Eurasia Group 2018 Risks Group: Africa

The Eurasia Group has released its 2018 Top Risks Group which includes Africa. The following is an in-depth analysis for Africa.


THE “AFRICA RISING” NARRATIVE REMAINS APPEALING, but this year will face a new challenge. The continent’s core countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia, among others) have recently demonstrated robust investment climates, and they’ve been generally sealed off from the troubles of the “periphery” (Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, etc.). But in 2018, negative spillover from Africa’s unstable periphery will increasingly spoil the continent’s success stories.

The threat lies in security risks: militancy and terrorism. The dangers posed by Al Shabaab in East Africa and Al Qaeda in West Africa are not new, but they’re set to intensify. Despite losing territory in 2017, Al Shabaab is still carrying out successful one-off surprise attacks and will look to more international targets in 2018. The Islamic State is likely to increase activity in West Africa and expand into East Africa as it is pushed from traditional strongholds in the Middle East.

Boko Haram Fighters
Boko Haram Fighters

Countries targeted by militancy and terrorism are more vulnerable than they’ve been in years, and external partners are less able to provide unified support.
Target countries are more vulnerable than they’ve been in years, and external partners are less able to mount a united front of support. Local actors in “core” countries are already suffering from weakened political capacity. Kenya’s government will focus on economic recovery after a prolonged election cycle. Nigeria enters an election season with uncertainty over its current leader’s health. South Africa faces internal political strife. Angola is busy with a fresh leadership transition. Mozambique is still struggling with a years-long debt scandal.

Foreign partners who have helped stabilize weak governments in the past are distracted. In the east, a preoccupied Europe has reduced its salary support for troops of the UN-mandated African Union Mission to Somalia operating in the Al Shabaab hotspot. Across the Sahel, the G5 counterterrorism partnership of Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania plans to launch a 5,000-strong force in March 2018. But differences among France, the US, and UN officials will slow the necessary funding, leaving the region at risk, despite an injection of financial support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The growing fragility of Africa’s top performers has several implications. Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia face increased security costs at a time when their governments need to reduce spending. A spike in attacks would also undermine foreign investment perceptions already shaken by the election-related violence in Kenya, a growing social protest movement in Ethiopia, and presidential succession uncertainties in Nigeria and Uganda.


Foreign investors may see their assets directly targeted. Tourist and energy installations will be especially at risk. This will put downward pressure on FDI into the continent, leaving development reliant on limited local capital. And the pressure of security-related refugee flows—on countries in the region and in Europe—will not abate, creating a headache for policymakers on both sides of the Mediterranean.


According to its website, the Eurasia Group says it connects geopolitics and business to provide valuable strategic and operational insights. Its combination of strategy consulting methodologies, deep industry sector coverage, and best-in-class country expertise is applied to areas including:

Risk-adjusted market assessment, market prioritization, and market entry planning

Political risk assessment and messaging strategy

M&A macro risk due diligence

Enterprise risk management & process design support

Strategic risk identification and monitoring

Source: The Eurasia Group


White House: Statement by the Press Secretary on the Presidential Election in Liberia

Issued December 29. 3017, Washington DC – The United States congratulates the people of Liberia on the successful conclusion of the presidential runoff election, and President-elect George Weah on his victory.  This is Liberia’s first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected head of state to another in decades, and represents a major milestone for Liberia’s democracy.

Liberia Electorates
Liberian Voters

The United States commends the National Elections Commission for administering an orderly election process.  We also recognize the important role Liberia’s Supreme Court, political parties, security forces, and civil society organizations played in holding a peaceful and transparent contest, and we welcome the statements by international and domestic observer missions affirming the conduct of the election.  We also thank Vice President Joseph Boakai for his positive campaign and years of honorable service to Liberia.

The United States is deeply committed to our longstanding relationship with Liberia and its people.  We will continue to support the success of this historic democratic transition and the peace and prosperity of Liberia.

West African Journal Magazine


Liberia: Presidential Transition Team Set Up

Monrovia, Liberia – December 27 2017:  In order to support the smooth transition of power, the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued an Executive Order  No. 91 which establishes the Joint Presidential Transition Team of 2017.

An Executive Mansion release copied to West African Journal Magazine on Thursday said,Whereas the Constitution and laws of Liberia do not provide the protocol and mechanisms for the orderly transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another democratically elected President”;

Executive Order No. 91 notes –Whereas Liberia has not experienced the transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another democratically elected President for over 70 years; whereas there is a need to develop appropriate protocol and mechanisms for the smooth transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another”; and

Photo of National Coat Of Arms of LiberiaThe Executive Order furthered whereas systems and mechanisms have to be put in place for the management and coordination of the transition of power from the incumbent President to the incoming President.

“Now therefore, I, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me pursuant to Chapter Two, Article 5(c) of the Constitution of the Republic Liberia (1986), hereby issue this Executive Order to be called the Presidential Transition Executive Order”, the release said.


The purpose of this Executive Order is to establish mechanisms for the proper management and orderly transfer of executive power from this current administration to the incoming President.


A Transition Team is hereby established to be called the Joint Presidential Transition Team (JPTT).

  1. Composition: The President of Liberia shall appoint fifteen (15) persons to the Joint Presidential Transition Team and they shall be as follows: 1) The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs; 2) The Minister of Justice; 3) The Minister of Foreign Affairs; 4) The Minister of Finance and Development Planning; 5) The Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia; 6) The Minister of Internal Affairs; 7) The Minister of National Defense; and 8) the Director of the Executive Protective Service; 9) The Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism; and others members to be appointed at the discretion of the incumbent President.
  2. The Director General of the Cabinet shall be the Secretary of the JPTT.
  3. The President-Elect shall appoint fifteen (15) persons to the JPTT, all of whom must be Liberian citizens. A sitting member of the Cabinet may be preferred. The President-Elect shall name his/her appointees to the JPTT not later than twenty-four (24) hours after the declaration of the President-Elect by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
  4. The President and the President-Elect shall be co-chairpersons of the JPTT. They may designate any member of the JPTT to act as a Co-Chairperson in their absence.
  5. Decisions of the JPTT shall be made by consensus and any disagreement shall be resolved by the President and President-Elect, acting jointly.


The JPTT shall commence its functions and exercise the powers and authority granted by this Executive Order no later than forty-eight hours after the declaration of the President-Elect by the NEC. It shall cease to function after the publication of its Final Report which shall be no later than January 31, 2018.


The following shall be the functions and powers of the JPTT:

  1. Formulate guidelines and policies to govern the transition;
  2. Ensure the provision of regular national security briefing for the President-Elect during the period commencing immediately upon the constitution of the JPTT by the incumbent President and the President-Elect;
  3. Ensure that every lawful step is taken to promote the orderly transition from the incumbent President to the President-Elect;
  4. Liaise with all government agencies to ensure the effective provision of services and facilities in pursuance of this Executive Order;


  1. The President shall call the first meeting of the JPTT within forty-eight (48) hours after the declaration of the President elect by the NEC.
  2. Every meeting of the JPTT, after its first meeting shall be convened by the President and the President-elect jointly, or their designees.


  1. Immediately upon constitution of the JPTT, the President shall authorize the reallocation of resources and assets to support its operations and the provisions contained herein.
  2. The appointees of the President to the JPTT, who are executive of the Liberian Government and receiving salaries and emoluments up to the end of the mandate of the JPTT, shall not be entitled to any additional compensation for their services.
  3. The appointees of the President and President-Elect to the JPTT, who are not public servants, shall be paid honorarium as shall be decided by the President and President-Elect.


The JPTT shall ensure that services are provided to the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, which shall include office facilities, logistics, transportation, travel allowances, communication services, daily briefing and other services and benefits.


The incumbent President and the Vice President shall vacate their official offices and official residences on or before Inauguration Day. Notwithstanding this provision, the JPTT shall ensure that services are provided to them which shall include, but not limited to, two vehicles and chauffeur each, VIP Protection (EPS and Police Services), logistics, allowances, other benefits and services to be determined by the JPTT.


Non-tenured presidential appointees shall be presumed to have resigned as of the date of inauguration. Notwithstanding, such officials shall continue to function until their successors have been nominated, confirmed, appointed and commissioned. This Executive Order shall take immediate effect.

Final results of the run-off elections are expected to he announced on December 29, according to the country’s electoral body. Preliminary results announced on Thursday indicate that Senator George Weah is on track to become the next President of Liberia.

West African Journal Magazine

ECOWAS To Sanction Guinea-Bissau Unless Crisis Is Resolved

Abuja, Nigeria – Leaders of the West African economic grouping known as ECOWAS say they will impose sanctions on Guinea-Bissau unless the country’s grinding political crisis was resolved within two months.


At a meeting in the Nigeria, capital Abuja over the weekend, the leaders said they were “disappointed with the absence of progress in the peace process” . Guinea Bissau has had a intractable political stalemate since 2015 since the sacking of President of former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira by the President.

Curent African Union (AU) Chair and Guinean President Alpha Conde and Ecowas Chair and President of Togo Faure Gnassingbe had been working to resolve the political crisis and the naming of a prime minister and formation of a unity government.

Conde and Gnassingbe were asked by the ECOWAS leaders to “continue consultation within the next two months without which collective and individual sanctions will be handed down against all those who constitute themselves into an obstacle.”

Pres Jose Mario Vaz
Pres Jose Mario Vaz

President Vaz says he is open to talks with the opposition in an effort to resolve the crisis; something the opposition has already rejected.