Monthly Archives: December 2019

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 31 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares lower as investors book decade-end profits
  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan -0.39%, still up 16% on year
  • Profit-taking drives losses
  • US, China expected to sign deal soon – White House officials
  • China December manufacturing activity better than expected

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices edge down but set for biggest yearly rise since 2016
  • Brent, WTI futures each down 0.2%
  • Benchmarks on track for biggest annual gain in 3 years
  • US crude stocks fell about 3.2 mln bbls last week – poll
  • Brent down 0.2% at $66.56 a barrel (0158GMT)
  • WTI down 0.2% at $61.57

Precious metals

  • Gold prices steady, set for best year since 2010
  • Spot gold little changed at $1,515.23/oz. (0044GMT)
  • US gold futures unchanged at $1,518.30/oz.


  • US grains fall on profit booking
  • Wheat set for 3rd straight yearly gain
  • Wheat futures down 0.4% at $5.54 a bushel (0200GMT); +10.1% y/y
  • Soybean futures down 0.1% at $9.51-3/4 a bushel; +6.3% y/y
  • Corn futures down 0.3% at $3.87-1/4 a bushel; +3.2% y/y

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Ghana’s December 31 revolution anniversary in Winneba; Rawlings to speak
  • Uganda’s Museveni New Year address
  • Guinea-Bissau runoff presidential vote-counting; results due Wed.
  • Kenya inflation Dec-19 [fcst. 5.6% yy, prev. 5.4%]
  • Uganda inflation Dec-19 [fcst. 3.4% yy, prev. 3.0%]
  • South Africa PSCE Nov-19 [fcst. 7.7% yy, prev. 7.3%]
  • South Africa M3 Nov-19 [fcst. 6.9% yy, prev. 7.3%]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Sudan to deploy troops to West Darfur after deadly unrest
  • Militants kill 18 in attack in eastern Congo
  • Sudan sentences 29 intelligence agents to hang for teacher’s killing
  • Turkey may send allied Syrian fighters to Libya – sources
  • Africa Oil – Angolan slow to sell due to freight rates
  • South Africa’s rand slips; MTN drops on US complaint
  • Somalia says unnamed country behind blast that killed 90 people
  • Guinea-Bissau presidential candidate Embalo claims victory, opponent says wait
  • South Africa’s MTN reviewing allegations after being named in US complaint
  • Egypt’s central bank to auction $800 mln of 1-yr T-bills on Jan 6
  • Morocco’s Cosumar to start operating Saudi sugar refinery in March 2020
  • Exxon acquires over 1.7 mln exploration acreage offshore Egypt
  • Young Libyans train as pastry chefs as state jobs dry up
  • Turkey fast-tracks bill to deploy troops to Libya
  • Merkel, Erdogan and Putin discuss diplomatic solution for Libya
  • Turkish opposition says it opposes Libya troop deployment bill
  • Mauritius closes main airport as cyclone Calvinia approaches
  • Kenyan shilling weakens, pressured by end-mth dollar demand
  • Ugandan shilling unchanged amid flat market activity
  • US military says Somalia air strikes killed 4 militants
  • Rio Tinto to restart South African unit in 2020 after security scare

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 30 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares down from 18-mth top; oil steady after US strikes
  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan -0.09%
  • Brent crude higher after US strikes in Syria, Iraq
  • Gold continues push higher

Oil Markets

  • Oil steady on trade pact optimism, stock draw; eyes on MidEast
  • Brent up 12 cents at $68.28 a barrel (0210GMT)
  • WTI up 1 cent at $61.73

Precious metals

  • Gold edges up, holds near 2-mth peak in thin-volume trade
  • Spot gold up 0.3% at $1,514.56/oz. (0112GMT)
  • US gold futures unchanged at $1,517.50/oz.


