My neck hurts after shaking my head while reading this Economist piece on Ghana’s economic woes. Some highlights:
- Public debt could reach 70 percent this year
- The Ghana Cedi has lost over 99 percent of its value to the dollar (Keep in mind Ghana switched from the New Cedi to the Ghana Cedi)
- Since 1966, Ghana has sought IMF help 16 times
Elections are coming up next year, so we will probably see more spending. President Mahama has a lot of work on his hands in the lead-up. I imagine he will cite progress made on addressing power issues and the exploding budget, and that he should be re-elected to continue righting the ship.
Elections are a lot of work. Perhaps, the better move would be to not seek re-election, double down and get reforms right over the next 18 months, and hand off an improving situation to his successor.
ECONOMIC PAIN CONTINUES – Moody’s downgraded South Africa’s five largest banks, nine of its municipalities, its two development finance institutions, following the firm’s downgrading of the government’s debt ratingand Eskom’s bond rating last week. While the outlook remains stable for the banks and one of the development institutions – the Industrial Development Corporation – the South African government continues to take hits. COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) voted to expel NUMSA (National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa) over the weekend, potentially further weakening the African National Congress as elections loom and the party continues to experience fissures. Labor strikes have hit the mining industry and broader economy hard over the past year. What will it take for South Africa to hit an upward swing? Thegovernment expects its GDP to rise 1.4 percent, revised down from the already low 2.4 percent. Send any interesting articles my way covering what the country needs to do to get out of this rut.
FIGHT NIGHT – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Finance Minister and Industry Minister almost lost their jobs Monday. Members of parliament came close to losing a couple teeth. Sixty-three assembly members signed on to a motion for a vote of no confidence on both ministers, arguing that they are mismanaging the country. The motion did not succeed due to 18 MPs withdrawing their support. Here’s a placeholder for side-eye. Last year, Last year, Prime Minister Matata Ponyo survived a no-confidence vote with similar charges. Similarly, several MPs withdrew their support for the no-confidence vote. President Joseph Kabila, since winning a controversial election in 2011, has faced pretty heavy political pressure from opposition groups. Recently, there has been debate on whether he would try tochange the constitution and make another run for the presidency, and what impact recent events in Burkina Faso would have on his decision. I suppose we’ll know soon enough.
DOROBUCCI – The beautiful people came out in full force at Lagos Fashion & Design Week last week. Founded by @OmoyemiAkerele, the show was hosted by@GTBank and organized by Ms. Akerele’s Style House Files. The show was one of the higher profile events to take place in Lagos since the World Health Organization announced the end of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, and highlighted the growing significance of Lagos as a global fashion destination. , lead designer of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, is designing a concept store for Reni Folayiwo’s Alara, which will house luxury designs from across Africa and the West. As Ms. Akerele and Ms. Folayiwo attract more attention to Nigeria’s fashion opportunity, the hope is that wealthy Nigerians will do more of their shopping at home, as opposed to shopping in Europe. The demand is certainly there.
Have insight on this week’s news, like President Jonathan officially announcing his candidacy for next year’s elections? Post them in the comments section.