John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "Finance"

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 »

Nigerian Finance Minister’s Mother Kidnapped

by John Campbell
Managing Director of the World Bank Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks during a news conference in Tirana 10/01/2011. (Arben Celi/Courtesy Reuters) Managing Director of the World Bank Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks during a news conference in Tirana 10/01/2011. (Arben Celi/Courtesy Reuters)

Kamene Okonjo, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s mother, who is a medical doctor and the wife of a traditional ruler, was kidnapped on December 9, 2012. The kidnapping highlights a growing menace in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Read more »

South Africa’s Bond Rating Downgraded

by John Campbell
Zar_Exchange

In the aftermath of the Marikana strike and associated violence, the rand has remained highly volatile against the dollar. Industrial unrest is spreading in the mining and trucking industries.  Last week, Moody’s, the international ratings agency, downgraded the South African government bond rating from A3 to Baa1. It cited uncertainty about the government’s ability to address the country’s socioeconomic problems as justification. Yesterday, Bank of America warned of the risk of a further credit downgrade by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch if the uncertainty persists. Read more »

Africa Impoverished?

by John Campbell
A woman and her children wash gravel from local mines in hope of finding sapphires in the town of Sakaraha 16/09/2007. (Jasleen Kaur Sethi/Courtesy Reuteres) A woman and her children wash gravel from local mines in hope of finding sapphires in the town of Sakaraha 16/09/2007. (Jasleen Kaur Sethi/Courtesy Reuteres)

I had always thought that Africa was a cornucopia of mineral riches:  gold, platinum, coal, diamonds, oil–you name it; Africa has it all.

Maybe not so, writes Bright Simons in “Africa’s Fabulous Mineral Wealth that Isn’t all There,” published in African Arguments.  Read more »

Mugabe and Opposition Deadlocked Over New Constitution for Zimbabwe

by John Campbell
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives for the burial of ZANU (PF) member Edson Ncube in Harare 04/05/2012. (Philimon Bulawayo/Courtesy Reuters) Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives for the burial of ZANU (PF) member Edson Ncube in Harare 04/05/2012. (Philimon Bulawayo/Courtesy Reuters)

In the bloody aftermath of the 2008 elections, the Southern African Development Committee (SADC)  drew up and approved a unity government scenario to move the country forward.  In this scenario, incumbent Zimbabwe African National Political Union-Patriotic Front’s (ZANU-PF) Robert Mugabe continued to serve as president, while opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai became prime minister.  They also planned to draft a new constitution and submit it to the people for ratification.  Finally a new voters’ role would be established. Only then would national elections be held. Read more »

Funding for Nigeria’s Boko Haram

by John Campbell
A crowd gathers near a car damaged by an explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) A crowd gathers near a car damaged by an explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Baron David Alton of Liverpool, a member of the UK House of Lords, has raised with Baron David Howell of Guildford, a minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the UK foreign ministry), his concern that a London-based Islamic charity, Al Muntada, is providing some financial support for Boko Haram.  The London press reports that Lord Alton raised these concerns in July;  it is not clear why the UK media is only carrying the story now.  However, spokespersons for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the UK’s military think tank, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide have, during the past year, issued alarms about Boko Haram activities and the possibility that they could spread to the UK. For the RUSI report, see here.  It is well known that a number of radical Islamic organizations are based in London where, presumably, their activities are monitored appropriately by the Metropolitan police.  A spokesperson for the UK Charity Commission (the entity that regulates registered charities in the UK) confirmed knowledge of Lord Alton’s concerns, but cautioned that there are a “number of registered charities with a similar name to this organization, so the commission is not able to confirm at this stage whether or not this relates directly to a UK registered charity.” Read more »

Guest Post: Nigeria Hit by Domestic, Regional, and Global Headwinds

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Last month at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Africa Progress Panel’s 2012 Africa Progress Report highlighted the threat to Africa of “rising inequality and the marginalization of whole sections of societies.”  Experts warned that “inequality in sub-Saharan Africa could threaten political stability and growth after a decade of rapid economic expansion.” Read more »

Fuel Subsidy Haunts Nigeria — Again

by John Campbell
A member of the Nigerian Bar Association holds up a placard to protest a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos January 5, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A member of the Nigerian Bar Association holds up a placard to protest a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos January 5, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

According to the Nigerian press, funding for the fuel subsidy has run out, with seven months left in the year. Further, the press quotes the executive secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association for Nigeria (MOMAN) as saying that the government has made no payment toward the fuel subsidy in 2012. In other words, it is substantially in arrears. Apparently, oil imports have continued, with a spokesman for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stating that there is enough in the country: “But the product will not be for too long and we shouldn’t wait until we have a crisis before we start looking for a solution.” The danger is that imports of petroleum—upon which the country is dependent—will stop. That would lead to fuel shortages in a country in which most goods move by road. Read more »