  • US wheat, soybeans maintain trade around over 1-yr highs
  • Soybeans futures up 0.2% at $9.43-1/4 a bushel (0150GMT)
  • Wheat futures up nearly unchanged at $5.56-3/4 a bushel
  • Corn futures down 0.3% at $3.89 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Guinea-Bissau runoff presidential election vote-counting
  • Protests expected in Liberia
  • Turkey’s foreign minister Cavusoglu to meet opposition leaders on Libya troop deployment
  • Kenya inflation Dec-19 [fcst. 5.6% yy, prev. 5.4%]
  • Uganda inflation Dec-19 [fcst. 3.4% yy, prev. 3.0%]
  • South Africa PSCE Nov-19 [fcst. 7.7% yy, prev. 7.3%]
  • South Africa M3 Nov-19 [fcst. 6.9% yy, prev. 7.3%]
  • Nigeria manufacturing PMI Dec-19 [prev. 59.3]
  • Nigeria non-manufacturing PMI Dec-19 [prev. 60.1]

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today

  • Sudan passes 2020 budget with anticipated deficit of $1.62 bln
  • Ghana wants to join new West African currency but ditch euro peg
  • Guinea-Bissau tallies votes from run-off to choose new president
  • Egypt lowers gas grid usage fees by 24% to $0.29 per mmbtu – gas regulator
  • ‘World’s oldest rhino’ dies in Tanzania at 57
  • Egypt competition watchdog approves Uber acquisition of Careem with conditions
  • Egypt & Sudan to operate joint electricity grid from Jan. 12 – agency
  • Turkey to evacuate wounded after deadly Mogadishu blast
  • Turkey speeds up Libya troop deployment deal to prevent slide into ‘chaos’
  • Egypt awards oil and gas exploration concessions in Red Sea – statement
  • Ivory Coast presidential candidate Soro rejects coup allegations
  • Sudan to postpone lifting of fuel subsidies – minister
  • Libya’s NOC may evacuate Zawiya refinery due to fighting nearby
  • Ivory Coast leader says Soro must face full force of the law
  • Truck bomb kills at least 90 in Mogadishu – international organisation
  • Algeria names Abdelaziz Djerad as its new prime minister
  • Ivory Coast opposition says Soro case is attempt to stifle dissent
  • Sudan to lift fuel subsidies gradually in 2020 – minister
  • [Terrorists] kill 10 in Nigeria attack targeting aid workers, Christians – witnesses
  • Tunisia central bank keeps benchmark rate stable at 7.75% – state news agency
  • Loadings at western Libya oil port undisrupted by nearby missile strike
  • Zambia’s energy regulator allows state power utility to hike prices
  • Africa Oil – High freight rates weigh on offers
  • Ethiopia charges former head of state electricity firm, others with corruption
  • South Africa’s rand powers to new 5-mth high
  • Nigeria inks major LNG expansion with oil majors
  • Namibian ex-ministers enmeshed in fish scandal in jail for New Year

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Weekly | 30 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
31 Dec South Africa PSCE, % yy Nov 2019 7.7 7.3
31 Dec South Africa M3, % yy Nov 2019 6.9 7.3
31 Dec Kenya CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 5.6 (0.4) 5.4 (0.5)
31 Dec Uganda CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 3.4 (0.3) 3.0 (0.3)
Seychelles CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 2.0 (0.3) 1.7 (0.3)
Botswana CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 2.1 (0.1) 2.1 (0.1)
Tanzania CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 3.7 (0.5) 3.8 (0.5)
Namibia CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 3.0 (0.2) 2.5 (0.1)
Nigeria CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 12.2 (1.0) 11.9 (1.0)
South Africa CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 3.9 (0.2) 3.6 (0.1)
Ethiopia CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 20.3 (1.0) 20.8 (0.7)
Mauritius CPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 1.0 (0.3) 0.3 (0.3)

macroafricaintel | Africa FX Monthly – Jan 2020

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Click here for PDF version

Currency   1 month

(31 Jan 2020)

3 month

(31 Mar 2020)

6 month

(30 Jun 2020)

12 month

(31 Dec 2020)

