Editor’s Note: May 07, 2019
Algeria needs more than a good purge
Algerian authorities have arrested the youngest brother of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika – who resigned last month following mass protests – as well as two former intelligence chiefs. Their detention is part of a high profile purge of figures linked to Bouteflika’s 20-year rule.
The aim is to appease protesters, who continue to call for more change despite Bouteflika’s resignation. The purge is a step in the right direction, but any gains could be short-lived.
While anger has overtly been directed towards Bouteflika and the establishment, an important catalyst for public discontent is the economy.
The commodities slump has hit hydrocarbon-dependent Algeria hard, exposing a lack of much-needed structural reform. Youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 30%.
For years the government has largely ignored calls to diversify, instead relying on costly subsidiesto help keep protests and discontent at bay. With a return to the high oil prices of the last decade looking unlikely, this won’t cut it going forward.
In the immediate term Algeria needs stability, but without a meaningful plan to reform its stagnant economy – soon – no amount of purging will keep people off the streets.
From The Continent
South Sudan has signed a six-year oil exploration and production sharing agreement with South Africa, part of efforts to revive its hydrocarbon industry after a crippling five-year civil war. South Sudan has Africa’s third-largest reserves at an estimated 3.5bn, despite being largely unexplored. More: OilPrice
Kenya’s biggest bank by assets, KCB Group, plans to buy lenders in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, CEO Joshua Oigara has said. The company also plans to open an office in China to tap into booming trade between East Africa and Beijing. More: Reuters
The Daily Stat
The share of students at the Ghana School of Law that failed its most recent bar exam, prompting an inquiry into the abysmal pass rate. More: BBC
The Global Perspective
The Global Fund, a cross-sector initiative aimed at catalyzing investment into tackling AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has appointed former African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka as its new board chair. The fund mobilizes and invests around $4bn annually, much of it in Africa. More: The Global Fund
Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel is expected to this month formally announce a planned IPO of its Africa unit - active in 14 countries - on the London Stock Exchange. The company hopes to raise up to $1bn from the sale to help counter growing competition in its home market. More: The Standard