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Behind the News: All the backstories to our major news this week

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Over the past week, there were lots of important stories from around the African continent, and we served you some of the most topical ones.

Here is a rundown of the backstories to some of the biggest news in Africa that we covered during the week:

1. From prison to power: The inspiring story of Senegal’s youngest President, Bassirou Faye

Before he was announced the winner of Senegal’s presidential election on March 24, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, was another political prisoner who only released from prison a few days to the contentious poll that had to be held twice.

Despite the power of incumbency of sitting President Macky Sall and his efforts to buckle down on the opposition including one-time favourite, Ousmane Sonko who was accused of insurrection and disqualified from contesting in the election, the 44-year-old Faye dared all odds to secure 53.68% of the vote, while his close rival, Amadou Ba, the candidate for the ruling coalition, secured 36.2% of the vote to come a distant second.

Sonko’s disqualification had effectively paved the way for Faye with many Senegalese resolving to vote in new breed of politicians away from the usual recycled old heads that has come to be the bane of leadership in Africa.

Much of Faye’s success can also be attributed to the support of Sonko who enjoys high popularity, particularly among young people who promptly switched allegiance to Faye following Sonko’s disqualification.

So when the second round of elections took Center stage in the West African country, the electorates showed their discontent with the old order and decided to make Faye the youngest president in the country’s political history.

It was also a testament to the new reality of change and awareness that is gradually changing the face of politics in the continent with more younger people being voted into leadership positions.

The nationwide celebration that erupted in the country following the announcement of Faye’s victory by the Senegal Electoral Commission (SEC), also showed that a new dawn had come, not only for Senegal but for Africa in general.

The icing on the cake came following President Sall’s congratulatory message to Faye:

“I salute the smooth running of the presidential election of March 24, 2024, and congratulate the winner, Mr. Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who the trends show as the winner. It is the victory of Senegalese democracy,” the outgoing president had said.

2. ‘You can run, but you can’t hide,’ Tinubu tells killers of Nigerian soldiers

President Bola Tinubu was at his teether’s end on Wednesday, March 27 during the burial of the 17 military officers who were abducted and killed by gunmen while on a peace-keeping mission to the Okuama community in Delta State, and for the umpteenth time, vowed that the killers of the soldiers will be arrested and made to face the full weight of the law.

has once again reiterated that killers of 17 soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Delta State on March 14 will not go unpunished as he has mandated security agencies to go after them and make them pay for their crimes.

The visibly angry President Tinubu, while paying homage to the fallen soldiers during the burial at the National Cemetery in Abuja, assured their families, colleagues and Nigerians that those who perpetrated the dastardly attacks on the military personnel would be made to face the full weight of the law.

“They went as peacemakers and peacekeepers respectfully seeking to bring an end to the hostilities between the two communities,” President Tinubu said.

“They didn’t go with tanks, machine guns, or other weapons. They were on a mission of peace. They kept faith with their military calling until the end.

“The elders and chiefs of Okuoma also have a duty to help the military in fishing out the gunmen who committed the barbaric crime against our men.

“Those who committed this heinous crime will not go unpunished. We will find them, and our departed heroes will get justice,” Tinubu reiterated, not for the first time since the dastardly attacks on March 14.

But beyond the vows and zeal displayed by the Nigerian Army to fish out the killers of the gallant soldiers, many Nigerians are sceptical about the method being deployed.

There is a deja vu feeling of such encounters in the past where whole communities are brought down by soldiers out to avenge the killings of their colleagues by a few hot heads or militant groups.

It happened in Zangon Kataf in Kaduna State; the same scenario played out in Zaki Biam in Benue State; while the most devastating incident happened in Odi in Bayelsa State.

Will the Tinubu administration be able to curb the excesses of the Army with reports that they had already invaded the Okuama community in search of the killers who must have escaped into the creeks.

Nigerians are waiting with fingers crossed and bated breaths.

3. ‘Don’t rejoice too soon, you’d be disappointed,’ Zambian Alliance cautions citizens over debt restructuring deal

During the week in review, Zambian opposition coalition, the United Kwacha Alliance (UKA), threw spanners into the celebration of citizens who had welcomed a debt restructuring deal brokered by the President Hakainde Hichilema’s administration and the government claims that the country’s economy was picking up at the same time.

