A gradual recovery in some commodity prices and continued reform efforts are part of the new Africa narrative, but risks remain.
The North Africa region has seen dramatic changes in the past quarter. Both Sudan and Algeria saw their long-time autocratic rulers deposed in April and the rise of militaries as guarantors of stability. However, citizens are not willing to let the armed forces decide the fate of their political systems and protests continue. Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, managed to extend his time in office to 2024 (possibly 2030) thanks to a constitutional amendment that increased presidential terms to six years from four previously. In South Africa, elections passed without much drama in May, with the ruling African National Congress securing 57.5% of the vote (down from 62.1% in 2014). More drama appears on the cards in traditional placid Botswana as it gears up for general elections in October. On the economic front, economic growth was revised downward for all regions for 2019 as African countries face a combination of domestic and external headwinds. (Source: Africa Quarterly Update June 2019.)