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South Africa's industrial policy is bearing fruit

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South Africa's trade and industry minister Rob Davies​ speaks to The Africa Report about developing regional value chains and the importance of the state’s role in getting positive social and economic outcomes from the private sector​.


Drought, weak economy to impact South African food producers in 2017

Lake St Lucia is almost completely dry due to drought conditions in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa February 2016. Photo: Reuters/Rogan WardSouth Africa's Pioneer Food, Astral Foods and Rhodes Food expect the severe drought and weak economic growth to weigh on their businesses in the 2017 financial year, the companies said today after reporting results.


Angola Country Profile 2015: The oil-barrel blues

altThe government, run by the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA), is focused on dealing with lower levels of oil production and a dropping oil price.


Botswana Country Profile 2015: Gems still at the heart of things

Flag Botswana

Buoyed by Botswana's continuing economic growth, President Ian Khama won a second five-year term in the October 2014 election as the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) managed to hang onto power.


Lesotho Country Profile 2015: Crunch time for coalition politics

Flag LesothoFresh elections planned for February 2015 are intended to resolve the political crisis that overtook Lesotho in late 2014, when Tom Thabane, the prime minister, briefly fled the country amidst talk of coup plotting.


Madagascar Country Profile 2015: A transition to normality

Flag Madagascar

Madagascar enters 2015 with the government looking to put the instability of the past behind it.


Malawi Country Profile 2015: With victory comes a poisoned chalice

Flag Malawi

Peter Mutharika's narrow victory in the hotly contested elections of 20 May 2014 may turn out to have been the easy part in a country so troubled by corruption and food insecurity.


Mauritius Country Profile 2015: High income, here we come

Flag Mauritius

Rolls suggest that the new coalition of Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam's Labour Party and Paul Bérenger's Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM) is guaranteed to dominate the next elections, which are expected to take place early in 2015.


Mozambique Country Profile 2015: New man, same party, fresh challenges


Managing resource wealth from the energy sector and a more politically divided country in the aftermath of a rebellion by the Resistência Nacional de Moçambicana (Renamo) party will dominate events in 2015.


Namibia Country Profile 2015: SWAPO's clean sweep


Hage Geingob, the incumbent prime minister and ruling South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO) vice-president, was firmly confident of election as Namibia's first non-northern and non-Oshiwambo president on 29 November 2014.


South Africa Country Profile 2015: Problems rumble below the surface calm


The governing African National Congress (ANC) remains comfortably entrenched in power, although opposition from the political left is strengthening.


Swaziland Country Profile 2015: Stuck in a right royal rut


Political repression, widespread poverty and a faltering economy were major headlines in 2014 and will remain the main challenges in 2015.


Zambia Country Profile 2015: Sata's uncertain legacy

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A tough baptism awaits the late President Michael Chilufya Sata's successor after presidential elections due in January 2015.


Zimbabwe Country Profile 2015: Desperation leads to Russian roulette


The year 2015 is unlikely to hold major improvements to the weak Zimbabwean economy.


Country Profile 2014: ZIMBABWE

 The nonagenarian's world of dreams

President Robert Mugabe will be celebrating his 90th birthday in February with perhaps part of his brain focused on how torepair Zimbabwe’s battered economy, as well as his own bruised image. He at least has the comfort of knowing that he and his party can rule once again without the need for awkward political partners,thanks to the result of the 31 July general elections, whereby he personally took 61% of votes as president and his Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won 160 of the 209 seats being contested.



Country Profile 2014: ZAMBIA

Flag ZambiaMining giants feel the heat

While copper-based economic growth wil l continue to tempt the Zambian authorities to indulge in uncontrolled spending, it is at the same time encouraging tighter regulation of the large mining investors than seemed possible a few years ago. Government efforts to force companies to be more transparent about their tax affairs and to undertake more welfare-oriented activities have not always succeeded, but persistence could yet produce positive results.



