If I could be Santa and give gifts to each of my African friends, here’s what I’d wish for each African country in 2020:
1. Algeria – a prosperous first year for President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, elected this month to the presidency.
2. Angola – the end of corruption trials for the Dos Santos regime and family. They are becoming the main show of João Lourenço’s presidency, which should get attention for other positive efforts.
3. Benin – a solution to the fake medical drug problem that continues to spill over into Nigeria.
4. Botswana – more economic diversification. This is still a challenge for the country.
5. Burkina Faso – a peaceful election season with none of the chaos from 2015.
6. Burundi – someone to assume the future leadership of this country. So much is unknown today.
7. Cameroon – still awaiting a solution to the fight between the Francophones and the Anglophones.
8. Cape Verde – a bump in economic outlook as the country still feels the pain of smaller remittances and relatively slower Portuguese economy.
9. Central African Republic – a 2020 election that does not require a runoff and is carried out peacefully.
10. Chad – the finances and willpower to have legislative elections in 2020 (which have been delayed since 2015). My wish here has not changed for a while.
11. Comoros – maintenance of moderate economic growth.
12. Congo (Brazzaville) – some revived interest in oil investment. The excitement drop-off in 2019 was surprising.
13. Congo (Kinshasa) – a little more independence for President Félix Tshisekedi from former President Joseph Kabila. Tshisekedi deserves more respect than he is receiving.
14. Cote d’Ivoire – the emergence of a consensus successor to the incumbent President Alassane Ouattara ahead of the 2020 election — same as last year and probably more important now than before.
15. Djibouti – some international acknowledgment for the economic growth coming out of the country.
16. Egypt – fewer protests in 2020 (won’t speculate on what gets us there).
17. Equatorial Guinea – increased success on gas development (…still waiting).
18. Eritrea – an economic growth plan. Opening the border has not exactly changed the country’s economic outlook.
19. Ethiopia – a return of Abiy-mania and Abiy success. The star on him dimmed a little (or lot, depending on who you ask) in 2019.
20. Gabon – a transition plan for President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who is clearly facing grave undisclosed health concerns.
21. Gambia – economic upside for its oil and gas industry.
22. Ghana – ongoing economic growth coupled with a competitive and engaging election. The Ghanaian democracy should be admired for its maturity and peacefulness.
23. Guinea – more economic benefits for the country’s struggling poor.
24. Guinea-Bissau – a re-entrance into the international market.
25. Kenya – solutions to the challenges at Kenya Power and Kenya Airways.
26. Lesotho – more international connectivity beyond South Africa.
27. Liberia – President George Weah coming more into his own.
28. Libya – more political and economic integration (and peace, please).
29. Madagascar – more hope for the country’s poorest who are getting further lost in the country’s economy.
30. Malawi – more agriculture investment. Recent droughts have hit the country hard.
31. Mali – parliamentary elections in 2020 (been waiting since 2015).
32. Mauritania – more development and economic benefit with its oil and gas industry.
33. Mauritius – a bigger economic bridge between Asia and Africa
34. Morocco – more African headquarters to Casablanca.
35. Mozambique – with the restructuring falling into place, a return of more international investors.
36. Namibia – an escape from an economic recession (sadly the same wish as 2019).
37. Niger – more agriculture and mineral investment.
38. Nigeria – an escape from the election hangover that has plagued investment and the economy.
39. Rwanda – a burgeoning relationship with Qatar.
40. São Tomé and Príncipe – still waiting on upside from oil investment.
41. Senegal – happy to take ongoing economic stability into 2020 and 2021.
42. Seychelles – a bump in tourism and remittances…the times still feel relatively slow.
43. Sierra Leone – some economic relief for Sierra Leone’s poor (it’s a tough road right now for the country’s poor).
44. Somalia – a solution to the violence for Africa’s most violent and unstable state.
45. South Africa – help for the country’s major state-run companies (South African Airways, Eskom, etc.).
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46. South Sudan – still awaiting more trade with Sudan.
47. Sudan – a strong new leader who can displace the Omar al-Bashir legacy.
48. Swaziland – international links beyond South Africa.
49. Tanzania – a solution to the stalemate between President John Magufuli and the international community.
50. Togo – a peaceful election season.
51. Tunisia – a prosperous year of leadership for President Kais Saied (elected in October 2019).
52. Uganda – a truce between Ugandan pop star-turned-opposition Member of Parliament Bobi Wine and President Yoweri Museveni (still waiting on this one since last year).
53. Zambia – someone who can help solve the ongoing debt crisis.
54. Zimbabwe – renewed excitement for the country…the light brightened and dimmed in seconds for the current administration.
Kurt Davis Jr. is an investment banker with private equity experience focused on Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey. He earned an MBA in finance, entrepreneurship and operations from the University of Chicago and a J.D. in tax and commercial law at the University of Virginia’s School of Law. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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