South African Rand (USD:ZAR) 14.5 14.3 14.1 14.7
Nigerian Naira (USD:NGN) 361.5 361.3 361.7 363.0
Ghanaian Cedi (USD:GHS) 5.3 5.5 5.1 4.9
Kenyan Shilling (USD:KES) 101.5 101.3 101.7 101.9
Ugandan Shilling (USD:UGX) 3,701 3,709 3,703 3,707
Tanzanian Shilling (USD:TZS) 2,293 2,295 2,301 2,285
Ethiopian Birr (USD:ETB) 34.1 36.3 39.1 41.3
Mauritian Rupee (USD:MUR) 37.1 36.5 36.7 37.3
Namibian Dollar (USD:NAD) 14.5 14.3 14.1 14.7
Botswanan Pula (USD:BWP) 10.7 10.5 10.3 10.6
Zambian Kwacha (USD:ZMW) 14.1 14.5 14.3 14.7
US Dollar Index (DXY) 97.1 97.5 98.3 98.5

macroafricaintel | Democracy & African development

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

1.0       Introduction
Whether Africa’s democratic experiment thus far has led to differential economic development is a subject of debate. Many complain the democratic process is expensive and sluggish, with an increasingly number of Africans beginning to question whether western-style or liberal democracy is the development panacea it is touted to be.[1],[2] Nonetheless, there are studies that show democracy has engendered economic growth in Africa.[3],[4] But there is also evidence of democratic decline and disillusionment.[5] According to Cheeseman (2019), Africa’s democratic progress is stalling, with the continent’s countries divided down the middle between autocracies and democracies.[6] Cheeseman (2019) also notes a worrying trend: African autocracies have become more repressive and their democratic counterparts have not shown much progress. With evidence that democracy does engender growth and ample evidence to the contrary, what then should Africa do?

2.0       Evidence on democracy-development nexus is mixed
Acemoglu et al. (2019) show evidence that democracy engenders economic growth by attracting more investment, facilitating increased educational attainment, spurring economic reforms, decreasing social restiveness and thus the security of lives and property, and the provision of public services.[7] Democracy also engenders economic growth by making opportunities available to most of the people as opposed to a powerful few. For instance, Acemoglu & Robinson (2012) argue “inclusive political institutions, vesting power broadly, would tend to uproot economic institutions that expropriate the resources of the many, erect entry barriers and suppress the functioning of markets so that only a few benefit.”[8]

In sum, Acemoglu et al. (2019) posit that as democracy encourages economic reforms, increases human capital, raises state capacity, improves public service delivery, increases investment and reduces social unrest, economic growth occurs consequently. Acemoglu et al. (2019) also find that their results of the beneficial effects of democracy on economic growth are robust across developing and advanced economies. When a country adopts a democratic form of government, Acemoglu, et al. (2019) assert, its GDP per capita rises by at least 20 percent over the subsequent 30 years. Acemoglu et al. (2019) also find this effect to be easily attained in countries with already high level of educational attainment.

Conversely, Gerring et al. (2005) argue democracy has no significant effect on economic growth; and if at all, it is negative.[9] Similarly, Gerring, Thacker & Alfaro (2012) do not find substantial human development gains from democratic transitions. Instead, a country’s poor only begin to see substantial gains from democracy when it is longrunning.[10] To some extent, this corroborates Ross (2006) findings that while democracies tend to spend relatively more on education and health, the main beneficiaries tend to be non-poor groups.[11] There are more nuanced arguments. Baum & Lake (2003) investigate the indirect and direct effects of democracy on growth using a 30-year data set of 128 countries and find no statistically significant direct effect on growth. Instead, they find that democracy’s effect on growth are “largely indirect through increased life expectancy in poor countries and increased secondary education in nonpoor countries.”[12]

Varshney (2005) actually argues that relative to dictatorships, democracies have recorded a lacklustre performance with respect to poverty alleviation. They have not failed in the task, but they have also not been spectacularly successful.[13] In fact, Charron & Lapuente (2010) show evidence that poor countries may be better off with dictatorships until they become wealthy when “good bureaucracy and administrative services and lower corruption are better provided by democratic rulers.”[14] Besides, Collier & Rohner (2008) find that democracy actually increases the risk of political violence for countries below the US$2,750 income per capita threshold. While they do not altogether discountenance the benefits of democracy, their evidence clearly shows the net benefits of democracy for poor countries are not robust.[15]

