Editor’s Note: February 22, 2019
Don’t forget about West Africa’s other election
Nigerians will be hoping it’s second time lucky this Saturday, when last week’s postponed presidential election is supposed to take place. With Africa’s biggest economy grabbing the headlines it’s easy to forget that another West African country, Senegal, is also going to the polls.
President Macky Sall, 57, is hoping to secure a second term in elections on February 24th.
The run-up to the vote has been noticeably quiet.
Senegal finds itself in the unusual position of having a relatively popular incumbent. Under Sall growth has averaged 6%. Big infrastructure projects including a new airport and a regional express train have gained him the reputation of a modernizer, and earned his government a degree of good will.
If there is controversy it’s that two potential rivals – the former mayor of the capital Dakar and Karim Wade, the son of a former president – have been barred from the race. Critics say this is part of a crackdown on opposition, but sympathy should be limited.
The reason for their exclusion is that both have been convicted of and jailed for corruption.
Sall is the favorite to win, and instability or disruption look unlikely. It’s a nice change from the chaos that accompanies many elections on the continent.
From The Continent
Nigeria has ordered international oil companies operating in the country to pay almost $20bn in back taxes it says are owed to local states. The move risks dampening already precarious investor sentiment following a similar high profile dispute with South African mobile operator MTN. More: Reuters
Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement For Democratic Change has reportedly started a dialogue with the government to resolve an ongoing political crisis following last July's disputed presidential election. This comes despite its leader Nelson Chamisa refusing to take part in talks convened by president Emmerson Mnangagwa. More: Bloomberg
The Daily Stat
The potential annual production capacity of a new car plant being set up in Ethiopia by Korea's Hyundai. More: Africanews
The Global Perspective
Chinese technology company Transsion, the biggest mobile handset vendor in Africa, is planning to roll out smart TVs on the continent. Competition between leading Chinese tech firms in Africa is heating up, with Xiaomi announcing plans to set up a regional department last month. More: Global Times
Kenya has accused Somalia of offering four offshore oil blocks for sale despite an ongoing dispute between the countries over ownership. The International Court of Justice is considering a claim brought by Somalia in 2014. More: Bloomberg