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.
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.
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.
As uncertainty prevails over whether President Joseph Kabila will seek an unconstitutional third term in office, the DRC’s political opposition at last appears to be making attempts to present a united challenge to his rule. The prospect of the DRC’s political opposition fielding a single unity candidate in the upcoming elections has raised the possibility of the country witnessing a change in government in December 2018.
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.