3.0       Dividends from African democracies below expectations thus far
The so-called “dividends of democracy” remain elusive to many Africans. As earlier highlighted, democracy engenders development by increasing investment, educational attainment, provision of public services, human capital and state capacity. Democracy also spurs economic reforms and reduces social restiveness. Has Africa been a beneficiary of these touted benefits from its experiment with democracy thus far? Judging from the United Nations’ human development index, it could be argued that there has been a positive development trajectory on the continent. When juxtaposed with measures of freedom, however, a divergence is observed in recent years. Thus, it could be inferred that democracy may not be definitively attributed for the past improvements in human development on the continent. For if that were the case, a noticeable decline in progress should be observed in tandem with the recently increasing decline in freedom on the continent. In practical terms, having already established the theoretical thesis, why has democracy underwhelmed on development in many African countries?

Firstly, elected officials are rarely held accountable. This is not surprising since they mostly get elected through fraudulent electoral processes. Parliaments that are supposed to check the potential excesses of executives, tend to end up being little more than rubber stamps; especially when controlled by ruling parties. And since victory at the polls is significantly subject to elite manipulation, politicians are largely insensitive to the needs of the people. Apathy on the part of a frustrated and disillusioned populace consequently contributes to a vicious cycle that strengthens the manipulation machinery of the elite.

Secondly, political participation is largely exclusionary due to high barriers to entry related to ethnicity, financial capacity and corruption. Political parties charge exorbitant fees for registration and other party-related financing. Campaign costs are also prohibitive. There are similarly huge expenses borne by politicians for dishing out patronage; which they almost always make sure to recoup when they eventually win. Thus, “although democracy appears to yield economic benefits over time, the transition to democracy has not fostered dynamic economies or substantial improvements in welfare in most of Africa” (Lewis, 2008).[16]

Thirdly, state capacity remains weak in most of Africa. This is because ethnic insitutions still hold sway in many African countries, especially in rural areas far from capital cities, where whatever state capacity there is tend to be concentrated. A colonial legacy is responsible in part for these circumstances. In fact, it has been shown that the economic performance of partitioned ethnicities remain similar despite being under different national institutional arrangements. For instance, using light density at night as a proxy for economic activity, one study finds a significant relationship between pre-colonial ethnic institutions (stateless ethnicities, petty chiefdoms, paramount chiefdoms, and pre-colonial states) and regional development in Africa.[17] In other words, kingdoms, empires, chiefdoms and the like, that were in place before European colonisation continue to be relevant to African development.[18] And the rigidities of these pre-colonial ethnic-based political centralizations explain the incapacity of some African states to exercise full authority over property rights, tax collection and monopoly of violence to this day.

Fourthly, western liberal democracy is a foreign concept. Little wonder, Bradley (2011) contends African perceptions of democracy differ from the Western view.[19] This may explain why “democracy” has not been effective for development on the continent; in light of its increasing decline. Recent African elections have either been fraudulent or violent or both. True, there has been some positive outcomes from the African democratic experiment thus far. Still, it could not be definitively said that democracy has engendered relatively more development for African countries. Rwanda, which is regularly mentioned as an African development exemplar, is an autocracy in practice, for instance. It could actually be argued that African elites have found that it is easier to manipulate state resources under a flawed or pseudo democracy than an autocracy. Thus, the assertion by Jotia (2012) that “liberal democracy has impeded development in Africa rather than nurturing it” is succinctly true.[20]

Still, there is evidence that democracy has indeed been germane to economic growth for some African countries. Using data for 43 Sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1982-2012, for instance, Masaki & Van de Walle (2014) find “strong evidence that democracy is positively associated with economic growth, and that this democratic advantage is more pronounced for those African countries that have remained democratic for longer periods of time.”[21] More specifically, Narayan, Narayan & Smith (2011) find support in varying degrees for the democracy-development nexus in Botswana, Niger, Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Madagascar, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland and Sierra Leone.[22] In any case, Cheeseman (2015) asserts that in spite of the negative narratives around Africa’s experimentation with democracy thus far, about a quarter of Sub-Saharan African countries could be considered to be relatively democratic.[23]

