country files 2012

Country Profile 2012: TOGO

Togo's political and economic systems have not changed as quickly as others in West Africa.

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Country Profile 2012: SIERRA LEONE

Ten years since the end of the civil war, but with an election due in 2012, political temperatures are running high.

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Country Profile 2012: SENEGAL

Senegal's forthcoming 26 February presidential elections were the focus of the past year, and these polls are likely to dominate political, social and economic life even more as 2012 begins.

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Country Profile 2012: NIGER

The regime is doing its best to ensure that memories of strongman Mamadou Tandja (1999-2010) fade quietly away.

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Country Profile 2012: MALI

The year 2012 will be shaped by the April presidential elections. Mali has developed a stable democratic system in the past 20 years, since Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT) overthrew authoritarian leader Moussa Traoré in a coup then handed power over to a civilian government.

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Country Profile 2012: LIBERIA

After winning Liberia's crucial elections in October-November 2011, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf faces the challenge of the slow withdrawal of peacekeepers and a newly hostile political environment.

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Country Profile 2012: GUINEA-BISSAU

Political stability appears to have returned to Guinea­-
Bissau. Despite a testy relationship between President Malam Bacai Sanhá and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, Gomes Junior has served an unprecedented three years in office. 

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Country Profile 2012: GUINEA

After completing the first stage of the transition that ended in the election of President Alpha Condé in November 2010, Guinea does not seem to have turned its back on old ethnic and political rivalries.

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Country Profile 2012: GHANA

President John Atta Mills was to face the toughest political battle of his career ahead of Ghana's crunch election on 7 December 2012.

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Country Profile 2012: GAMBIA

Gambians have come to realise that President Yayha Jammeh's hold on the reins of power may never be successfully challenged at the ballot box.

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Country Profile 2012: CÔTE D'IVOIRE

Efforts to reinvigorate Côte d'Ivoire's economy after the disputed November 2010 elections have taken off, but President Alassane Ouattara's government faces the twin challenges of hauling the conflict-crippled economy to its feet while fostering reconciliation.

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Country Profile 2012: CAPE VERDE

The end of Pedro Pires's presidential mandate and the death of former president Aristides Pereira, both leading figures in the struggle for independence, marked the end of an era in September 2011.

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Country Profile 2012: BURKINA FASO

Political debates surrounding the country's first joint legislative and municipal elections and the role of constitutional term limits will dominate in 2012.

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Country Profile 2012: BENIN

President Thomas Yayi Boni heads into 2012 much strengthened, having won another five-year term in March and gaining a virtual majority of seats in National Assembly elections in May.

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Country Profile 2012: NIGERIA

Even as Nigeria has made progress in holding credible elections and in launching reforms to attract investment that may eventually nudge its economy into global league tables, its politics remain treacherous, especially in the north, and it urgently needs to industrialise and diversify the economy. 

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Country Profile 2012: SUDAN

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is prepared to do what is necessary to remain in power, which means fighting a multi-front war and fending off popular protests in Khartoum.

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Country Profile 2012: MOROCCO

A political earthquake rocked the Moroccan landscape ahead of legislative elections planned for 25 November.

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Country Profile 2012: MAURITANIA

The opposition has sent a chill through the political environment by accusing the government of repression, discrimination and running a military regime disguised as a democracy.

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Country Profile 2012: LIBYA

However long it takes, organising the political transition will be a mainly Libyan affair. Western cheerleaders for the revolutionaries will keep their distance as the new authorities try to consolidate power in 2012.

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Country Profile 2012: EGYPT

In 2012, Egypt will continue to struggle with the fallout from the uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak's three-decade rule in February 2011 but left his defence minister, the military chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, in charge.

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