Fraud investigations into named politically exposed persons in Angola, crude oil production gains in Chad, and presidential election campaigning in Mauritania are actions from June 14 that may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa.
Angola: The national asset recovery agency of the office of the Attorney General named the key lieutenants to former President José Eduardo dos Santos as subjects of a prosecutorial effort to recover public funds used improperly in private business activities.
Significance: The naming of former Vice President Manuel Vicente, former military affairs presidential advisor Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior “Kopelipa,” and former security affairs presidential advisor Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento “Dino” make clear that the João Lourenço administration is penalizing the full range of dos Santos-era government officials – with the exception of the former president – who abused their public positions for private gain. In addition to the Angolan president reshuffling many political appointees at the cabinet, provincial and municipal government levels for financial or political transgressions, Lourenço has cancelled public works or service contracts awarded to the former president’s daughter, and the Attorney General’s office has prosecuted the son of the former president. The prosecutorial efforts come as the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola convenes on June 15 an extraordinary congress whose public agenda is to prepare for inaugural municipal elections scheduled for 2020 and the function of the party’s Central Committee, but privately will be conformity to the Angolan leader’s expectations for clean and accountable governance at national, provincial and local levels.
Chad: The ministry of petroleum and energy inaugurated the Chinese-operated Daniela crude oil field in the country’s Chari Baguirmi region.
Significance: While the Daniela field is of modest size, to produce an expected 15,000 barrels per day, it represents more than a 10% expansion in Chad’s existing crude oil output of roughly 135,000 barrels per day. More importantly for the Déby administration, the inauguration of the new oil field exhibits evidence in growing economic activity that is crucial for funding the government’s expanded budget priorities that in turn are crucial to harmonizing the country’s strained social contract.
Mauritania: Campaigning for the country’s presidency is entering its final week.
Significance: Mauritania will hold a presidential election on June 22. While a fairly robust multi-party system exists in the country, producing several prominent contenders in the presidential election race, Defense Minister Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani, the candidate of the ruling Union for the Republic (UPR) party enjoys advantages only the incumbent platform provides. El Ghazouani has campaigned throughout the West African country, spending the second to last week prior to the presidential vote in the country’s eastern regions where he has highlighted Mauritania’s unique successes in mitigating the threat of transnational terrorism. El Ghazouani’s campaign conveys confidence in regime continuity during a time of hydrocarbons-derived geopolitical growth as the government transitions from outgoing President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.