Items of Interest: April 22

The following items from April 22 may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa:

Angola: The Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave (FLEC) invited the Angolan government to sign an agreement in principle to end the conflict in the exclave province.

Significance: The offer of a peace agreement follows the Angolan rebel group’s February 28 declaration of a resumption of activities and at least two claims of attacks on Angolan armed forces operating in Cabinda. Angolan governments have historically been open to signing such agreements with the Cabindan rebel group, however, such agreements are usually seen by the Angolan government as non-binding and do not materially constrain state behavior.

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Côte d’Ivoire: Senate President Jeannot Ahoussou called for support to reconciliation between Ivoirian President Alassane Ouattara and former President Henri Konan Bédié so as to avoid risks of crisis in the country. 

Significance: The country is preparing for a presidential election in October 2020 and electoral alliances are taking shape along ethnic-political lines. Political and socio-economic grievances in Côte d’Ivoire can take violent shape at times of heightened political stress, notably when the country convenes a presidential election. The likelihood of reconciliation between the Ivoirian leaders is unlikely, but impressing upon the leaders to preside over electoral campaigns conducted without recourse to inflammatory ethnonationalism may be a more viable outlook.

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Zimbabwe: Indigenous majority ownership requirements remain in place for the country’s platinum and diamond mining sectors.

Significance: Contradictory statements from the country’s finance minister and the deputy minister of Mines and Mining Development would indicate that local ownership requirements in the two strategic mining sectors have not been repealed. Undoubtedly the removal of such legislation would be politically controversial to some domestic constituents, potential foreign investors in the mining sector, notably ALROSA, have stated they can only proceed should they be able to retain a majority ownership position in their prospective operations.

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