The international community has become captivated by the ongoing crises in North Africa, which have seen strongmen deposed and a full-blown civil war erupt in Libya, a major oil producing state. This has been to the detriment of a range of slower burning situations, not least the apparent slide towards conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, a country that was once a major economic force in West Africa, which looks set to be denied a smooth transition back to relative prosperity. Nigeria, the largest oil producer south of the Sahara, is heading towards another election and stability there is far from assured. However, there have been some apparent bright spots, with a negotiated solution breaking the impasse in Madagascar and a return to civilian rule in Niger.
Sudan’s first multi-party elections in 24 years have ended with a resounding victory for incumbent Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party. The poll has been heavily criticised by the international community, with election monitors at the Carter Center calling the process: “Highly chaotic, non-transparent, and vulnerable to electoral manipulation.” The Centre’s report also highlighted violence and intimidation around the country in the run up to the vote. EU election monitors in the restive Darfur region were withdrawn over safety concerns.More . . .
Nigeria’s acting president Goodluck Jonathan meeting US president Barack Obama in Washington PHOTOS: AFP/Getty Images
- Show of unity hides fragility of GPA Attendees of this year’s World Economic Forum on Africa in Dar es Salaam were treated to an unprecedented show of unity from Zimbabwe’s three leading political figures. President Robert Mugabe, prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai and deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara shared a stage at the forum to attempt to rekindle investor interest in the country, at one time one of the continent’s leading economic powers.
- Acting leader unveils cabinet nominations Goodluck Jonathan’s unseating of the entire Nigerian cabinet raised some eyebrows, but appears to have been driven by a desire to address the considerable challenges the country faces rather than to enable him to run for office in 2011
- Yar’Adua’s health again prompts questions Continued speculation over the state of Nigerian president Umaru Yar’Adua’s health leads to uncertainty about his succession and reform efforts within the country
- Pressure mounts for election Further delays to the elections in Côte d’Ivoire despite international pressure for a resolution have prompted concerns over the prospects for a smooth return to unity in the divided country
- No end to junta’s rule in sight The attempt on the life of Guinean junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara exposes divisions within the ruling cadre and further threatens prospects for a return to civilian rule
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“There is a regional consensus that the crisis cannot be allowed to affect regional development”
“Africa probably has more resources than any place you can imagine”
“There can never be soft touch regulation. But it has to be regulation that is not arbitrary. The direction needs to be clear”
“Africa has lots of potential – raw materials and young people – but it needs FDI”