Africa

Salva Kiir

Sudan-South Sudan oil deal has its limits

17th April 2013 Foreign Policy – The Middle East Channel Sudan and South Sudan reached a deal in the early hours of March 12, after a week of negotiations in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, which should spark the beginning of exports of South Sudanese oil from Sudan’s Port Sudan, on the Red Sea coast, for [...]

Water supply by donkey in Bentiu, Unity state

Power and poverty in South Sudan

14th March 2013 From Our Own Correspondent – BBC Radio 4 My piece on the impact of austerity in South Sudan, where a lack of oil resources left many struggling to provide food and power for their families: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r5qc7 And the World Service version: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p015gwbb

Sexual violence Congo DRC Frontline Club I Dream of Congo

Violence in DR Congo could abate if international community takes decisive action

15 February 2013 Frontline Club More than 5m people have died in fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998. But now there may be a window of opportunity for the international community to take action. The coming year could be a window of opportunity for the international community to tackle the violence [...]


Police road block Juba South Sudan

The joys of Juba airport

Juba, South Sudan Arriving at Juba international airport, the gateway to the world’s newest nation, is never a pleasant experience. There is little that can prepare you for the chaos of the small, cramped space that serves as the arrivals hall, baggage collection, customs and immigration. All you can do is stay calm, take a [...]

Transformations in Egyptian Journalism

Transforming Egyptian Journalism

6th February 2013 – The Frontline Club The key to the development of the media in Egypt is not the transformation of journalists but the transformation of institutions, argues Naomi Sakr in her new book, Transformations in Egyptian Journalism. “I wanted to demonstrate that journalism as such may be the least of the problems in [...]

Terrorist attack In Amenas Algeria

How Algeria’s hostage crisis unfolded

31 January 2013 BBC Radio 4 Last week I contributed to the early stages of the research for a BBC Radio 4 programme that aired last night on the terrorist attacks on the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria two weeks ago that left at least 48 hostages dead. It’s well worth a listen. The [...]


Algerian government seeks to salvage energy trade after attack

The Independent – 26 January 2013 Until a few days ago, workers at the In Amenas gas plant in the Algerian Sahara lived a simple, if confined life. Working 12-hour shifts and seven-day weeks offered little opportunity for leisure. But when there was down time, workers had at their disposal state-of-the art training and sports [...]

Slow transition holds back Tunisian economy

MEED – 10 January 2013 Two years after the 23-year rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was brought to an end, the recovery of Tunisia’s economy is not going as smoothly as the government might have hoped. On 12 December, Fitch Ratings, one of three major international ratings agencies, downgraded the country’s sovereign ratings. Its [...]

Political change fails to quell unrest in Tunisia

10 January 2013 MEED When President Moncef Marzouki visited the small town of Sidi Bouzid in western Tunisia on 17 December, he met with a hostile reception. In a conscious echo of the protests in January 2011 that brought the end of the 23-year rule of Marzouki’s predecessor, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, demonstrators chanted “the [...]


Referendum victory a hollow one for Morsi

President Morsi must turn his attention from parliamentary politics to building a genuine consensus After a first round of voting in Egypt’s referendum on a new constitution, the ‘yes’ campaign is set for certain victory. Ten out of 27 governorates have voted, and the ‘yes’ vote is in the clear with 57 per cent, according [...]

South Sudan Investment Report 2013

Groundbreaking South Sudan report published

15th December 2012 After several months of research and many more weeks of writing and editing, my business intelligence report into investment opportunities in South Sudan is now in print. A comprehensive guide to investing in South Sudan, the 125-page report includes full details of the country’s legal and regulatory framework and project opportunities across [...]

Algeria moves to bolster oil and gas reserves

Sonatrach plans five new refineries and accelerated gas exploration as part of $80bn spending programme In early November, Algerian state energy company Sonatrach announced plans to invest $80bn in oil and gas projects over the next five years. The plans include a 50 per cent increase in the firm’s annual spend, to $15bn in 2013 [...]


