On a trip to Beijing, President Kenyatta commits to more Chinese financing, just as the finance ministry rolls out plans to restructure existing debt by issuing another Eurobond this year. Given the slowing Kenyan economy, internal political divisions, and tarnished local banking sector, concerns are mounting over the country’s debt sustainability.
The Gulf of Guinea has become the world’s largest piracy hotspot since the decline of Somali piracy in the early 2010s, with incidents increasing markedly in the last two years, continuing into early 2019. With the media reporting of new attacks in recent weeks, including kidnappings for ransom, we examine the piracy threat and its trends in the Gulf of Guinea.
Burkina Faso has experienced an alarming increase in the geographic spread, tempo, and complexity of attacks by Islamist militants in the past year. This trajectory of violence, in a country which appeared only five years ago to be insulated from wider regional security issues, is concerning, as the local political and security apparatus seem ill-equipped to counter the threat.
A possibly imminent offensive by eastern forces to capture Tripoli would be strategically perilous, diplomatically unwise, and financially unaffordable. The opposing sides are more likely to begin contentious talks on a transition government rather than risk another drawn-out civil war.
The misreporting of economic data and indicators is becoming increasingly apparent across some African countries. EXX Africa assesses the political motivations involved in the manipulation of economic statistics and the likely repercussions for investors and nascent continental trade agreements.
Any negotiated resolution of the political crisis now seems remote as the opposition unites, while security forces fracture, indicating a growing probability of regime change in coming months. Despite questionable reports of slowing inflation, the economic crisis is fast deteriorating and poses severe risk of debt distress.
Investor optimism in African mining is gradually recovering as indicated by companies’ growing exploration budgets. However, some of the continent’s most important mining countries are frustrating investments through arbitrary changes to taxation regimes and imposing politically motivated fines.
In this open access report, EXX Africa assesses the risk of internet shutdowns and online media restrictions in 2019, identifying the countries and operators most at risk of commercial disruption over the coming year.
African markets that are opening up to structural reform and painful liberalisation will offer a more favourable investment climate over the coming year, while governments advocating state interventionism and currency manipulation will pose higher risk to foreign investors in 2019.