GIS Dossier: Sub-Saharan Africa
The list of challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa is long and daunting. Political instability and violence have led to immense migration flows that countries on three continents are struggling to contain. These problems have exacerbated weather-related catastrophes like famine, creating a vicious circle. Yet, the region has plenty of potential. Can it overcome its hurdles? This edition of GIS Dossier surveys the predictions from our experts on this troubled region.
From gas to governance: Mozambique’s slippery slope
Mozambique's dreams of gas riches moved closer to reality this month with the signing of an $8 billion LNG export project led by Italy’s Eni in cooperation with Exxon Mobil. The timing could not be better for a desperately poor country whose success story has gone sour amid a massive corruption scandal and aid cutoff. What happens next depends on whether Mozambique’s feuding parties manage not to blow this opportunity.
Will South Africa’s president survive the latest political storm?
South African President Jacob Zuma’s ill-advised government reshuffle and influence peddling scandals have alarmed financial markets, angered the opposition and put the country’s political system to its hardest test in decades. Even if Mr. Zuma manages to weather the crisis, he will emerge from it battered and at the mercy of his rivals within the ruling National African Congress.
South Africa: faded dreams, difficult choices
Slowly but inevitably, South Africa is approaching the end of a political era as veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle face increasing criticism from voters. The country’s mismanaged economy and a widespread realization that the ruling African National Congress has not delivered on its promise of a more equal and unified society point to a realignment in the 2019 general elections.
Political split could put Mozambique’s gas boom on hold
Even with the collapse of energy prices, Mozambique’s economy appears poised for explosive growth thanks to discoveries of huge offshore natural gas fields. President Filipe Nyusi’s government has committed to much-needed economic and financial reforms. Yet cracks in Mozambique’s political system, especially the failure to incorporate the opposition Renamo party, c...
South Africa’s ANC regroups as slumping economy boosts opposition
The African National Congress (ANC) remains South Africa`s leading political force. Yet last year’s general elections showed a political landscape undergoing slow but steady change – a process that could bolster the country’s stability. The official winner – the ANC – suffered significant losses, while its main opponents – Hellen Zille’s Democratic Alliance (DA) a...
Internal divisions pose problems for new BRICS bank
The BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have set up a New Development Bank as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. These emerging economies have little in common and some observers warn that China could grow too big for the others to accept, or might restrict overall lending. It remains to be seen whether t...
Free market reforms present global energy opportunities
Free market principles could transform global energy markets and keep a check on prices. Clearly defined and enforceable property rights will be critical to those resource-abundant countries hoping to take advantage of their assets, as has been shown in the United States and Canada. Opening markets to both domestic and international access could also fundamentally ...
The key to understanding Africa’s future
Bad news of terror attacks, kidnapping and corruption dominate the global view of Africa. Poor governance and corrupt leaders have made their mark but behind the headlines Africa has a future, with the support of business and education, to help it change. Former colonial powers, who imposed inappropriate borders and then left the continent in chaos, are best placed...
South African election could spell end for President Zuma
The African National Congress is certain to win the May 2014 election 20 years after it led the momentous change from an apartheid regime to black majority rule. But splits in the ANC ranks have raised questions about the leadership of President Jacob Zuma who is already mired in allegations of corruption. A poor result could be an excuse for his departure. ...