South Sudan plans to resume oil production in September

Sudan intransigence on border issue could affect vital oil deal between Sudan and South Sudan South Sudan is planning to resume oil production in September, after a transit deal was reached with Sudan in early August, according to Pagan Amum, the country’s lead negotiator with Sudan at the African Union. It shut down exports of [...]

Cereal price rises threaten civil unrest

The Middle East must ensure food supply amid spiking global prices or risk potential civil unrest The current drought-induced surge in global food prices is causing disquiet in the Middle East and North Africa. Memories do not need to be very long to recall that when protesters took to the streets of cities across the [...]

South Sudan wheelchair basketball team captain Gatluak Kual Luak

Basketball inspires wounded

BBC – 9 August 2012 Thousands of miles from the elite athletes gathered at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, some young men are playing basketball on a court in South Sudan. But their wheelchairs are a reminder of the country’s painful past. In the Nimra Talata area, one Friday afternoon, a crowd of [...]


Algiers’ smoke screen of reform

Against the backdrop of popular unrest in the region, Algiers promised political change. Yet, despite concessions, the regime is maintaining its grip on power Ever since January 2011, when Algerians took to the streets to protest their economic plight and demonstrate their political frustration alongside their neighbours in Tunisia and Egypt, the government has promised [...]

South Sudan's debut international football game, against Uganda on 10th July 2012

South Sudan draw first football international

Juba, 11th July South Sudan’s first FIFA-recognised international football match ended in a 2-2 draw with Uganda last night, a day after the fledgling country celebrated the first anniversary of its independence. Such was the excitement about the game that an hour before kickoff I could already hear the cheers from my house in Hai [...]

Algeria projects report 2012

Algeria projects report in print

24th June 2012 The most comprehensive business intelligence report on Algeria’s economy is now in print. The culmination of several months of research and a decade of accumulated knowledge, this 180-page report is the most detailed and up-to-date study of the projects market in Algeria. It is the perfect time to be informed about the [...]


Lindsey Hilsum at the Frontline Club, 26 April 2012

Writing Libya’s revolution

Speaking to a packed Frontline Club on 26th April, Channel 4 News’ international editor Lindsey Hilsum shared a fascinating personal insight into the revolution in Libya last year that overthrew the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power. In Hilsum’s words, Libya was the “only true revolution of last year – where the [...]

The political crisis in Egypt is threatening the transition to a new democratic regime

Political crisis threatens transition in Egypt

6 April 2012 Egypt is enduring one of its most politically fragile periods since Hosni Mubarak was forced from office A little more than 12 months after President Hosni Mubarak was removed from office, Egypt is teetering on the brink of a political and economic crisis. Plans to draw up a new constitution are in [...]

Cairo: as the political crisis continues, the investment climate is suffering

Vital foreign investment into Egypt dries up

6 April 2012 Egypt’s struggling investment climate is having a major impact on the economy A lack of clear political leadership, an uncertain business environment and a struggling economy mean that firms are thinking twice before investing in Egypt. The uncertainty of the business environment has been thrown into sharp relief in recent weeks by [...]


The elections in October 2011 are the greatest achievement of Tunisia's new government, according to Merhezia Lebidi Maiza, Ennahda member and deputy speaker of Tunisia's constituent national assembly, speaking at Chatham House on 21 March 2012

Tunisia divided on new political regime

21 March, 2012 Yesterday Tunisia celebrated the 56th anniversary of its independence from French colonial rule. But a little over a year since the ouster of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power, it is no longer freedom from imperialism that defines the politics of this small North African nation. The key [...]

Suez Canal delivers in tough year

The Canal has emerged as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise flailing Egyptian economy, with revenues touching a record high in 2010/11 It has been a testing few years for the Suez Canal. First, a rapid rise in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia in 2008 threatened [...]

Gas still a challenge for resurgent Middle East market

The combination of the global economic crisis and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa made 2011 a tough year for investment in the region. But the significant increase in oil prices and the return of a degree of stability to several of the affected markets means the outlook for the coming year [...]