Editor’s Note: February 05, 2019

Sudan needs change – not reform

Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir has promised a range of reforms aimed at boosting rural development, the latest effort by the longtime ruler to tackle a spiralling economic crisis that has sparked unprecedented anti-government protests.

Over the last 12 months inflation has hit 60% amid an acute foreign currency shortage. It’s a crisis that has been brewing since Sudan lost most of its oil reserves – the government’s main source of revenue and foreign exchange – when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

Efforts to halt the economy’s nosedive have included appointing a new government, a 15-month austerity plan, appeals to other countries for financial support, and repeated promises to pursue ‘radical’ economic reform.

So far none have had a discernible impact, and this latest round of pledges will likely fall on deaf ears.

While Sudan could do with all sorts of economic reform there is a bigger need – change. The protests are rooted in economic hardship, but after 30 years of autocratic rule the focus has shifted to getting rid of Bashir.

He is in no mood to oblige, but it will take more than reforms to cling to power. There are open calls for his departure, with one former adviser to the president urging him to form a transition government.

Whatever happens, some form of change feels inevitable.

From The Continent

Zimbabwe’s mining minister Winston Chitando has said the country is planning to implement new monetary policy measures “over the next week or two” to help ease a crippling foreign currency shortage. The country is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade amid growing concerns about a lack of reform since longtime ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted in late 2017. More: Reuters


Angola is reportedly planning to issue a $2bn Eurobond in the second quarter of 2019 as it looks to meet estimated financing needs of $11.32bn this year. Africa’s second-largest oil producer, which was hit hard by the commodities lump, has borrowed heavily in recent years. More: Macahub

The Daily Stat

$1.5bn

The size of the loss South Africa’s struggling power utility Eskom expects for the current financial year. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

Islamist militant group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the killing of a manager at Dubai-based ports and logistics firm DP World in Somalia on Monday, accusing the company of looting the country’s resources. The incident comes amid efforts by the UAE to gain influence in the region, which includes rising investment into port infrastructure. More: BBC

South African foods and beverages company Clover Industries has received a $358.99m buyout offer from a consortium of local and international investors. The deal is seen as a boost to government efforts to drive foreign investment under president Cyril Ramaphosa. More:Bloomberg

The Daily Follow