In sum, democracy, while underwhelming in general on the continent thus far, has great prospects for tackling some of the widely acknowledged constraints on African development like ethnicity, nepotism, corruption and so on. Using data on road building in Kenya, for instance, Burgess, Jedwab, Miguel, Morjaria & Miquel (2013) show high level of ethnic favoritism during earlier non-democratic periods, when “districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have four times the length of paved roads built”, disappears during later periods of democracy.[24] Furthermore, Cheeseman (2014) finds in Kenya and a couple of other African countries that a rising middle class is aiding democratization across the continent, arguing “contemporary demographic changes will improve the prospects for democratic consolidation.”[25] Thus, the prospects of democracy on the continent remain bright. But will development happen in tandem?

4.0       Tune African democracies for greater development
For better or worse, democracy has become the preferred form of government in Africa. If as it has been found, it does not always deliver development, the obvious next step is to determine how to ensure that it does. Even so, there are a number of democratic exemplars on the continent. What have Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana done differently? These top three African democracies are in addition to being models of good governance also economic successes. They also have one common characteristic: they are small countries. South Africa, which is Africa’s most advanced country and one of its largest, while having relatively strong democratic institutions, suffers from rampant corruption, poverty and anaemic growth. South Africa’s increasing economic decline exemplifies how institutional design could still fail to deliver expected economic benefits. This background is useful for contextualising any proposed reforms.

Top 10 African Democracies
1. Mauritius
2. Cape Verde
3. Botswana
4. South Africa
5. Lesotho
6. Ghana
7. Tunisia
8. Namibia
9. Senegal
10. Benin
Source: 2018 EIU Democracy Index

Nonetheless, there is a strong case for urgent political reforms in many currently floundering African democracies. Making the electoral process more credible and less expensive might be a good place to start. A sense of urgency with such reforms would be crucial to stemming the increasing slide to autocracy on the continent. More importantly, it would ensure that current African democracies endure long enough to deliver the expected developmental benefits that the literature suggests tend to take time to come to fruition. With palpable benefits from democratization over time, these should then spur yearnings for democracy in current African autocracies.

5.0       Recommendations
We propose solutions to the earlier identified challenges faced by African democracies of lack of accountability, political exclusion, weak state capacity, and the perception and practical realities of democracy as still a foreign concept.

Improve the electoral process
Osaghae (2004) recommends the following measures for improving the electoral process, upon “which the stability and survival of democracy ultimately hinges”: “Control of electoral commissions should reside with the legislature and/or judiciary rather than with the executive” and “the first-past-the-post electoral system should, wherever possible, be replaced by the proportional representation system, which guarantees more opportunities for power sharing and bargaining among competing parties.”[26]

We believe electronic voting would also help a great deal in reducing electoral fraud; albeit it has not been quite successful in doing so in the few African countries that have tried thus far. For instance, the 2018 presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was adjudged to have been easily rigged because of e-voting.[27],[28] In the more recent 2019 Namibian presidential election, where electronic voting was similarly used, there were hiccups here and there.[29] Still, these challenges could be easily fixed. And even in the DRC example, just as the electronic system probably made it easier to manipulate the results, it made a forensic determination of fraud relatively easier as well.

More direct democracy for greater accountability
According to Matsusaka (2005), “direct democracy works.” “The spread of direct democracy is fueled in part by the revolution in communications technology that has given ordinary citizens unprecedented access to information and heightened the desire to participate directly in policy decisions.”[30] What is direct democracy? Matsusaka (2005) defines direct democracy as “an umbrella term that covers a variety of political processes, all of which allow ordinary citizens to vote directly on laws rather than candidates for office.” Bottomline, there is a growing need for more effective, representative and participatory political systems; especially in Africa.