Country Profile 2014: SWAZILAND

More squeeze on Mswati

The lack of opportunity for meaningful political change could become a matter of secondary concern if the economic outlook does not improve soon.There even remains a possibility that, as Swaziland’s chronic joblessness increases and local prices soar, South Africa could yet choose to pull the plugon King Mswati’s outdated system of government and start to exert meaningful leverage rather than the soft threats it has issued so far.



Country Profile 2014: SOUTH AFRICA

The going gets tougher for Zuma

Although the imminent electoral test of May 2014 is likely to prove the toughest yet for
the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since 1994, no one realistically expects the party to lose
power. The ANC says it is confident of a crushingvictory, but other assessments predict a sharp fall in the ANC’s share of the vote. Global financial services group Nomura forecasts a drop from 65.9% in 2009 to a little over 55%, with the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), increasing its share from 12.4% to 27%.



Country Profile 2014: NAMIBIA

altSWAPO frontrunner on probation

As Namibia enters its 24th year as an entirely stable though rather stage-managed democracy, the signs are that the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) presidential hopeful Hage Geingob may not have as easy a ride to power as his two predecessors did. The former liberation movement is starting toshowits cracks now that the iconic Sam Nujoma is no longer at the helm or keeping a lid on dissent.



Country Profile 2014: MOZAMBIQUE

altThe lure of new wealth stirs old tensions

Could appetites whetted by the promise of a resources bonanza derail the fragile peace and prosperity that Mozambique has carved out of its difficult recent past? High-quality coal reserves of 35bn tonnes, and offshore natural gas deposits that may largely exceed 100trn cubic feet have certainly changed the complexion of the political and economic environment.



Country Profile 2014: MAURITIUS

Flag MauritiusOld partners for the next waltz

A new round of political alignments will edge into place in 2014 ahead of the 2015 parliamentary elections, testing the popularity and coalition-building abilities of Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam.
With his slim majority in parliament, he hopes the election will shore up his Labour Party, which has ruled since 2011 with the help of the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate of finance minister Xavier-Luc
Duval; its previous partner, the Jugnauth political family’s Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM), left government after a corruption scandal.



Country Profile 2014: MALAWI

Flag MalawiBanda’s Augean challenge

Initially welcomed as “a breath of fresh air” after her unexpected riseto power in 2012,President Joyce Banda will have to face the biggest fight of herpolitical life when she tries to renew her mandate in the elections due in May 2014.Thee mergence of a damaging corruption scandal in September 2013 cast
such a shadowof doubt on the honesty of those at the heart of her government that she herself now risks being tainted by association.



Country Profile 2014: MADAGASCAR

Flag MadagascarMake or break elections

Madagascar may bebetter set for recovery in 2014, after a calm poll poured oil on troubled waters. The first round of presidential elections on 25 October saw Jean-Louis Robinson win the first round (with 21.1% of the vote) followed by Hery Rajaonarimampianina (15.9%). The two should face off on 20 December.



Country Profile 2014: LESOTHO

 Flag LesothoTurning water into good news

With major agreements in place for work to start on the second phase of the giant Lesotho Highlands
Water Project (LHWP), this mountainous country’s fragile economic prospects could yet be transformed. For the foreseeable future, Lesotho is set to keep expanding its supply of much needed hydroelectric power and water to South Africa.



Country Profile 2014: BOTSWANA


Flag BotswanaDiamonds sparkle now, but not forever

As elections approach in the secondhalf of 2014, the main campaigning issues can be expected to concern Botswana’s stubbornly high level ofunemployment – still at 17% despite decades of strong
economic growth – and its uncomfortably wide income inequality. However, withboth the opposition and unions divided, President Ian Khamashould face few problems winning a second term.



Country Profile 2014: ANGOLA

Flag Angola Locked in a wealth trap

Angola’s next elections are not due until 2017, but the coming year will provecrucial for the ruling Movimen to Popularde Libertação de Angola (MPLA) if it is to maintain political and economic dominance in this oil-richcountry. Pressure on the government will increase in 2014 to start rollingout substantial public infrastructure works in time for the next vote. Expectations are high, given the economic recovery witnessed in 2013 after relatively slow growth in the wake of the global financial crisis.



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