Items of Interest: August 22

Cabinda’s new governor deploring socioeconomic conditions in Angola’s exclave province, opposition political alliance formation in Côte d’Ivoire now including Charles Blé Goudé, and the Zimbabwe government reversing course on introducing the Zimbabwe dollar are actions from August 22 that may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa.

Angola: Recently appointed governor of Cabinda province Marcos Nhunga deplored the state of public facilities in the exclave territory. 

Significance: Nhunga was appointed to the Cabinda governorship on July 26 and following the completion of a fact-finding mission in the province criticized the state of public infrastructure such as roads and clinics. Poor socioeconomic conditions in the oil and gas producing province has informed an armed rebellion led by members of the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave (FLEC) that poses a sovereign risk the Angolan government includes in its Eurobond prospectuses. The Cabinda governor initiated an investigation into the mismanagement of public Cabinda funds by preceding officials. While a constructive move to address socioeconomic grievances, raising quality of life standards in a move to resolve indigenous tensions is still a longer-term engagement process.  

Côte d’Ivoire: Charles Blé Goudé met in The Hague with the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire. 

Significance: Goudé, the recently elected leader of the Congrès panafricain pour la justice et l’égalité des peuples (COJEP) party, is a former right-hand man to former President Laurent Gbagbo in charge of youth mobilization. Both Goudé and Gbagbo were recently acquitted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity dating to Gbagbo’s terms as president from 2000-2010. The meeting between Goudé and Maurice Guikahué is the latest in efforts by former President Henri Konan Bédié of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire to secure a comprehensive opposition political alliance intended to unseat incumbent President Alassane Ouattara at the country’s presidential election scheduled for October 2020.  

Zimbabwe: Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube stated the government was in no rush to introduce a new Zimbabwe dollar currency. 

Significance: Insufficient hard currency reserves likely contributed to the reversal by the Zimbabwean government to re-introduce the Zimbabwe dollar as a replacement for bond and electronic notes that have performed the function of a sovereign currency. The outlook for an improved Zimbabwean economy remains bleak especially given the crackdown by Zimbabwe Republic Police on political opposition demonstrations that have sustained strained relations between the Zimbabwean government and Western donor governments. 

Other items of note:

-Angolan President João Lourenço hosted Chadian President Idriss Déby as well as São Tome and Principe Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus in separate visits August 22. 

-The Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb-allied Malian Tuareg Islamist militant leader Iyad Ag Ghali claimed responsibility for the August 19 attack at Koutougou in Burkina Faso that killed twenty-four Burkinabé soldiers.  

-Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi met with Prime Minister Sylvester Ilunga Ilunkamba and stated government’s new cabinet may be revealed and introduced in the coming hours. 

-Mali’s Council of Ministers adopted a draft Mining Code intended to revise the existing law that was passed in 2012 in order to provide greater beneficiation from the mining sector to the nation’s economy.

-Zambian President Edgar Lungu signed six memoranda of understanding during his state visit to India. Lungu added that a legal process underway to dissolve the Konkola Copper Mines partnership should take its course. 

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