As one of Tanzania’s most important economic sectors and sources of foreign investment, tourism provides widespread opportunities for rent seeking and patronage activities among politicians. This trend is epitomised in the government’s relationship with the Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC), whose almost three-decade tenure in Tanzania has been plagued by allegations of corruption, human rights abuses and illicit hunting practices.
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.
In May 2018, President Buhari signed a law reducing the age of candidacy for several political positions, including the presidency. Ostensibly aimed at opening up Nigeria’s democratic space for increased youth participation, the timing of the laws’ introduction may serve to benefit Buhari himself more than the country’s younger generation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.