Although the majority of trade in Africa is by sea, the continent’s ports are performing far below their potential in terms of efficiency. To rectify this imbalance, there is an ongoing trend towards increased private sector participation, and the transition from the public service port to a landlord port model.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Freedom of speech in Tanzania is set to suffer another blow as new online content regulations are on the brink of becoming law in 2018. Ostensibly aimed at ensuring that digital platforms are not used to spread immoral or offensive activities, the regulations have the potential to severely restrict freedom of expression, raising concerns that the bill will be utilised as a political tool to silence dissent.
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