Despite the departure of Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s government is still made up of the same set of ZANU-PF heavyweights, serving as a reminder that the right to rule Zimbabwe revolves around the military, and liberation war credentials. Under Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s future remains threatened by the same patronage-based system of predatory and anti-democratic government.
The Trump administration’s Africa policy remains confused and uncertain, punctuated by clumsy attempts by various senior politicians to engage the continent. While an overall lack of interest by senior members of the new administration has allowed US civil servants in Africa to preserve some continuity, the lack of clarity over Washington’s involvement in Africa could put the US’s position as one of the continent’s biggest trading partners at risk.
Just two years into his presidency, President John Magufuli’s is proving to be a polarising figure. Winning praise for his tough stance on corruption and his refusal to back down in high-profile disputes with international mining companies, Magufuli has equally attracted condemnations for his increasingly authoritarian ruling style.
President Magufuli’s increasingly authoritarian actions have attracted concerns over the state of democracy in Tanzania. There are indications that the recent closures of opposition-linked newspapers could be a mere ploy to weaken the opposition and stifle government critics.
The DRC’s national insurance company Société Nationale d'Assurances (SONAS) is alleged to be a lucrative source of income for President Joseph Kabila. While the country’s insurance sector has been formally liberalised, SONAS’s informal monopoly over the sector will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Over the next weeks Shadow Governance Intel will be releasing analysis that looking at China’s evolving interests in Africa. This will culminate in the release of a Report (available in the Store) that explores China’s burgeoning relationship with the Continent. The report, available in early October, details China’s key commercial actors in Africa, highlighting the trajectory of the main trends in this complex relationship.
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While ostensibly stepping down from his position as President of Angola, President Jose dos Santos has managed to amass a considerable power base over the years and will remain a highly influential figure in Angola’s political and business spheres. His successor, Lourenço can be viewed as a guarantor of smooth transition. He is a loyalist who is not expected to bring about significant political or economic change in the short term.
The actors and transit routes involved in the DRC-Dubai gold trade raise suspicion; not least because estimates suggest that 70% of all DRC gold reaches Dubai. Those who stand to benefit may have little incentive to enforce a crackdown. Understanding the nuances of the DRC-Dubai trade route should be a priority for sector stakeholders.
Investment and religious connections have emerged as the driving forces behind the Gulf’s relationship with Africa. Qatar, lacking its neighbours’ religious, cultural and economic connections to the continent, appears to have been less effective in garnering African support.
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Nigeria has become one of Turkey’s most important providers of liquid natural gas (LNG), and with the LNG industry in both countries gaining increasing prominence, LNG trade between the two is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.
President Lungu’s increasingly authoritarian actions have attracted concerns over Zambia’s democracy. There are indications that the recent declaration of a state of threatened emergency could be a mere ploy to stifle the increasingly vocal opposition.
With President Kabila and his close circle of allies retaining tight control over industrial mining in the DRC, it is vital that foreign investors learn how to navigate networks of exposed political elite and their various gatekeepers. Shadow Governance’s new report on mining in the DRC details the key power plays and power players.