The European Business Council for Africa

ON OUR RADAR
Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Democratic Republic of Congo: The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency on Wednesday after confirming Ebola in a person visiting the eastern city of Goma. Some 1,600 people have died during the current outbreak, centred in the Ituri and North Kivu provinces. Crisis Group expert Nelleke van de Walle says the WHO's action might bring more funding for controlling the outbreak, which has been difficult due to local conflict and distrust of health workers. 

➤ Pakistan: President Imran Khan arrives in Washington on Saturday, days after Pakistani police arrested Lashkar-e Tayyaba leader Hafiz Saeed on terrorism financing charges. The U.S. and India accuse Saeed of organising the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which killed 160. Crisis Group expert Laurel Miller says Khan’s government will need to build a strong case so that the courts do not release Saeed. 

➤ Syria: The dreaded regime offensive in the north-western zone of Idlib has hit a wall as Islamist rebels put up strong resistance. Fighting has killed over 2,000 people and displaced more than 330,000 civilians toward the Turkish border. Crisis Group expert Sam Heller says the insurgents and their backer Turkey have demonstrated to the regime and its allies that retaking Idlib would be terribly costly.

➤ Turkey: U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the NATO ally is banned from buying American F-35 fighter jets, shortly after it began taking delivery of the Russian-made S-400 air defence system. Members of Congress are pressing the administration to apply sanctions, saying they are required by law. Crisis Group expert Nigar Göksel says the fallout will depend on how the U.S. handles the sanctions issue. Turkish leaders, who have framed the matter in national sovereignty terms, will likely calibrate their response accordingly.

Read the article

ON OUR RADAR
Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Algeria: The constitutional mandate for Abdelkader Bensalah’s 90-day interim presidency expired on Tuesday, three days after a national conference of eleven political parties and 30 trade unions agreed on elections should the regime guarantee their transparency and credibility. Crisis Group expert Michaël Ayari says the problem is that demonstrators, who have protested for twenty consecutive weeks, believe that elections cannot be transparent and credible until the regime has been completely dismantled.

➤ Iran: The UN’s nuclear watchdog verified that Iran exceeded its uranium enrichment cap of 3.67 per cent and Tehran threatened to further increase enrichment to 20 per cent. Crisis Group expert Ali Vaez says Iran has so far pursued limited and reversible steps to pressure Europe to offer an economic lifeline, but sooner or later it could pass a red line that triggers the deal’s remaining signatories to snap back multilateral sanctions and/or that provokes a military confrontation with the U.S.

Nigeria: Clashes between police and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) killed two protesters, injured nine security guards and resulted in 40 arrests. Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi says the Shi’ite Muslim protesters, who have demanded the release of their detained leader since 2015, have clashed with security forces repeatedly. If Nigerian authorities continue to hold the IMN leader, in defiance of court orders for his release, the protests will continue and IMN could become much more radical.

Read the article

ON OUR RADAR
Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Iran: Iran on Monday exceeded the limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile permitted by the 2015 nuclear deal and signaled its intention to begin enrichment above allowable levels. Crisis Group expert Ali Vaez says that while Iran’s decision to surpass the volume cap does not present an immediate proliferation risk, it is another step in the escalatory dynamic triggered by the U.S. administration’s decision to exit the nuclear deal.

➤ Korean Peninsula: U.S. President Trump became the first sitting president to set foot on North Korean soil on Sunday. Crisis Group expert Christopher Green says Trump's hour-long meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was largely symbolic. The two sides did agree on one thing, though: the revival of working-level talks for the first time since the collapse of their February summit in Hanoi. The key will be for both sides to walk away from the maximalist positions that doomed the Hanoi summit.

Libya: An airstrike on the Tajoura migrant detention centre on the outskirts of Tripoli killed more than 40 migrants on Tuesday, the single most deadly incident since the outbreak of hostilities in Tripoli in April. Crisis Group expert Claudia Gazzini says despite indignation in European capitals, the attack is unlikely to trigger anything more than verbal condemnation against Haftar’s forces, if indeed it is proven that they were behind the airstrike.

➤ Sudan: Opposition leaders and the ruling military council on Thursday agreed to a power-sharing agreement. Crisis Group expert Alan Boswell says this is not the finishing line. The ruling council is a bad faith actor but is also fast running out of wiggle room to cling to power on its own. Pressure must continue to ensure it sticks to the path forward that has been agreed.

Read the article

Africa's Digital Investment Marketplace

 

We are pleased to announce the launch of The Platform - the Africa Investment Forum’s digital marketplace for investors, project sponsors and transaction facilitators, that helps connect providers of capital and professional services with investment opportunities across the continent

 

The Platform offers you the following:

  • A live database of private or PPP projects in Africa according to regions and sectors of interest, as well as stages of readiness;
  • Matchmaking capabilities between investors, co-financiers and projects across sectors, instruments and regions;
  • Information about financial products and services available on the continent through our associated investors, Banks and technical assistance providers;
  • Interactive communities of interest by sector or region which you will be able to join and actively participate in;
  • Data analytics and tools to evaluate deal flow and investor trends;
  • Access to business trainings, courses and webinars and;
  • A collection of articles and industry related news.

