Items of Interest: September 3

Cooperative political talks in Côte d’Ivoire and Mozambique elections campaigning are actions from September 3 that may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa.

Côte d’Ivoire: Pascal Affi N’Guessan of the opposition Ivoirian Popular Front and Minister of Defense Hamed Bakayoko met together in Abidjan. 

Significance: The two influential officials met to address tensions over the recently reformed Independent Electoral Commission. Disagreements over the composition of the elections body, which is to prepare for a presidential vote scheduled for October 2020, has led Côte d’Ivoire opposition parties, including N’Guessan’s Ivoirian Popular Front as well as the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire, to refuse to participate. The combination of rising oppositional alliance formation, together with an elections agency boycott, paints a picture of considerable political disruption and a reversal of the stability and unity that sustained very high economic growth rates during the Alassane Ouattara presidency. However, Bakayoko, a key right-hand man to Ouattara, and N’Guessan, a prominent interlocutor to former President Henri Konan Bédié and former President Laurent Gbagbo, meeting together demonstrates that diplomatic channels of political mediation is underway between the country’s principal political parties.  

Mozambique: President Filipe Nyusi led elections campaigning in the oppositional stronghold the Gorongosa district, while opposition leader Ossufo Momade led campaigning in the ruling party’s backyard, the nation’s capital. 

Significance: Campaigning for presidential, parliamentary, and provincial assembly elections that Mozambique will hold on October 15 formally opened on August 31. The general elections provides opportunity and meaning for the implementation of political cooperation accords reached between Mozambique’s two principal political parties, the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) led by Nyusi, and Momade’s Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO), particularly in decentralizing the administration of political and economic power away from the central government to provincial and local government authorities, a move that empowers the opposition. Momade’s RENAMO and the conduct of elections have been threatened with internal revolt by members of the party’s military junta. That the Mozambican president launched his campaign in the district where RENAMO holds its headquarters aims to demonstrate government commitment to the peace accords it has signed. That Momade began his campaign in Maputo aims to show his constituency is national and is not limited by geography or tribe to the Gorongosa area of central Mozambique. 

Other items of note:

-Three Chinese gold miners kidnapped August 16 in Chad’s Tibesti region were secured by Chadian officials. 

-Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres traveled to and met in Kinshasa with Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi and Prime Minister Sylvester Ilunga Ilunkamba. 

-The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers threatened a militancy campaign if the Niger Delta Development Commission is transferred from the supervision of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria. 

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