The Alliance, in a scathing statement on Thursday, said Zambians should not engage in premature celebrations because the Hichilema and the government was misleading the masses.

Before the attack on the deal, the government had announced that it had successfully brokered secured the debt restructuring deal with international bond holders and the Official Creditors Committee (OCC).

But the UKA, through its Media Chairperson, Saboi Imboela, urged the citizens not to jubilate just yet because, according to her, “the government was only exhibiting political desperation to show good results while hiding their bad governance.”

“President Hakainde Hichilema’s government’s debt restructuring celebrations are premature, a sign of political desperation meant to show intangible results while misleading the Zambian people,” she stated in the statement.

The UKA also challenged the government to acknowledge that the debt restructuring deal did not remove the burden of the Euro-bonds, except that they have been merely consolidated into two new ones – Bond A and Bond B in order to resume debt servicing.

“The Government is not fully disclosing its financial predicaments and weaker status for this process, as the terms of the Debt Restructuring Deal will negatively impact the Zambian economy and worsen the cost of living for the majority citizens,” Imboela said.

To the ordinary Zambian on the streets, the news that the government had secured such a debt restructuring deal would naturally be a thing of joy as it could trigger economic growth as well as curb the escalating inflation which has led to high cost of living.

But with the revelation by the UKA, now behoves on the government to employ it’s best public relations machinery to convince the people of its genuine intentions.

4. End of the road for Moroccan ‘Tinder Rapist’

The African adage which says that there are a hundred days for a thief but just one day of reckoning for the owner of the property, played out in grand style following the arrest of a Moroccan serial rapist who preyed on women on the online dating app, Tinder.

The accused, Salim Berrada, who is fondly called the “Tinder Rapist”, a 38-year-old Moroccan photographer, was arraigned at a French court on Friday on allegations of serial rape and sexual assault against 17 women spanning from 2014 to 2016 in France.

Prosecutors told the court that Berrada had, during the period, lured the women on the dating app to his photography studio where he would drug them and rape them thereafter.

They described a well-established pattern that began with contact through dating apps or social media, followed by a photoshoot in Berrada’s Paris studio, consumption of alcohol, suspicion of drugging, and non-consensual, often violent, sexual encounters.

According to French media, the “Tinder Rapist” case had drawn widespread attention because of its “chilling portrayal of alleged predation facilitated through the online dating platform.”

A French media outlet, BFMTV, in a report, said Berrada faces 20 years in prison if he is convicted of thirteen counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault.

“The trial has garnered significant attention, with the verdict expected on Friday. Berrada faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges against him,” BFMTV said.

In his defence, Berrada said:

“I have never drugged anyone. I have never had a modus operandi to rape anyone.

“There are people who slept with me to look good when they didn’t really want to. There are people who slept with me to get their photos and when they didn’t get the photos, they say they suffered abuse,” Berrada claimed.

Though he had denied all accusations levelled against him, it would be a big ask for Berrada to sweet talk his way out of the court.

5. Biafran dissident, Simon Ekpa dares Nigeria, declares President Tinubu, VP Shettima, govt officials wanted

In the same week under review, Finland-based Biafran dissident, Simon Ekpa, took his war against constituted authorities another notch when he declared Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and other top government and security officials wanted
over the insecurity situation in the South-East region of the country.

Ekpa who broke away from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu to set up a rival group known as IPOB-Auto Pilot before transitioning to become the self-styled Prime Minister of the Biafra Republic Government in-Exile (BRGIE), made the pronouncement two days after the Nigerian government declared wanted on account of terrorism

In a list he released on his verified X account, also declared wanted the governors of Imo, Anambra and Enugu States, Hope Uzodinma, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Peter Mbah, respectively, as sponsors of terrorism in the region.

“The above sponsors of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, killing and wanton destruction of lives and properties of Biafrans must be arrested anywhere you see them within Biafra territory,” he said.

