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Ghana backs the eco (New West African Currency) – Is Nigeria isolated?

Ghana has become the latest West African country to throw its weight behind a new regional currency – the eco. The adoption of the eco by French speaking West African countries is a historic moment for the region as it steps away from its former colonial power, France. The eco will still remain pegged to the euro. Ghana, however, is urging the region to implement a flexible exchange rate as soon as possible. Francly speaking, Nigeria may be isolated for its own good.

Heading to the ballot in 2020

After 2019’s year of momentous elections (Nigeria and South Africa both went to the polls), 2020 promises more of the same. Elections would be seen as a referendum on the policies of incumbents in Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The elections in Ghana would likely be a rematch of the 2016 polls with former president, John Mahama, taking on incumbent president, Nana Akufo-Addo. Meanwhile, votes in states grappling with conflict like Burkina Faso and Burundi will be crucial in shaping how the fighting will play out.

African Art making its way back to the continent

The year 2019 was dubbed the “Year of Return” as people in the African Diaspora made their way back to the continent. However, it is not only people. Over the last 2 years, African governments have been requesting the return of stolen artefacts from former colonial governments. In November, one of the looted Benin bronzes was returned to Nigeria from the University of Cambridge. November also saw late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu’s painting ‘Christine’ sold for a whopping $1.4 million at auction.

Africa’s trade with the UK beyond Brexit

Brexit is unlikely to change the nature of Britain’s trade with Africa in the short term. However, Britain’s ability to negotiate new trade deals globally means African goods are likely to face increased competition in UK markets. The withdrawal deal agreed in October with the European Union means the risks of a no-deal Brexit have considerably receded. Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the immediate impact of Brexit on African countries is likely to be limited.

This publication addresses these and other issues.

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