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Adem Mohammed focusing on reforming the intelligence service

Ethiopia’s spy boss is focusing on reforming the intelligence services, investigating threats and keeping an eye on a troubled neighbourhood


ETHIOPIA | The quest for fertile ground

Fertiliser use has shot up, and with it productivity -  Credits: Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images

In order to boost the livelihoods of Ethiopia’s smallholder farmers, the government is getting serious about launching the local production of fertiliser


AGRIBUSINESS | A caffeine kick

A woman processes coffee beans in Kisoro - Credits: Jiro OSE/REDUX-REA

While the world keeps refilling its coffee cup Africa hasn’t kept up. Now farmers and policy-makers are focusing on this potential cash-crop dynamo with schemes to boost exports and strengthen processing capacity on the continent


Kenya tries to tackle illicit goods to boost manufacturers

A member of the audience blows smoke from a cigarette as she listens to a concert in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 11, 2016. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP/SIPA
Kenya has started a campaign against what the government calls illicit goods to help local manufacturers, the minister for industrialisation said on Wednesday.


SOMALIA: A tipping-point talk in London

Withdrawals of AMISOM troops resulted in Al-Shabaab fighters returning within hours - ILYAS AHMED/AMISOM PHOTO
The government of President Mohamed got a dose of support at an international conference in May, but diplomats worry about its ability to defeat Al-Shabaab


Nairobi: The eastern gateway

rsz nairobi 

Nairobi is coming of age as a crossroads between new investors and old money. But mounting pressure on infrastructure and a lack of housing must be addressed


Start-ups: Getting owned

rsz startups

For all the goodwill generated by star start-ups like M-Pesa and M-Kopa, Kenyan innovators are still selling out to foreign money too early. Major players in the tech scene are trying to change this


Tanzania whistleblower speaks out

Tanzania President John Magafuli -- AP Photo/Khalfan SaidJamiiForums founder Maxence Melo speaks out after arrest, as police target whistleblowing site in Tanzania


Africa's youngest billionaire banks on regional integration to boost expansion

Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji. Photo: MeTL GroupTanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji, who is head of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) Group, is spreading his trading, commodities and manufacturing businesses around East and Southern Africa, positioning them to benefit from regional integration.


Kenya Airways in talks with 3-4 parties on stake sale, CEO says

Kenya Airways planes are seen parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport near Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File PhotoKenya Airways is talking to "about three or four" foreign institutional investors and airlines about buying a stake to raise cash for the loss making carrier, its chief executive said on Monday.


South Sudan Country Profile 2015: The war drags on

altThe year 2015 looks to be one of continued instability in South Sudan.


Kenya Country Profile 2015: That engine just keeps rolling

altBuoyed by the confidence of local and international investors, Kenya's economy looks sufficiently stable to survive the damage done by a sharp drop in income from tourism after a spate of terrorist attacks – and it should remain strong enough to shrug off rising inflationary pressures going into 2015.


Burundi Country Profile 2015: Moving the goalposts

altThe debate around President Pierre Nkurunziza's eligibility to run again in the general elections planned for 2015 will not slow him down, and he and the ruling party will maintain a monopoly on Burundi's political sphere.


Seychelles Country Profile 2015: Catching fish and tourists

Flag Seychelles

Gently favourable economic trends and the increasingly positive international image of the Seychelles will help President James Michel and his ruling Parti Lepep maintain a firm grip in 2015.


Rwanda Country Profile 2015: Political and security rifts

altAlthough the government will try to keep the spotlight on Rwanda's economic advances, it will become increasingly difficult to disguise the political rifts within the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).


Tanzania Country Profile 2015: Heads turned by the scent of gas

altWith general elections planned for October 2015, the months ahead promise higher political stakes than ever before in a country long dominated by the heavy hand of the former single party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).


Djibouti Country Profile 2015: Guelleh's long goodbye

altPresident Ismail Omar Guelleh maintains his iron grip on Djibouti's political space by arresting and intimidating the country's opposition forces.


Somalia Country Profile 2015: Hope on the rise, but fear not assuaged

altDepending on the ever-changing perspectives in the region, Somalia still seems set to keep stumbling from glowing prophesy to disastrous implosion.


Comoros Country Profile 2015: Struggling to keep the lights on

altThe risk of political tension in the Comoros continues to run high as the government machinery is unable to meet the population's development demands and rivalries between politicians continue to call the country's rotating presidency into question.


