2023 is set to be a year of change for the continent. Soaring inflation brought on by the year-long Ukrainian war has seen many states look at options on how to become self-reliant. Will that trend continue as new administrations get voted in this year in DRC and Nigeria? And will they seize the opportunity carved out by Africa's rich resource of 'critical minerals' as global interest in energy transition continues to grow?
South Africa has had a difficult 2022; from the fallout of the war in Ukraine, to catastrophic flooding in Kwa-Zulu Natal and rolling blackouts. Can the economic team steer South Africa to growth in 2023? It will need to lean into its financial muscle, industrial stalwarts, and a fair wind from renewed interest in mining.
The world's planned largest heated oil pipeline led by French Total Energies to export Ugandan oil outside the continent through Tanzania finds environmental, humanitarian and financial constraints. The project comes as Europe looks for energy alternatives and debates over Africa's right to develop its own resources.
High inflation and subsequent interest rate hikes in the US have had huge knock-on effects across the globe. Africa will need to shift dwindling financial resources to more productive uses if it is to emerge from the current crisis with optimism. Will this fall's IMF and World Bank meetings provide some relief?
They have a greater or lesser taste for the limelight and honours, but from Bamako to Kinshasa, via Conakry, Abidjan, Abuja, and Ouaga, Catholic or Muslim clerics have an undeniable influence on the public sphere. And this is not always to the delight of the powers that be. We delve into those influential persons in this series.