Kidnap for ransom is a dominant form of criminality in the Niger Delta, having evolved from being a tool used by local militant groups - to simultaneously fund their campaign against the government and attract international attention - to a hugely profitable business in and of itself. This activity has grown to involve an extensive network of actors.
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.
After just one year, President Akufo-Addo's highly-publicised anti-corruption campaign appears to be faltering amid allegations of nepotism. Several influential positions within both Ghana's political and commercial spheres have since been filled by those with close connections to a number of NPP elites.
Tanzania's ruling CCM party has long dominated the country's political landscape, utilising its position in power to win - what are perceived to be - democratic elections. However, on close inspection, the intimidation and harassment of opposition politicians, activists and supporters by state institutions highlight that this 'power play' is a common tool of influence.
Nigeria’s various illicit networks enjoy varying degrees of political access and influence. In general, illicit networks have had little sway over the government in terms of influencing the decision-making process; but individually, each network is capable of impacting the country’s political, economic and social climates.
This is Part III of a three-part series reviewing the future of Africa’s electoral landscape. Today’s contribution looks towards elections in 2019 as the political landscapes in two of Africa’s biggest countries sit on a knife edge, amid allegations of corruption and broken promises.
This is Part II of a three-part series reviewing the future of Africa’s electoral landscape. Today’s contribution assesse elections that are scheduled over the coming 12 months – outlining potential outcomes, the key political players, and the methods through which incumbents will attempt to retain power in the face of increasing competition from strengthening opposition groups.
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This is Part I of a three-part series reviewing the future of Africa’s electoral landscape. Today’s contribution reviews the upcoming elections in the DRC and South Sudan – both have been subjected to various delays as their respective leaders attempt to legitimise their extended stays in power – as well as the aftermaths of various recent elections that are still playing out.
Over the last decade, wealthy Angolans have increasingly invested their wealth in lucrative sectors of Portugal’s economy. Despite its less than lucrative nature, the Portuguese media sector has not escaped Angolan interest. Largely targeted by individuals with close ties to the MPLA – investing in Portugal’s media sector has gained Luanda huge influence.
The escalation in violence in the DRC has forced Angola – traditionally one of the DRC’s staunchest allies – to scale back its support for its neighbour as the crisis begins to threaten Angola’s own security environment, particularly that of its oil-rich Cabinda province.
China’s use of soft power in Africa has served to strengthen relations with individual countries and the region as a whole. Yet, despite the initial altruistic appearance of many of Beijing’s Africa initiatives, China’s involvement in the African market does not necessarily bode well for the future of transparency.
Over the past decade China’s relationship with Africa has become much more complex, and can no longer be defined by the simple need to secure access to natural resources. Ultimately, Beijing’s engagement with Africa is believed to be a part of a long-term strategy to restore China to global prominence.