News & Politics
The Africa Report

The Africa Report No. 102

The Africa Report is the international publication of reference dedicated to African affairs, anticipating economic and political changes in Africa and relied upon for the independent expertise in its surveys, sector reports and country focus in each issue.

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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
revolution from within

At rallies Abiy talks of national unity, trying to short-circuit identity politics Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s radical prime minister, is testing the outer limits of the possible. After releasing tens of thousands of prisoners, lambasting security officials for human rights abuses and promising to open the biggest state-owned companies to foreign capital, he announced that Ethiopia would withdraw its troops from the border with Eritrea and start negotiations for an enduring peace. And then you wake up. In fact, it continued. In Asmara, President Isaias Afwerki – perhaps the world’s most cantankerous negotiating partner – announced that he takes Abiy’s overtures seriously. So, on 26 June, just three days after someone tried to assassinate him at a rally in the capital, Abiy turned up at the airport to welcome Eritrea’s foreign minister, Osman…

3 min.

CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL Africa has lost its commanding market share in world coffee production because the market has changed beyond recognition over the past 30 years [‘A caffeine kick’, TAR101 June 2018]. Africa cannot compete on volume with Vietnam, Brazil or Colombia, and must develop niche markets. Côte d’Ivoire is a prime example, exporting over 80% of its crop to the Mediterranean, where consumers like the bitter Ivorian robusta. Boosting local consumption is crucial to the sector’s health in Africa: Ethiopia has shown the way, consuming so much of its crop that buyers have to compete to secure supplies. But Africa must be wary of mono-cultivation – coffee is well suited to mix with other crops (e.g. cocoa, palm oil) and this should be encouraged so that farmers are not at the…

1 min.
alliances and opportunities

It is the duty of the UK government to protect its homeland in whatever way it deems necessary – stern immigration policies inclusive [‘Brexit brings hard choices’, TAR101 June 2018]. However, it is expected of any country or region affected by such policies to probe for favourable treatment through its present comparative advantage, which in Africa’s case are trade agreements. Now is the perfect time for African governments to come with equal opportunities to the table by demanding the UK reconsider its hostile policies on African residents in exchange for trade agreements. Britain is already paying hefty prices for Brexit to work and to think they will reconsider rigid immigration policies at this time without highly beneficial trade-offs, is daydreaming. Africans, especially those in the diaspora, should demand actions from…

2 min.
has corruption held back african football?

Yes The abuse of authority at any level of governance has hindered the development of the sport in Africa. Countless players are denied the chance to represent their countries because an official has a certain player preference or a coach has connived with an agent to preselect a team. The result is shambolic performances and pitiable technical development. Money, donations of equipment and false promises directed atfootball stakeholders and offerings of other gifts have thrust football power into the hands of people whose interests lie far from advancing the game. This has resulted in the stagnation of various projects. Grassroots and youth investment has suffered; and poor workmanship on infrastructure has left leagues with a very sad state of playing fields. Itis not uncommon to find stadiums and technical centres that…

1 min.
your views:

Players are not chosen on merit. Some are selected on tribal lines, while others are selected based on the promise that the coach will be getting a percent of the player’s salary. Albert Fwamba Well, FIFA is itself facing corruption investigations as we speak, no? So perhaps African football only follows in the same steps as FIFA. Mukiria A. Nderitu Yes, as long as [it is] in Africa, we are all corrupt. That’s why FIFA introduced the issue of the video assistant referee [because] they knew that African referees are corrupt. Mike Maseya We all know how bad things have been and how Anas’ exposé took it to another level. It’s disappointing for a sport that is so loved by the people to be tainted this much. People have stopped going to the stadium now because…

3 min.

Why are you seeking to recruit more Sub Saharan Africans to work at IFC ? While IFC’s talent pool is strong, we need to increase our focus on attracting, developing and retaining staff from the region and creating opportunities for them across IFC. In the coming years, IFC expects to grow even faster in the world’s most challenging markets. We will benefit from having adiverse workforce that knows these markets well. We also want to create career paths that allow Africans to gain experience in other parts of the world, to share the knowledge from this region, and bring back that global knowledge over the course of their careers. To this end, we have recently launched a recruitment drive aimed to attract nationals of Sub-Saharan and Caribbean countries. We are planning…