We recommend a truly representative and egalitarian unicameral “People’s Assembly” legislative system where lawmakers would all be independents and not belong to any political party. That way, no party controls the legislature. Registration and other formalities for election into the legislature would be free or for pittance and via the electoral body. And while independent candidates would still be qualified and eligible to participate in elections to executive positions (president, governors, premier, etc.), political parties would be the primary vehicle for executive positions. If the rational assumption, in light of history thus far, that political parties are likely already captured by the rich elite, an egalitarian and truly representative People’s Assembly of independents would be a well-suited counterbalance.

Foreign technical assistance to strengthen state capacity
This would have to be an ongoing process, for sure. That is, even as the effectiveness of aid is debatable. For instance, while on the face of it, aid could potentially contribute to democratization through technical assistance with electoral processes, capacity-building for legislatures and judiciary, conditionality, and education, Knack (2004) finds no evidence it promotes democracy.[31] When properly designed, however, it could be effective. In fact, Gibson, Hoffman & Jablonski (2015) argue that foreign aid not easily converted to patronage by incumbents like technical assistance enabled greater and economic and political freedom in African countries.[32] That said, the international community must look beyond election monitoring and other mostly ex post measures to more cogent ones aimed at preventing electoral irregularities in the first place.

Africa should develop its own form of democracy
Cheeseman (2015) suggests “Africanizing” democracy, arguing some of the “most successful innovations on the continent, such as zoning in Nigeria or the best loser system in Mauritius, have been homegrown.”[33] Cheeseman (2015) advocates “a more indigenous set of political arrangements” is best suited for Africa’s peculiarities. In Ghana, “the integration of traditional rulers into the formal political system has helped to generate a sense of inclusion, and has made it easier to manage intercommunal tensions around elections” (Cheeseman, 2015). Recall, Mauritius and Ghana are in the top 10 of African democracies.

Kenya is another example of an African country continually evolving its political system with its realities. As politics is ethnically entrenched in Kenya, with elections almost always strictly along ethnic lines, a process is now underway to ensure the typical bickering and violence in the aftermath of elections are reduced or avoided altogether. The Kenyan proposal would ensure that both winners and losers end up feeling their efforts were not in vain. True, the likely outcome would be administratively expensive, a triumvirate of sorts, with a president, deputy president and prime minister and an official leader of the opposition. Still, the potential benefits outweigh the costs. Cheeseman (2015) also notes the incorporation of traditional norms on social relationships and decision-making into the formal political structure and system of Somaliland.

The point is that democracy engenders development when the government it produces is truly representative of the will of the people, less expensive to manage than other forms of governance, with elected officials truly held accountable, and all of its institutions having legitimacy with all stakeholders. Perhaps, western liberal democracy in its unadulterated form has not quite succeeded in doing that in Africa because it runs at variance with some local cultural entrenchments.

[1] Dahir, A.L. & Kazeem, Y. (2019, February 27). Africans pay a hefty economic price to uphold their democracies. Quartz. Retrieved from

[2] Campbell, J. & Harwood, A. (2011, October 28). Democracy’s growth in Africa: Slow, violent, and worth celebrating. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

[3] Bates, R.H., Fayad, G. & Hoeffler, A. (2012). The state of democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Area Studies Review, 15 (4), 323-338. Retrieved from

[4] Masaki, T. & van de Walle, N. (2014). The impact of democracy on economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1982-2012. WIDER Working Paper 2014/057. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. Retrieved from

[5] Freedom House (2019). Freedom in the world 2019: Democracy in retreat. Washington DC: Freedom House. Retrieved from

[6] Cheeseman, N. (2019). A divided continent – BTI 2018 Regional Report Africa. Gutersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung. Retrieved from

[7] Acemoglu, D., Naidu, S., Restrepo, P. & Robinson, J.A. (2019). Democracy does cause growth. Journal of Political Economy, 127 (1), 47-100. Retrieved from

[8] Acemoglu, D. & Robinson, J.A. (2012). Why nations fail. New York: Crown.

