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Two big men take a bow

By Hannibal

From watercooler scuttlebutt to whispers from inside the most influential African boardrooms, Hannibal gives you all the juiciest titbits from the continent's business world from atop the elephant.

Posted on Friday, 19 December 2014 16:32

EPA deals stall at European Union’s Africa summit

Nigeria used its weight to undercut the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) at the Brussels Africa summit in early April. In a meeting boycotted by several Southern and East African countries, West African countries said they would not open their borders further to EU products, fearing their nascent industries would be crushed. “We will not sign any agreement that will jeopardise the interest of the Nigerian economy,” said Nigeria’s trade minister Olusegun Aganga ahead of the summit. Ghana’s president John Mahama explained: “We need to negotiate an EPA that is beneficial to our subregion and will contribute to the prosperity of our people.”

AfDB presidential candidates line up for 2015 race

The competition to replace Donald Kaberuka is now entering an intensive lobbying phase. Tunis is pushing Jalloul ayed, a former finance minister. It would be “kind of a recompense for Tunisia, which is losing the bank’s HQ to Abidjan”, says one AfDB insider. Others growl that Southern Africa needs a turn, as a north and West African preceded Kaberuka. Meanwhile, at a Mandela Institute for Development Studies meeting in Dar es Salaam, African old-timers including former presidents opined that Nigeria has three fine candidates: capital markets boss Arunma Oteh, Finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi (although as newly installed Emir of Kano, he is not likely to contend). Whether Africa’s smaller states would accept South Africa running the African Union and Nigeria running the AfDB is a different matter.

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