Also included in Ekpa’s list were “all South East Senators and House of representatives members, except Chief Chinyelugo Imo, all GOCs of Nigeria within Biafra territory, and all CPs within Biafra territory.”

In the post on X, Ekpa stated that Tinubu, Shettima and the others on his listed are behind the insecurity in the South-East region and as such, are persona non-grata in the zone and should be arrested anytime they step foot in the region.

As funny as the declaration of the Nigerian officials may seem and a joke taken too far, many Nigerians believe it is time the government takes him seriously and activate diplomatic channels with Ekpa’s adopted country and bring him to book.

The reasoning is that he has some very gullible followers who take his orders hook, line and sinker and are willing to give their up their lives to satisfy his whims and caprice.

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Behind the News

Behind the News: All the backstories to our major news this week

Published

on

Over the past week, there were lots of important stories from around the African continent, and we served you some of the most topical ones.

Here is a rundown of the backstories to some of the biggest news in Africa that we covered during the week:

1. Audacity of pride as APC boasts Nigerians will still re-elect Tinubu despite hunger, hardship

Despite the hues and cries of ordinary Nigerians over the unbearable hardship, hunger, insecurity, and pervasive poverty as a result of the now infamous “bold reforms” and unfavourable economic policies of President Bola Tinubu since coming into office over a year ago, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has boasted that Nigerians will still re-elect him as president come 2027.

The Deputy National Organising Secretary of the party, Nze Chidi Duru, who made the boast in an interaction with journalists in Lagos, said he was convinced beyond doubt that come 2027, Tinubu would be re-elected despite the economic hardship and planned alliance between mega opposition parties.

Duru, who was reacting to insinuations that the current hardship and economic woes arising from Tinubu’s policies could lead to Nigerians voting against him, said the ruling party was not losing sleep because he was sure Nigerians would still vote for the president.

“Our party has always recognised the fact that the current challenging economic environment has not in any way got better.

“When Mr President took over, he asked Nigerians not to pity him. It is an office that he craved and worked hard for before offering himself to provide leadership to Nigeria.

“What gives confidence is that Mr President is very much aware of the expectations of the person on the street.

“Concerning whether we will be re-elected, as a democrat and my personal view, we have always canvassed that unless His Excellency President Bola Tinubu will not contest, the APC government is bound to be represented by our candidate in 2027 to fly the flag for the simple reason that I want to bring up. And, of course, there is the incumbency factor,” Duru boasted.

Beyond the cockiness and confidence of the APC spokesman, who is invariably speaking the minds of the ruling class, what this means is that no matter how they have emasculated Nigerians and throw them under the bus, they will still be re-elected come the next election cycle in 2027.

They have the power of incumbency, the chairman of the Electoral Commission is appointed by the ruling party, they have the machinery and the funds to buy voters and in the case of an election dispute going to court, they have their appointed judges to give verdicts in their favour.

Little wonder Duru, like others before him, has the effrontery to boast that Nigerians will still re-elect Tinubu despite what they are being made to go through.

And he is not far from the truth because most of the suffering Nigerians will still sell their consciences for pittance in future elections.

2. ‘You are killing Zambian democracy,’ Lungu attacks Hichilema again

The war of words and verbal attacks between former Zambian President Edgar Lungu and incumbent President Hakainde Hichilema has continued unabated following a new allegation from the Lungu camp that Hichilema is attacking the country’s democratic norms by using the parliament to strangle the opposition.

Lungu made the allegations after nine members of his party, the Patriotic Front (PF), were sacked from the parliament.

In a press conference in Lusaka, Lungu said his party would vigorously contest the expulsions of the MPs through legal and political means.

He also accused the current government of misusing the Speaker’s office to target perceived opponents of the ruling party, calling it an abuse of power.

“During my tenure, we never interfered with the workings of the National Assembly. My government respected national principles and the separation of powers,” Lungu said.

He also warned that if Zambia fails to oppose the unconstitutional expulsion of lawmakers, it would signal a dangerous attack on democracy, adding that the Hichilema administration is displaying dictatorial powers, contrast with his administration’s practices since 2015 when he took office.

