As one of Tanzania’s most important economic sectors and sources of foreign investment, tourism provides widespread opportunities for rent seeking and patronage activities among politicians. This trend is epitomised in the government’s relationship with the Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC), whose almost three-decade tenure in Tanzania has been plagued by allegations of corruption, human rights abuses and illicit hunting practices.
Under the guise of corporate social responsibility (CSR), Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has begun using his cement company to rehabilitate some of Nigeria’s federal roads using concrete. One of the most high-profile of these projects centres on a large section of the road network around Lagos’s ports. But while ostensibly a philanthropic endeavour, it is undoubtable that Dangote himself serves to profit from this scheme.
The Congolese government is seeking to exploit the recent surge in global cobalt prices by substantially raising taxes on the metal. Despite concerns over an increase in operational costs, the DRC has a virtual monopoly over global cobalt production, leaving international mining companies with little option but to concede to the sector’s new regulatory changes.
Tanzania’s mining sector appears to finally have a functioning governing body following the appointment of Idris Kikula as Chairman of the newly established Mining Commission. A subsequent resumption in the process of issuing mining licences and permits after an almost 10 months hiatus is expected to create more certainty in Tanzania’s mining industry and slowly restore investor confidence in the East African country.
In anticipation of several substantial developments in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s petroleum industry, Forte Oil appears to be taking a long-term view of the sector and streamlining its operations to focus on its core fuel distribution services.
As President of Nigeria’s Senate, Bukola Saraki is the third most powerful politician in the country. Having survived several potentially destructive corruption scandals, recent developments are suggesting that Saraki is hoping to fulfil his rumoured presidential aspirations in 2019.
Despite fierce opposition from international mining companies, the DRC has signed into law regulations to implement the country’s new Mining Code, which introduces several major fiscal and regulatory reforms. Pursuing a high risk, high reward paradigm, these reforms will have a serious impact on the DRC’s already weak investment environment.
For nearly a decade, Ghana’s parliament has failed to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, giving the general public the right to access information held by public sector organisations. But the recent pledge by President Nana Akufo-Addo to sign the bill into law by the end of 2018 suggests that this dallying is finally at an end, not only enhancing the country’s democratic landscape and investment environment, but also giving further credibility to the NPP’s much-touted anti-corruption campaign.
In May 2018, President Buhari signed a law reducing the age of candidacy for several political positions, including the presidency. Ostensibly aimed at opening up Nigeria’s democratic space for increased youth participation, the timing of the laws’ introduction may serve to benefit Buhari himself more than the country’s younger generation.
Long considered an attractive investment destination in the otherwise troubled Horn of Africa, Djibouti’s reputation is at risk following the government’s controversial seizure of the DP World-operated Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT). The unilateral termination of DP World's contract has raised concerns over the stability of the country’s investment environment and may damage investor confidence in the longer term.
The recent introduction of new mining regulations has created uncertainty within Tanzania’s banking sector, as the government attempts to further maximise the country’s economic benefits gained from its abundant natural resources by limiting the involvement of foreign-owned banks in mining-related businesses.
Having secured influence with the ruling CCM in the 1990s, Rostam Aziz soon rose to become one of Tanzania’s most influential figures. While his influence appears to have waned somewhat – following his incrimination in various corruption scandals – Aziz still retains friends and allies within the CCM and is believed to retain some influence behind the scenes.