Unpacking Cyril’s stimulus

“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 500 billion rand stimulus to sustain South Africa’s already precarious economy during the COVID-19 lockdown has been welcomed by business and opposition leaders, but not unanimously. To many it’s another example of his towering leadership qualities, but others see the package as a missed opportunity to tackle the country’s strategic economic problems.”

via Africa Confidential

The War for the Cure

“Serial financial crises and political meddling have weakened the operations of the World Health Organisation for decades but the rivalries between the United States and China over the coronavirus pandemic have taken it to new depths.”

via Africa Confidential

Heroes and villains in the pandemic

“With South Africa in the third week of a lockdown that may only be lifted at the end of April, and possibly not even then, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have been riding a wave of approval with both praised for decisive leadership in handling the coronavirus outbreak.”

via Africa Confidential

Unpopularity contest

“Tanzania has fallen out with many of the countries making development assistance grants and concessional loans since President John Magufuli came to power, although funds for COVID-19 relief will probably be an exception. Diplomats from donor countries first raised their concerns behind closed doors over the local elections of last November.”

via Africa Confidential

Hard bargaining ahead on debt and public health

“Backed by forecasts from the World Bank and UN agencies of a deep recession, African finance ministers are to push next week for a coordinated response on public health funding, economic stimulus and debt relief at a succession of international gatherings. Key to their demands is the setting-up of a common forum for the management of debt obligations, something many creditors are resisting behind the scenes.”

via Africa Confidential

Poll in a plague year

“The new presidential election… was always going to be bad news for President Peter Mutharika, especially with the new requirement that the winner take over half of the popular vote. But then, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party formed a coalition with one of the minor parties, and then came the coronavirus crisis, which led to the banning of all meetings of more than 100 people. Meanwhile, the opposition has significantly boosted its prospects.”

via Africa Confidential

Relying on the Neighbours

“President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s leadership on the coronavirus crisis got off to a bad start. On 21 March, days after telling the nation about isolating, not travelling, and all the other precautions, he flew to Windhoek to attend the inauguration of President Hage Geingob. On his return in went into 14 days of isolation, which didn’t protect him from a storm of opposition criticism for hypocrisy.”

via Africa Confidential

Third wave threatens the continent

“Top African and UN officials are desperately lobbying a divided international system for a US$100 billion emergency fund to combat what they fear will be a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic ripping through Africa in mid-April, as it ravages Europe and North America.”

via Africa Confidential