 

More information here

 

 

ON OUR RADAR
Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Algeria: The protest movement that began in February enters its nineteenth week on Friday. Activists insist on dismantling the interim regime that took over when President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down. Meanwhile, says Crisis Group expert Michaël Ayari, a constitutional void looms in early July when the interim president's term ends with no election scheduled.

➤ Honduras: Friday marks ten years since the coup that entrenched the ruling party, as protests that began in opposition to health and education reforms rock the country. At least three have died in clashes; on Monday military police fired upon university students, wounding several. Crisis Group expert Tiziano Breda says the incidents could amplify calls upon President Juan Orlando Hernández to resign.

➤ Korean Peninsula: U.S. President Donald Trump travels to Seoul on Saturday following an exchange of warm wishes with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The trip comes amid speculation about a third Trump-Kim summit. Crisis Group expert Chris Green says the two sides want to meet but it is unclear if they have managed to bridge the chasm between their respective maximalist positions on North Korea's nuclear capacity.

➤ Sudan: Leaders of the mass protests that helped oust President Omar al-Bashir are planning a major mobilisation for Sunday to demand that the Transitional Military Council hand over power to civilians. Crisis Group expert Alan Boswell says the coming days risk a reprise of the 3 June massacre that dispersed the original demonstrations. 

Read the article

ON OUR RADAR
Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Democratic Republic of Congo: A flare-up in deadly fighting, including inter-communal violence, in eastern Congo has killed at least 160 people, displaced more than 300,000 and complicated efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak. Crisis Group expert Nelleke van de Walle says despite President Félix Tshisekedi's avowed intent to restore peace and security to the DRC’s east, the recent uptick in violence demonstrates that serious challenges remain.

➤ Iraq: On Monday, a rocket hit Camp Taji – a base housing U.S. troops – and on Wednesday, another projectile struck near the headquarters of U.S. and foreign oil firms in Basra. Crisis Group expert Maria Fantappie says while the attacks remain unclaimed, if attributed to Iraqi paramilitary groups linked to Iran they could further heighten Gulf tensions and increase the risk of a regional escalation.

➤ Nigeria: In Borno state, thirty people were killed in multiple unclaimed suicide attacks on Monday and at least a dozen soldiers were killed in an assault on an army base by Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) on Wednesday. Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi says these attacks are among some of the deadliest this year, demonstrating that the jihadist insurgency retains considerable power, reach and influence in north-eastern Nigeria.

U.S.-Iran: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Thursday shot down a U.S. drone that it claimed had entered Iranian airspace, the latest in a string of incidents that have significantly ratcheted up tensions since early May. Crisis Group expert Ali Vaez says with growing frictions, a lack of communication and numerous potential flashpoints, we are edging closer to the brink of an inadvertent or deliberate military confrontation between Iran and the U.S. or their respective regional allies.

Read the article 

The need for more effective integration of development and humanitarian areas of work is all the more important when governments are devising policies to tackle forced displacement. This was one of the key findings of the team of experts – two of them from ECDPM – selected by the Finnish foreign ministry to evaluate the coherence between the country’s development policy and the objective of dealing with forced displacement.  

Meanwhile, the head of ECDPM’s team working on agricultural transformation, Francesco Rampa, tells us in a video interview about his role as a member of the Task Force Rural Africa. This was a major opportunity to feed into and shape the policy of the European Commission on strengthening the partnership between Europe and the food and farming sector in Africa. 

One of the findings highlighted by the task force is the need for a proper territorial development strategy. Clearly, a truly regional approach in handling essential resources is necessary. Ahead of Water Day, on 22 March, we have looked at Mali’s ambivalent attitudes towards the regional river basin organisations, as it tries to reconcile its national and regional interests in the management of the resource that is becoming scarcer every day: water.

Read the article

ON OUR RADAR
Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Algeria: The Constitutional Council on Sunday cancelled presidential elections scheduled for 4 July that were mandated by the Constitution following the resignation of President Bouteflika and extended the mandate of the interim head of state, Ben Salah. Crisis Group expert Michael Ayari says Algeria has entered a period of uncertainty as a constitutional void that the regime sought to prevent has emerged and authorities lose ever-more legitimacy as the end of Ben Salah's 90-day term approaches.

➤ Honduras: Mass protests against education and health-care reforms have gripped main cities across the country, despite President Hernandez’s decision to withdraw the legislation and call for national dialogue. Crisis Group expert Tiziano Breda says the unrest is rooted in deep-seated popular discontent toward the government that has been exacerbated by polarisation in the political space since a coup brought the ruling party to power ten years ago.

➤ Sudan: A military assault on Monday by Sudan’s security forces killed scores of unarmed protesters and dispersed the months-long peaceful sit-in outside the military's headquarters in Khartoum. Crisis Group expert Murithi Mutiga says the violent attack has derailed a tentative transition to civilian rule and raises the risk of civil war if fractures widen between the military and the Rapid Support Forces, a militia which perpetrated the assault.

➤ Venezuela: A second round of talks in Norway between government and opposition representatives in late May failed to produce an agreement, although it seems the talks will continue. Crisis Group expert Phil Gunson says that while no agreement has been reached, and the talks appear stalled over the question of a transition, the Norwegian initiative currently offers the best hope of a breakthrough.

Read the article