[9] Gerring, J., Bond, P., Barndt, W. & Moreno, C. (2005). Democracy and growth: A historical perspective. World Politics, 57 (3), 323-364. Retrieved from

[10] Gerring, J., Thacker, S.C. & Alfaro, R. (2012). Democracy and human development. The Journal of Politics, 74 (1), 1-17. Retrieved from

[11] Ross, M. (2006). Is democracy good for the poor? American Journal of Political Science, 50 (4), 860-874. Retrieved from

[12] Baum, M.A. & Lake, D.A. (2003). The political economy of growth: Democracy and human capital. American Journal of Political Science, 47 (2), 333-347. Retrieved from

[13] Varshney, A. (2005). Democracy and poverty. Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, 383-401. Retrieved from

[14] Charron, N. & Lapuente, V. (2010). Does democracy produce quality of government? European Journal of Political Research, 49 (4), 443-470. Retrieved from

[15] Collier, P. & Rohner, D. (2008). Democracy, development and conflict. Journal of the European Economic Association, 6 (2-3), 531-540. Retrieved from

[16] Lewis, P. (2008). Poverty, inequality and democracy: Growth without prosperity in Africa. Journal of Democracy, 19 (4), 95-109. Retrieved from

[17] Michalopoulos, S. & Papaioannou, E. (2013b). Pre-colonial ethnic institutions and contemporary African development. Econometrica, 81 (1), 113-152. Retrieved from

[18] Osafo-Kwaako, P. & Robinson, J.A. (2013). Political centralization in pre-colonial Africa. Journal of Comparative Economics, 41 (1), 534-564. Retrieved from

[19] Bradley, M.T. (2011). African perceptions of democracy. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 5 (11), 456-464. Retrieved from

[20] Jotia, A.L. (2012). Liberal democracy: An African perspective. Academic Research International, 2 (3), 621. Retrieved from

[21] Masaki, T. & Van de Walle, N. (2014). The impact of democracy on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, 1982-2012. WIDER Working Paper No. 2014/057. Helsinki: World Institute for Development Research. Retrieved from

[22] Narayan, P.K., Narayan, S. & Smyth, R. (2011). Does democracy facilitate economic growth or does economic growth facilitate democracy? An empirical study of Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic Modelling, 28 (3), 900-910. Retrieved from

[23] Cheeseman, N. (2015). Democracy in Africa: Successes, failures, and the struggle for political reform. New York: Cambridge University Press

[24] Burgess, R., Jedwab, R., Miguel, E., Morjaria, A. & Miquel, G.P. (2013). The value of democracy: Evidence from road building in Kenya. NBER Working Paper No. 19398. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from

[25] Cheeseman, N. (2014). Does the African middle class defend democracy? Evidence from Kenya. WIDER Working Paper No. 2014/096. Helsinki: World Institute for Development Research. Retrieved from

[26] Osaghae, E.E. (2004). Making democracy work in Africa: From the institutional to the substantive. Journal of African Elections, 3 (1), 1-12. Retrieved from

[27] Wilson, T., Blood, D. & Pilling, D. (2019, January 15). Congo voting data reveal huge fraud in poll to replace Kabila. Financial Times. Retrieved from

[28] Paravicini, G., Lewis, D. & Ross, A. (2019, January 18). How Kabila’s election strategy unraveled in Congo. Reuters. Retrieved from

[29] ‘Frustratingly slow’ vote count in Namibia after extended polling. (2019, November 29). Aljazeera. Retrieved from

[30] Matsusaka, J.G. (2005). Direct democracy works. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19 (2), 185-206. Retrieved from

[31] Knack, S. (2004). Does foreign aid promote democracy? International Studies Quarterly, 48 (1), 251-266. Retrieved from

[32] Gibson, C.C., Hoffman, B.D. & Jablonski, R.S. (2015). Did aid promote democracy in Africa? The role of technical assistance in Africa’s transtions. World Development, 68, 323-335. Retrieved from,%20R_Did%20aid%20promote%20democracy_Jablonski_Did%20aid%20promote%20democracy_2015.pdf

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 27 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares hit 18-mth top in festive cheer; oil, gold hold gains
  • MSCI ex-Japan at highest since June 2018, up 16% this year
  • Q4 earnings will come to focus in January
  • MSCI world index, Dow, S&P 500 hit record closing highs Thursday
  • Brent at 2-1/2 month peak, gold at 2-mth highs

Oil Markets

  • Oil hits 3-mth highs as strong US consumer spending underpins growth hopes
  • Brent up 0.2% at $68.05 a barrel (0150GMT)
  • WTI up 0.2% at $61.81

Precious metals

  • Gold eases as stocks gain; set for best weekly jump in over 4 mths
  • Spot gold down 0.1% at $1,509.56/oz. (0136GMT)
  • US gold futures unchanged at $1,514.40/oz.


