk levels. The Sierra Leone government risks undermining their bid to not only attract but retain mining and minerals investment due its nascent prosecution of maladministration and corruption

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Equatorial Guinea: national political dialogue

Summary: The national political dialogue scheduled for July 16-21 in Equatorial Guinea is a notable opening of democratic space making for an improved political and economic outlook. It is premature, however, to expect the Obiang regime to dramatically amend its predatory behavior. As such, foreign

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Nigeria: a split in the ruling All Progressives Congress

Summary: While a split within the ruling All Progressives Congress doesn’t meaningfully lower the chances of a President Muhammadu Buhari reelection in February 2019, the move further complicates parliamentary efforts to pass significant legislation. The Petroleum Industry Bill, even in disassembled parts, is not likely

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South Africa: a threat of KwaZulu-Natal independence

Summary: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa probably didn’t anticipate one consequence of his land expropriation without compensation agenda would be a call by the Zulu king for the independence of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. KZN independence would trigger a geostrategic crisis within South Africa, and as

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Angola: diamonds and mining diversification

Summary: Diamond sector reforms, to include ending the monopoly held by Sodiam, will raise transparency and foreign investor protections marking a positive outlook for Angola’s political economy. Analysis Angolan Mineral Resources and Oil minister Diamantino Azevedo stated July 3 the government wants to diversify its

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: anticipating a leader’s summit

Summary: An unprecedented bilateral summit possibly to be held in the coming weeks between Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will bear a very positive political-economic outlook for the divided neighbors and be net-positive for peace in the Horn of Africa

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Kenya: host community support, securing oil and gas

Summary: The Kenyan government is advancing host community talks to ensure secure end-to-end crude oil production and cooperation. These initiatives strengthen the positive outlook for Tullow Oil and other international oil companies active in Kenya. For comparison’s sake, the governments of Tanzania and Mozambique are

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Tanzania, China: Beijing pressing Dar for Bagamoyo port

Summary: Chinese political will and economic acumen will drive Tanzania’s Bagamoyo port and supply chain hub into realization. But Tanzanian imperatives will constrain the Central Corridor’s optionality for regional and global trade interests. Analysis Tanzania’s minister of Works, Communication and Transport stated to the country’s

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: high-level delegation an opening detente

Summary: Early steps in a lasting peace accord between Eritrea and Ethiopia portends a positive political-economic outlook for both countries. In the case of Eritrea, Canada’s Nevsum operating the Bisha gold mining complex will be positively impacted from the deescalating national security paradigm. Analysis An

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South Africa: senior ANC officials signal expropriation

Summary: Two recent instances now by senior African National Congress officials point to the imminent likelihood of privately owned land expropriated without compensation. The land reform development, combined with other negative economic metrics, undermine budgetary controls and inflate borrowing costs and bond prices and yields.

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Mali, France, and Randgold: July elections

Summary: Protest violence near Randgold’s Gounkoto mine pose a strategic threat to Mali’s economy in a way Islamist militancy doesn’t. Political risk in Mali remains elevated during the near-term as the country anticipates controversial national elections on July 29. Were Mali to have a sovereign

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South Africa: seeking Mozambique gas

Summary: A shortage of domestically-sourced natural gas feedstock will lead South African energy minister Jeff Radebe to supply talks in Mozambique. South Africa’s deliberations whether to secure natural gas from Mozambique’s Rovuma offshore basin means Pretoria is making a strategic decision with geopolitical implications. Analysis

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Gabon: a French strike against palm oil

French strikers blocking the import of palm oil and the French government taking steps to limit and reduce palm oil imports are crucial developments that will place renewed pressure on the Gabonese government of President Ali Bongo Ondimba to diversify his country’s economy. Redirecting Gabonese

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Kabila, Bemba, and Katumbi

Summary: Escalation of election campaigning leaves mining sector operators including Glencore, Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti further handicapped and facing months of turbulence Analysis Shake-ups continue to happen in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. President Joseph Kabila formed a new national political coalition called the

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Senegal: bidding for hydrocarbons transparency

Summary: A publicly-consulted strategic framework for Senegal’s oil and gas regime will underwrite a positive outlook for Cosmos Energy, Cairn Energy and Senegalese Eurobonds and even extend as far as Mauritania where industry majors ExxonMobil and Total are actively exploring Analysis The Senegalese government will

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Eritrea, Ethiopia: gains from an olive branch

Summary: Eritrean detente with Ethiopia creates a positive geopolitical outlook for the Canadian-Eritrean joint copper-zinc mining venture at Bisha Analysis The Ethiopian government under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently announced that it will accept and implement a peace agreement it negotiated with Eritrea in 2000.

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Guinea: temporary respite to oppositional disruptions

Summary: That political engagement is occurring between the Guinean government and Guinea’s top opposition in an environment absent a threat to bauxite mining operations places resolving the electoral grievances while safeguarding mining activity in a positive outlook. Analysis: Guinea’s current and a previous prime minister

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Cote d’Ivoire: escalating ethnopolitical tensions

Summary: Political and economic risk will increase as the country’s 2020 elections draw near, leading to a negative outlook on the Ivoirian economy with a consequential cost to its Eurobonds Analysis Ethnopolitical tensions within and between political parties of Cote d’Ivoire, undeclared presidential aspirations for

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South Africa: economic imperatives and land reform

Summary A sovereign credit rating downgrade, with consequential higher borrowing costs and Eurobond pricing, is more likely as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa adjusts to his country’s political imperatives Analysis The Ramaphosa administration in South Africa will likely hasten the gazetting of the government’s much-anticipated

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Kabila’s confidence

Summary: Glencore, Randgold, AngloGold Ashanti, and other foreign mining operators will have to compromise the fiscal terms of their Congo operations through early 2019. Analysis The government of President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) appears confident and intent June 2

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Angola: outlook improved for Cabinda exclave

Recent political-economic and security developments in Angola’s Cabinda province are improving stability and raising security for the exclave’s hydrocarbons industry. Operators including Chevron, ENI, and Total are likely to find greater breathing space from geopolitical tensions that in the past led to conflict between local

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Kenya: hydrocarbons and favorable political imperatives

Summary: Despite the coming threat of ethno-political violence, Tullow Oil and crude oil-backed Kenyan securities are advantageously positioned amid favorable political imperatives in Kenya Analysis Although general elections in Kenya are not until 2022, this faraway date is not stopping the country’s political heavyweights from

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Mozambique: securing natural gas investments

The Mozambique government is counting on Rosneft and ExxonMobil to make final investment decisions as early as the fourth quarter of 2018 on their offshore natural gas interests in the country’s Rovuma basin. The scale of investment in Mozambique’s LNG sector will likely exceed $30

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Zimbabwe: elections date resolved

The government of Zimbabwe announced that July 30 will be when the country holds presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections. Announcing the date seals in campaigns that have been building ever since Emerson Mnangagwa succeeded Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwean president in November 2017. Zimbabwe’s elections are

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Mozambique: securing the country for natural gas investments

Summary: Upcoming Final Investment Decisions on Mozambique’s liquified natural gas developments are propelling the Mozambique government to effect policy reform enabling comprehensive support to the hydrocarbons projects. Analysis The Mozambique government is counting on Rosneft and ExxonMobil to make final investment decisions as early as

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