“Sadly, the respect for power and democratic principles that we upheld has been undermined under the current government. Since Mr. Hakainde Hichilema assumed power, we have witnessed a decline in governance integrity,” Lungu lamented.

The political fight between Lungu and Hichilema is not new especially in Africa where politicians see themselves as sworn enemies.

Those who are not in office see all the mistakes made by those in power while those on the inside will do everything possible to stop their opponents from upsetting them in future elections.

Since Hichilema took over from Lungu, the former president has been on the warpath, picking on him and attacking the President at every point, oblivious of the fact that he was duly voted out by the citizens who felt he had not performed to their expectations.

But then, this is the way of a typical African politician and the roulette dance of shame goes on!

3. End of an era as US completes troops withdrawal from Niger’s Air Base

After several years of having its troops stationed in Niger Republic and other West African countries, the United States announced that it would finally withdraw its troops from the Nigerien Air Base on Sunday.

The Nigerien military junta had given the United States until September 15th to withdraw its forces.

In a statement on Friday, US officials said the military will finish removing its soldiers from Niger’s Air Base 101 in the capital on Sunday and will next concentrate on leaving a significant drone base in the upcoming weeks.

The withdrawal of the US troops also comes with a withdrawal from a $100 million drone base close to Agadez in central Niger, which had supplied vital intelligence regarding organizations associated with the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

US Air Force Major General Kenneth Ekman, who was in Niger to oversee the withdrawal, had announced that a ceremony will take place on Sunday night to officially close Air Base 101 for the United States.

“We will do a joint ceremony on that occasion that marks the departure of the last U.S. C-17 (aircraft). The government of Niger will assume control of former U.S. areas and facilities,” Ekman said.

The idea behind the withdrawal of the US troops from the West African country came following a spate of coups that rocked the region in the past five years, the latest being that of Niger last year which saw the junta leaders ordering the United States to remove its almost 1,000 soldiers from the country in April.

The order and the subsequent protest by citizens caused the US serious embarrassment leading to the decision to withdraw its troops.

The withdrawal of US troops is also coming on the heels of similar withdrawals by Russia troops from Mali and Burkina Faso following military coups in the countries.

4. 82 million Nigerians face bleak times as food crisis escalates

An estimated 82 million Nigerians, about 64% of the nation’s population, face a bleak future and may go hungry by the year 2030 as a result of acute food crisis which is likely to hit the country in the next few years.

This damning prediction was given by the United Nations which also urged the Nigerian government to immediately address climate change, pest infestations, and other risks to agricultural productivity.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s resident humanitarian coordinator, Taofiq Braimoh, a UN representative, who made the prediction at the CropWatch Abuja launch during the week had stated:

“The government of Nigeria, in collaboration with others, conducts an annual food security survey.

“The results this year are concerning: over 80–82 million Nigerians are at risk of severe food crisis by 2030, and about 22 million may experience food insecurity in 2023.

“Nigeria, like many countries, grapples with food insecurity, climate change, unreliable water patterns, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity.”

Realities on ground shows that this bleak forecast by the UN is as a result of sustained increase in the nation’s food costs where the cost of living has gone beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians.

Food inflation rate surpassed the 40.53% mark, an increasing from the previous month to a new high of 40.66% in May 2024, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

This is the highest of such inflation rate witnessed in over 20 years, with increasing insecurity where farmers have not been able to produce foods, and with the unfavourable economic policies of the present administration, the UN prediction may well come to reality if the ugly trend is not reversed on time.

5. New UK PM delights African migrants as he declares Rwanda migration deal ‘dead and buried’

The newly elected British Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, has got into the good books of African migrants quite early after he declared that the plans to repatriate asylum seekers from Britain to Rwanda is “dead and buried.”

In what turned out to be Starmer’s first significant foreign policy statement,
Starmer said he would abandon the audacious plan to transport thousands of illegal to the East African country by the previous administration of Rishi Sunak.

The new PM stated categorically that the Rwanda policy would be abandoned since it would not have served as a deterrence and that just 1% of asylum applicants would have been expelled.

“The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started. It’s never been a deterrent,” Starmer said in the speech.

