Items of Interest: September 11

The Democratic Republic of the Congo and early stage government dialogue over its Mining Code, and Guinea initiating national political dialogue are actions from September 11 that may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: The minister of Mines and the chairman of the board of the state mining company Gécamines separately spoke on the state of the mining sector. 

Significance: Following the September 7 swearing in of Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba and the September 6 swearing in of his sixty-five member cabinet, discussion can begin to take place regarding the formulation and implementation of policy priorities. Minister of Mines Willy Samsoni called for greater mining sector revenues, to include from the restart of shuttered mines, so as to support the government’s budget and economic diversification agenda. Albert Yuma, the chairman of the board of Gécamines, called for the government to reassert cobalt as a national priority. Neither official meaningfully raised Congo’s Mining Code that was revised in 2018, with Samsoni saying that there has been too much discussion on it. Yuma indirectly referenced the Mining Code by querying the fall in the price of cobalt after the Congo government, in 2018, declared the mineral a strategic commodity. All this is to say is that influential Congo officials overseeing the country’s minerals portfolios are undoubtedly sensitive to the interests of foreign mining operators in the country – who want fresh revisions to the Mining Code – but have made no signal that the legislative and regulatory regime shaping the mining sector will be favorably amended. 

Guinea: Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana initiated a robust schedule of national political dialogue. 

Significance: The Guinean prime minister will meet beginning September 12 with the leaders of various state institutions, to include from the country’s National Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and Human Rights agency. From September 16 Fofana will meet with the heads of political parties, starting with the ruling Rally for the Guinean People (RPG). The consultations to this point, essentially over whether or not the government should amend the constitution and remove the presidential term limit clause, will be unconfrontational and largely in favor of incumbent President Alpha Condé. The following meeting, however, will set the tone for political stability and the potential for oppositional disruption, and that is when the Guinean prime minister receives oppositional leader Cellou Dalein Diallo of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). Diallo is on record opposing any consultative dialogue that lends itself to an extra term bid by Condé. While Diallo has led various opposition protests since 2018 against perceived government unilateralism, these protests to this point been sub-strategic and have not escalated to the scale of national paralysis that was seen in and following the death in 2008 of then-President Lansana Conté.   

Other items of note:

-The Chadian National Assembly voted to extend by four months the state of emergency declared in the country’s Sila, Ouaddaï, and Tibesti provinces. 

-Former Côte d’Ivoire President Henri Konan Bédié stated that a potential constitution amendment introducing a presidential age limit ceiling is a very serious problem for the stability of the country. 

-Mozambique National Resistance military junta leader Mariano Nhongo accused his opposition party’s civilian leader Ossufo Momade of having orchestrated and ordered the recent alleged attack on his militia by the country’s security forces. Nhongo added that Momade was a traitor. 

-Members of South Africa’s parliament debated the merits of prescribing public sector worker’s pension assets for government-prioritized projects. 

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