In the new edition of Africa Confidential, our correspondents complete their tour d'horizon of the developments and people who will shape 2017 on the continent. Throughout the edition, we trace the effects of the changing international backdrop, particularly the political changes in Europe and the United States, which are likely to reduce their involvement in Africa. That means a proportionately greater role for the bigger Asian countries, as the opening article makes clear.
It is also likely to lead to a more robust pan-African strategy by the
continent's biggest economies for cross-border integration and
consolidation of the regional economic groupings. There is no agreed
blueprint across the continent but senior officials in Southern, East
and West Africa are stepping up plans to open their markets for wholly
pragmatic commercial reasons: a response to investors' demands for
That could have its corollary in political developments in West Africa.
The decision by the region's leaders to face down Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's attempts to hang on
to power after losing the election in December is a litmus test for the
continent. Regional leaders say they will cease to recognise Jammeh as
President on 19 January.
The next steps will depend on Jammeh's response but the omens are not
good. Although most of his senior ministers have resigned, Jammeh has
declared a state of emergency and shows every sign of using force to
stop Adama Barrow from
assuming his mandate.
Read all about it in AC Vol 58 No 2.