In the agreement which was estimated at around £120 million ($148 million), the British government, had disclosed last year that it intended to send thousands of migrants to the nation in East Africa to discourage asylum seekers from using tiny boats to cross the English Channel from France.

The plan was to return undocumented migrants to the Rwanda and was first announced by the Conservative government in 2022, with the stated goal of ending the influx of asylum seekers in small boats.

The deal had suffered significant setbacks with some members of parliament kicking against it and court cases delaying its smooth take off but Sunak had insisted on going through with it.

With the stance of the most powerful man in the UK, endangered African migrants who seek asylum in the country can be rest assured of some level of protection.

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Behind the News

Behind the News: All the backstories to our major news this week

Published

on

Over the past week, there were many important stories from around the African continent, and we have served you some of the most topical ones.

Here is a rundown of the backstories to some of the biggest news stories in Africa that we covered during the week:

Sierra Leone’s bold move against child marriage

West African country, Sierra Leone has taken bold steps towards child rights as the Prohibition of Child Marriage Bill 2024 was officially approved by the parliament of Sierra Leone during the week. The new law includes measures to protect victims’ rights, penalize criminals, and provide young girls who are impacted by child marriage access to support services and education. Until now, the Customary Marriage and Divorce Act of 2009, which permits minor children to be married off with parental agreement and does not set a minimum age of marriage, contradicts the previous Child Rights Act of 2007 which set the minimum legal age of marriage at eighteen. Local reports show that 30% of girls in Sierra Leone get married before turning eighteen, and nine per cent get married before turning fifteen.

In Sierra Leone, many girls drop out of school frequently as a result of poverty. In an attempt to better their financial circumstances or pay off debt, their family then marry them off. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Bill 2024, which ensures that 18 is the minimum legal age of marriage, reflects a harmonization of these laws. The new bill includes measures to ensure that young girls impacted by early child marriage have access to education and social services, safeguard the rights of victims, and penalize offenders.

It is against the law to marry a girl who is younger than eighteen. Additionally, it stipulates that criminals may serve up to 15 years in jail. 800,000 child brides reside in the nation; according to the UN agency, 400,000 of them were married before turning 15.

About 10.5% of young women in Sub-Saharan Africa were married before turning 15 as of 2020. Generally, in the continent, child marriage was a frequent custom. Before turning fifteen, one in four adolescent women in the Central African Republic were married or in a partnership. Chad’s percentage of 24% was comparable. Conversely, at less than one per cent, South Africa and Lesotho had the lowest rates of female marriages before the age of fifteen.

While some African nations have witnessed significant reductions in child marriage, others have experienced stasis. More women and girls are at risk of child marriage as a result of conflict, climate change, and COVID-19, which have all disrupted schooling and caused economic shocks. Some parents have turned to child marriage as a way to deal with the aftermath of crises. Another angle to the matter is the production of a child army, susceptible to extremist indoctrination since an increase in out-of-school has been established to be linked to growth in child marriage, thereby granting easy recruitment for terrorism within the continent.

Like Sierra Leone, the rest of Africa must face the cultural and religious sentiments that excuse child marriage and outlaw the practice, beyond the ordinary declaration of marriageable age but with precise consequences for defaulters, including but not limited to the parent, the supposed groom, and all other accomplices.

Kenyan Tax Law: Ruto stoops to conquer?

Kenyans continued to resist President William Ruto’s plan to increase the country’s budget by Ksh3.9 trillion ($31 billion), and protests against the recently highlighted Finance Bill have spread throughout the country, from Nairobi, the country’s capital, to other regions. To strengthen public finances and obtain more money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President William Ruto proposed higher taxes on bread, sugar, vegetable oil, mobile money transfers, and some imports.

Armed police continued to use tear gas to disperse protestors during street demonstrations in Nairobi and other major cities. Running fights broke out between the demonstrators, most of whom were young, and the officers as they attempted to enter the Parliament Buildings. However, in reaction to strong opposition, the controversial financial bill 2024 removed the proposed tax increases on Wednesday.