  • US soybeans rise on China purchase hopes
  • Wheat futures up 0.4% at $5.51-1/4 a bushel (0215GMT)
  • Soybean futures up 0.1% at $9.47 a bushel
  • Corn futures down 0.1% at $3.88 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Ghana’s Menzgold expected to pay longsuffering customers
  • South Africa balance of trade Nov-19 [prev. ZAR3.09B]
  • Nigeria manufacturing PMI Dec-19 [prev. 59.3]
  • Nigeria non-manufacturing PMI Dec-19 [prev. 60.1]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Turkey to send troops to Libya at Tripoli’s request – Erdogan
  • Trump, Egypt’s Sisi agree on need to end Libya conflict – White House
  • Morocco jails one man, detains another over criticism of authorities on social media
  • Libya makes formal request for Turkish military support – official
  • Ivory Coast says presidential candidate Soro plotted a coup
  • Russia & Italy call for peaceful solution to Libya crisis
  • Zambia plans to compel copper miners to account for gold
  • Russia & Turkey extended talks on Syria/Libya in quest for compromise – Vedomosti

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 25-26 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Japanese shares rally in final trades for the year
  • Nikkei up 0.4%, gains YTD 18.8%; Topix up 0.4%
  • Dollar ticks higher vs yen as confidence stays intact
  • Markets remain in holiday mood; several still closed for Boxing Day

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises, supported by trade deal, OPEC cuts
  • Brent up 0.2% at $67.36 a barrel (0155GMT)
  • WTI up 0.3% at $61.31

Precious metals

  • Gold steady as markets await trade deal signing details
  • Spot gold unchanged at $1,499.18/oz. (0132GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1% at $1,503.10/oz.

Key African events or data releases today (25-26 Dec)
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Egypt central bank MPC meeting; postponed to 16 Jan
  • Eritrea’s Afwerki working visit to Ethiopa (25 Dec)
  • Turkey’s Erdogan surprise visit to Tunisia on Libya (25 Dec)

Key African events or data releases previously (24-25 Dec) & early a.m today

  • YEARENDER – From medicine to recycling, 6 African start-ups doing business for good in 2019
  • Egypt’s current account deficit narrows, FDI up in July-Sept 2019
  • Egypt’s central bank postpones policy meeting to Jan. 16
  • Hundreds of thousands turn out to mourn Algeria’s powerful army chief
  • Turkey-Libya maritime deal rattles East Mediterranean
  • Turkey’s Erdogan discusses Libya ceasefire during surprise Tunisia trip
  • Nigeria releases Sowore and Dasuki after AG orders bail
  • 35 civilians killed in Burkina Faso after army repels militant attack
  • After Ethiopia crash, victims’ relatives say they were hounded by US law firms
  • Turkish parliament readying bill to allow sendin troops to Libya
  • Nigeria’s NNPC to raise Chevron-operated GTL plant stake to 60%
  • Botswana court dismisses challenge to October election result
  • Tanzania charges rights activist with economic crimes
  • Eritrean soccer players go missing in Uganda again
  • Russia’s Zarubezhneft says joins 2 offshore oil blocks in Egypt
  • Algerian students still pushing for change after general’s death
  • Africa Oil – Margins recover, spot trade muted
  • Kenyan shilling firm ahead of holiday season
  • South Africa’s Bidvest to acquire British-based PHS Group
  • Rhino poaching at record levels in Botswana
  • Vietnam seizes two tonnes of ivory, pangolin scales
  • Flushed with fear: South Africa’s sewage system collapse a ‘time bomb’

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters