South African President Jacob Zuma at a press conference at State House in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 11, 2016 (AP photo by Khalil Senosi).

Even by the standards of his scandal-ridden and largely disgraced presidency, the past month in South Africa has represented a nadir for Jacob Zuma. He was humiliated twice in the space of three days, first on Oct. 31 when the National Prosecuting Authority dropped spurious charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who Zuma wanted to remove. Then, on Nov. 2, the outgoing public protector, Thuli Madonsela, published her report on the scale of so-called state capture by Zuma’s friends and business associates, the Gupta family, after Zuma dropped his legal objections to its release. South Africa’s government watchdog recommended a […]

A currency trader performs a transaction, Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 28, 2016 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

Zimbabwe is quickly moving toward becoming a cashless society as the country runs out of U.S. dollars, which the country has used as its currency since 2009. To counter the cash crisis, the government plans to introduce bond notes that will be exchangeable with the U.S. dollar, but many Zimbabweans suspect the government of trying to reintroduce a local currency. In an email interview, Knox Chitiyo, as associate fellow at Chatham House, discusses Zimbabwe’s cash crisis. WPR: How severe is Zimbabwe’s cash crisis, what factors have contributed to it, and what impact is it having? Knox Chitiyo: Zimbabwe’s current cash […]

A service outlet for M-Pesa, the mobile-phone based money transfer and micro-financing service, in Gatina slum, Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 16 2012 (Sipa photo by Benedicte Desrus).

Prolonged and contentious trade negotiations between the European Union and different regions of Africa have been put back into the spotlight in recent months. Despite negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements, or EPAs, with the EU, several key African states have failed to sign them. Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU last June has added an extra dimension of uncertainty to the situation. This threatens to derail years of trade talks between Europe and Africa, which changed significantly with the signing of the Cotonou Agreement in 2000 between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, or ACP countries. […]