John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Economy"

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma Stonewalls on Corruption Charges

by John Campbell
A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters stands on the roof of a house they built for an elderly woman, near the homestead of South African president Jacob Zuma (in the background), in Nkandla January 11, 2014. (Rogan Ward/Courtesy Reuters) A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters stands on the roof of a house they built for an elderly woman, near the homestead of South African president Jacob Zuma (in the background), in Nkandla January 11, 2014. (Rogan Ward/Courtesy Reuters)

South Africa’s Public Protector stated in a recent report that taxpayer money funded improvements to Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma’s private estate. The public protector found this “unconscionable, excessive, and caused a misappropriation of public funds.” President Zuma made his first public comment on March 31, in remarks carried by a TV station. He said, “I never did anything wrong.” In effect, he is blaming his subordinates within the governing African National Congress (ANC). Read more »

Nigeria is Officially “Africa’s Largest Economy”

by John Campbell
Trucks are seen parked around an automobile workshop overlooking the Lagos business district at the Orile-Iganmu in Lagos August 29, 2013. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Trucks are seen parked around an automobile workshop overlooking the Lagos business district at the Orile-Iganmu in Lagos August 29, 2013. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

On April 6, Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that after “rebasing,” Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) almost doubled to U.S. $509.9 billion. That figure is dramatically larger than South Africa’s 2013 GDP of $370.3 billion, and bestows on Nigeria the bragging rights of being the largest economy in Africa. Read more »

Big Men: Ghana, Nigeria, and the United States

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

A great discovery often brings together strange bedfellows. Such is the case when the Jubilee Oil Field is discovered within Ghana’s national waters in the Gulf of Guinea. The heights and depths of the relationships between the people and groups pulled together around this oil field is the subject of the new Rachel Boyton (director) and Brad Pitt (producer) documentary Big Men. The documentary was filmed over five years from first discovery of the oil field to nearing “first oil” -when actual production begins. Read more »

Really, Really Rich People in Africa

by John Campbell
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (back L) looks on as Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote points to the site of a new cement plant branch during a commissioning ceremony at the Dangote cement factory in Obajana, Kogi state, June 11, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (back L) looks on as Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote points to the site of a new cement plant branch during a commissioning ceremony at the Dangote cement factory in Obajana, Kogi state, June 11, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

According to Forbes, the first African ever has entered into the “top 25” of the world’s billionaires. He is Aliko Dangote, number 23. Forbes says that his net worth is now U.S. $25 billion up from $3.3 billion in 2007. His wealth is based on cement, but he is also investing in agriculture. Read more »

African Economies: Growing Quickly But Transforming Slowly

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Labourers work at a mine believed to contain gold in Minna, Niger State, June 23, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Labourers work at a mine believed to contain gold in Minna, Niger State, June 23, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is a master’s degree candidate at the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) studying economic and political development. You can read more by him at: https://dipteshsoni.contently.com/. Read more »

Lamido Sanusi Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor in Bombshell “Suspension”

by John Campbell
Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, October 30, 2013. (Stefan Wermuth/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, October 30, 2013. (Stefan Wermuth/Courtesy Reuters)

Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday ordered the immediate suspension of Lamido Sanusi, the governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank. According to the BBC, Reuters, and the Financial Times, trading in Nigeria’s foreign exchange, bond, and money markets, halted due to uncertainty over the president’s move. How long trading will be halted and what the consequences will be remains to be seen. Read more »

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on “Reforming Nigeria”

by John Campbell
Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala address the audience on the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration while delivering the mid-term report during Democracy Day celebrations in Abuja, May 29, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala address the audience on the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration while delivering the mid-term report during Democracy Day celebrations in Abuja, May 29, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Stuart Reid published in the current issue of Foreign Affairs a fascinating interview with Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The finance minister was educated at Harvard and MIT and is a former vice president of the World Bank. More recently she was a candidate for the presidency of the World Bank. International investors and business people associate her with many or most of Nigeria’s economic reforms in the administrations of Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. She is probably much more popular outside of Nigeria than at home, where her reforms have gored many oxes. Read more »

Tapping into Africa’s Potential: Why the Marginalized Matter

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters) A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Lynn ElHarake, research associate for the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Africa is now the world’s youngest continent,” writes Makhtar Diop, vice president for Africa at the World Bank. “These young people have high expectations, and African policy makers are increasingly concerned about how to meet them.” Read more »

Tracking the Traffickers: The Debate over Legalizing Trade in Rhino Horn

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Kenya Wildlife Service  wardens wait for a tranquilized male white rhinoceros to collapse to the ground, before implanting a radio transmitter, at the Lake Nakuru national park in Kenya's Rift Valley, 160 km (99 miles) west of the capital Nairobi, November 8, 2013. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters) Kenya Wildlife Service wardens wait for a tranquilized male white rhinoceros to collapse to the ground, before implanting a radio transmitter, at the Lake Nakuru national park in Kenya's Rift Valley, 160 km (99 miles) west of the capital Nairobi, November 8, 2013. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

2014 has had a bad beginning with respect to the preservation of Africa’s remaining rhino populations. The South African government announced that by January 17, thirty-seven rhinos had been killed in South Africa. According to the Washington Post on January 31, over 1,600 have been killed worldwide in the past two years. There could be fewer than 25,000 rhino left worldwide. Read more »

Could Lagos Be a Model for the Developing World?

by John Campbell
People sit and trade under a bridge at the Orile-Iganmu district of Lagos, August 29, 2013. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) People sit and trade under a bridge at the Orile-Iganmu district of Lagos, August 29, 2013. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

Seth D. Kaplan, writing in the opinion pages of the January 7 New York Times, observes that by 2015, half the world’s population living on less than $1.25 a day will reside in fragile states. These poor contribute disproportionately to political instability, even terrorism. Nigeria is a fragile state, and the “worst run of the world’s most populated countries.” Read more »