The DRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Léonard She Okitundu, has become the face and mouthpiece of the Kabila regime on the international stage. A trusted Kabila confidante, Okitundu has the difficult job of depicting the Kabila regime as a capable and competent ally to the international community.
Endemic corruption has long rendered the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) ineffective in its role as governor and operator of Nigeria’s maritime ports, deterring investment and limiting economic development. However, the appointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman to head the critical parastatal promises an end to this trend, as President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption turns to the country’s ports.
As both Russia and the DRC continue to suffer from the effects of international sanctions, an uptick in high-level diplomatic meetings between Congolese and Russian officials appears to suggest a mutual desire to develop the two countries’ nascent relationship.
The political elite of the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, the Hausa-Fulani, have retained effective control over Nigerian politics for decades. This has largely been accomplished through their occupation of command positions within government. While this dominance appears to have been cemented under President Buhari, there is no indication that it will weaken in the foreseeable future
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s public confirmation that he would seek re-election in 2019, campaign season in Nigeria has begun. Despite the advantages of incumbency, support for Buhari has dropped over the last three years and the APC appears to be turning its attention to developing its muted support base in the PDP stronghold of the south east in exchange for its support for an Igbo presidency in 2023.
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In his two years in power, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has only made a handful of official trips abroad, raising fears that his focus on domestic affairs is having a detrimental effect on Tanzania’s wider foreign policy.
A recent cabinet reshuffle appears to have increased President John Magufuli’s authority and control over Tanzania’s commercial industries and wider political landscape following the appointment of several alleged political allies to positions of influence.
Despite not having yet confirmed his intention to run for a second presidential term in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari is attracting support from all corners of the ruling APC. It remains the case that many politicians recognise the benefit of Buhari serving a second term, ostensibly benefits for their own further political or economic advancement.
Created to investigate corruption within the government, Ghana's newly appointed Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu faces the challenging task of investigating and prosecuting public officials found guilty of corruption, as questions remain as to the extent of the position's independence.
While the Catholic Church has consistently played an important role in the DRC's post-independence politics, it has become increasingly vocal in its criticism of Kabila's attempts to remain in power past the end of his mandate. Many observers now view the religious institution as an increasingly vital member of the civil society opposition movement.
Aliko Dangote’s new refinery – which is expected to be operational in 2019 –represents a huge potential boost for the Nigerian economy. Of equal interest, it will also secure Dangote’s eminent position in Nigeria’s economic and political circles, potentially at the expense of some politically-connected individuals who are alleged to have improperly profited from importing refined petroleum.
Nigeria has long been dominated by ethnic divisions, with many political relationships formed on the basis of ethnicity and region. While the Yoruba are one of the most populous and dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria, its influence in political circles remains largely regional, with the exception of a few major political kingmakers.