Kenya’s plan with the proposed new tax regime was believed to generate additional revenue of 346 billion Kenyan shillings ($2.68 billion) or 3% of GDP. Its withdrawal “will likely result in Kenya missing the 4.7% fiscal deficit target this year and 3.5% target next year as per the IMF programme which is now been threatened. In May 2023, Kenya committed to further funding to support climate change activities, raising its total loan availability from the IMF to $3.6 billion. In 2021, Kenya has already committed to a four-year loan from the IMF. The IMF requires frequent evaluations of changes, in Kenya’s case every six months, before releasing finance tranches.

Conceding to the Protesters mostly youths in a televised address, President Ruto said, “Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this finance bill 2024, I concede, and therefore I will not sign this Finance Bill, 2024. and it shall subsequently be withdrawn, I run a government but I also lead people. And the people have spoken.”

But the lenses are out on the Kenyan economy following the suspension of the tax law given the current public finance state and debt of the East African country and what seems like the beginning of a legitimacy battle for the “increasingly unpopular Ruto” as protests have continued in some parts of the country as on Sunday- three days after the revocation of the law. The Kenyan situation also brings the searchlight on the influence of multilateral bodies and the African economy with the IMF considered a villain in the discourse, while other pro-IMF observers hold that the multilateral bodies are only rescue instruments to mop up the fiscal recklessness and dying states of African economies.

Nigeria’s long road towards local oil refining

Nigeria’s oil refining problems might not end soon despite the recent progress of privately run Dangote Refinery. During the week, Throughout the week, International Oil Companies in Nigeria were allegedly plotting to undermine the viability of the recently established Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals, according to Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin.

Edwin said the IOCs were “deliberately and willfully frustrating” the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by hiking the cost above the market price, thereby forcing the refinery to import crude from countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high costs.

Nigeria increased its output by 60,000 barrels per day to produce 1.49 million barrels of oil per day in a month, the greatest in over two years. Through a joint venture, the West African nation has developed a new grade of petroleum known as Nembe as it boosts its oil output.

With four state-operated refineries with a total capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, Nigeria imports more than 80% of its refined petroleum products. The state-owned refineries have not operated at full capacity for many years, despite numerous attempts to bring them back online. The high level of national anticipation surrounding the Dangote refinery is partly attributed to the failures of both the previous and present governments.

These circumstances stand in sharp contrast to those of other comparable oil-producing nations in Africa, like Algeria, which has the second-highest refining capacity in Africa after Egypt, and Libya, which can cover 60% of its domestic refining needs.

More than 135,000 permanent employees and 12,000 megawatts of electricity are anticipated to be produced by the Dangote refinery. Additionally, Nigeria would save $25–30 billion in foreign exchange yearly. It is anticipated to bring $10 billion annually into the economy but the politics and modalities for full-capacity operation remain a hurdle.

Mauritania: What next as Ghazouani coasting home to victory?

With more than 90% of the ballots counted, the incumbent president of Mauritius, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, is leading the preliminary results in the nation’s Saturday presidential election.

After tallying over 90% of the votes, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) on Sunday revealed that El Ghazouani was dominating the contest with 55.82% of the total.

Following Mauritania’s 1960 independence from France, retired General Mohamed Ould Ghazouani became the country’s eleventh president when he took office in August 2019 as the nation’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence. For ten years, the African desert nation was ruled by his predecessor, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Aziz created the Union for the Republic (UPR), the ruling party, in 2009; in 2022, the party changed its name to Equity Party.

Although Mauritania is a presidential democracy, since gaining its independence in November 1960, there have been numerous military takeovers. Moktar Ould Daddah ruled Mauritania as a one-party state for eighteen years following independence. Decades of military control followed. Following a military coup in 2005, Mauritania underwent its first completely democratic presidential election on March 11, 2007, signalling the country’s transition from military to civilian government.

The country has not had it all smooth under Ghazouani. the COVID-19 outbreak and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have highlighted Mauritania’s fragility on the fronts of development and the economy. The nation’s primary exports, which include gold, iron ore, and fisheries goods, are dependent on extremely unpredictable international pricing. In addition, around 80% of Mauritania’s national food consumption is derived from imports of cereal. It is yet to be seen if its latest election will usher improved reign.

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