As public confidence and trust in Nigeria’s traditional two dominant parties remains low, it is looking increasingly likely that a third political party will emerge as a real competitor in the coming months. By capitalising on the public’s demand for an alternative choice, a third political party has the potential to cause a real upset in 2019.
Belgian interests are being targeted by the DRC government in a series of apparent retaliatory attacks following Brussels’ decision to reallocate funding that was intended for the central government to humanitarian NGOs. While Kinshasa’s actions may be downplayed as political grandstanding, there are concerns that they will inevitably impact the foreign business environment.
Sport hunting in Tanzania has long been synonymous with government corruption, with access to the lucrative sector believed to be controlled by a small group of elite politicians. However, the appointment of a new Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism suggests an imminent end to this trend, as sport hunting has finally attracted the attention of President John Magufuli’s war against corruption.
As President Kabila’s hold on power becomes more and more tenuous, persistent instability across the DRC has become the government’s main excuse to continue to delay new elections. This unrest appears to have been exacerbated by the actions of various illicit networks who, according to various observers, are acting on behalf of the government.
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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.
The relationship between politics and newspapers in Nigeria has evolved over recent years as the newspaper industry struggles to remain solvent. Ultimately, this financial instability has exposed the industry to political interference, as both newspapers and journalists are more inclined to refine their reporting to retain favour with those elites that are in a position to help them financially.
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.