Uganda Country Profile 2015: Marching towards another ballot

altIn the East African arena, President Yoweri Museveni wants to make his mark as the elder statesman of a so-called new "coalition of the willing"
that is intended to forge stronger relations with Rwanda and Kenya, leaving the more cautious Tanzania on the sidelines.


Eritrea Country Profile 2015: A pretence of progress

altFaced with a stunted economy and a dismal reputation abroad, Eritrea is taking small steps towards keeping up appearances with the international community, engaging with foreign investors and changing its heavy-handed approach to the large-scale flight of its citizens.


Ethiopia Country Profile 2015: Successes and strains in the balance

altThe year ahead promises some key reckonings for the government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.


Country Profile 2014: UGANDA

Flag Uganda Museveni’s Chinese lifeline

A mid a new round of economic uncertainties, China’s willingness to take on more of the risks associated with Uganda’s resource management ambitions looks set to boost President Yoweri Museveni’s domestic and regional standing for a while longer. With the next general elections two years away, the government can be expected to design some of its political messages around China’s new commitment to fast-track the kind of major projects that promise business opportunities for Ugandans.



Country Profile 2014: TANZANIA

alt The CCM’s crisis of confidence

As the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) approaches what will be Tanzania’s most competitive general elections to date in 2015, several divisive issues are looming. At the top of the list is the future relationship between the mainland and Zanzibar, followed closely by concerns over the government’s ability to manage the imminent boom in natural gas projects at a time of widespread economic hard ship and rising unemployment. The authorities’ apparent disdain for press freedoms and other rights has contributed to a growing crisis of trust.



Country Profile 2014: SOUTH SUDAN

alt The after-pains of a violent birth

After two years of nationhood, the world’s youngest country is still experiencing domestic political instability, ethnic conflict and acute economic uncertainty. President Salva Kiir’s decision in July to dissolve his cabinet and dismiss his vice-president of eight years, Riek Machar, plunged the country into a fresh political crisis, which could undermine the latest attempts to attract much-needed private investment.



Country Profile 2014: SOMALIA

alt Only inching towards stability

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government survived its dangerous first year in office as Somalia’s first internationally-recognised administration in 22 years. But fully fledged legitimacy is still some way off. The new Somalia certainly offers possibilities–across the board of society, economics and governance – but Mohamud will need to show a strong hand if those possibilities are not to vanish once again.



Country Profile 2014: SEYCHELLES

Flag SeychellesPlenty of sunshine in the forecast

Coming out of the global financial crisis in much better shape than it went in makes the Seychelles an interesting case study, not least for the millionaires and billionaires who have been buying up the available land to build new homes on these legendary paradise islands. For the few days a year they choose to spend here they can feel very safely isolated.



Country Profile 2014: RWANDA

Flag Rwanda The moral high ground starts to shrink

In April 2014, Rwanda commemorates the passage of 20 years since the start of the 1994 genocide that killed more than 700,000 people in just 100 days. In the face of routine displays of loyalty to the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and President Paul Kagame, only very few brave activists will be using the anniversary to press the case for opening up of the political space. The real opponents remain in exile.



Country Profile 2014: KENYA

The trials of being in government

The year 2013 was Kenya’s jubilee year. The country marked its 50th anniversary of independence in part by inaugurating an eponymously named party, at the head of which sits the son of the republic’s founding father. But as ageing members of the traditional Kilume dance troupes watched President Uhuru Kenyatta preside over an event that in many ways memorialised the days when they performed before President Jomo Kenyatta, few who witnessed the fall of the Union Jack and the rise of the Kenya flag at Uhuru Gardens could remember a time when the country was more in turmoil.



Country Profile 2014: ETHIOPIA

A few small signs of change

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has survived his first year in office following his appointment in September 2012 up on the death of long-time ruler Meles Zenawi. This is no small feat for a southerner and a Protestant in a country in which politics has traditionally been dominated by northern Orthodox Christians. It has been hard to perceive areas of difference between Hailemariam and the blueprint laid down by Meles, especially as his government has chosen to stay strongly committed to his predecessors’ comprehensive five- year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).



Country Profile 2014: ERITREA

Powerful incentives to flee

Aworsening economic situation and the prospect of indefinite military conscription continue to fuel Eritrea’s massive human exodus. The flight of citizens into the Middle East, Israel and Europe is not deterred by Asmara’s harsh ‘shoot to kill’ border policy, by the perils of kidnapping in Sudan or by the equally high risk of meeting a watery end in the Mediterranean.



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