macroafricaintel | Ghana: Assessing the banking industry cleanup exercise (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

In early January, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) announced there are now twenty-three banks – from thirty previously – licensed to operate as universal banks in Ghana. This followed their successful recapitalisation to at least 400 million cedis on or before 31 December 2018. The central bank gave the ‘minimum capital directive’ more than a year earlier. Out of the twenty-three, sixteen met the minimum capital requirement on their own. Three were mergers: First National Bank and GHL Bank, Energy Bank and First Atlantic Bank, and Sahel-Sahara Bank and Omni Bank.

Five indigenous banks, which could not secure the minimum capital before the deadline but deemed solvent and well-governed, were rescued by private pension funds through the “Ghana Amalgamated Trust Limited (GAT)”, a 2 billion cedis special purpose vehicle they formed for the purpose. They are state-owned Agricultural Development Bank and National Investment Bank, Omni/Sahel Bank, Universal Merchant Bank, and Prudential Bank.

Bank of Baroda, an Indian bank, chose to exit the Ghanaian market all together for strategic reasons. Assuringly, its operations have been taken over by Stanbic Bank. GN Bank, one of the erstwhile universal banks which could not meet the minimum capital requirement by the deadline, successfully applied for a savings and loans company licence. It has until June to complete the transition.

Some confidence restored
Seven banks, which were considered insolvent, had their licenses revoked, however. Unibank, The Royal Bank, Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, and Construction Bank lost theirs over the previous one and a half years. Premium Bank and Heritage Bank are the two which were shut down in the new year. Like the earlier five, some of their assets and liabilities have also been transferred to Consolidated Bank Ghana, the ‘bad bank’ the authorities set up for the purpose.

The infractions by the closed banks were virtually the same. There were perenially illiquid and insolvent. Huge loans were granted to related parties and investments were fictitiously booked. And in the case of the defunct Heritage Bank, the sources of its capital were considered to be suspicious by the central bank and its majority shareholder adjudged not to have met the “fit and proper person” test.

In the most recent comprehensive update on the banking sector published by the central bank in November 2018, the main financial soundness indicators “recorded broad improvement…” relative to the year before. As at October 2018, there were thirty banks with total assets of 106 billion cedis. Thirteen of these were indigenous banks and seventeen were foreign-owned. Deposits were put at about 67 billion cedis, a quarter of which were in foreign currency. Shareholders’ funds were put at about 14 billion cedis.

By and large, the central bank has done a decent job of bringing some sanity to the erstwhile beleaguered banking industry. But are these steps enough? What about the reported poor governance systems at many banks? Not a tad few point to mismanagement and corruption for the genesis of the crisis. Have these been addressed? Would the central bank officials found culpable be dealt with to the full extent of the law?

What about the top politicians found to be responsible for embezzlement, insider deals, and stagnant loans at these banks? Would they be dealt with? And what informed the rescue of the five indigenous banks and not others?

More importantly, has confidence now been restored to the banking system? Probably. There certainly are now no panic withdrawals. And all those who go to their banks are able to do their transactions with little or no hassle.

An edited version was published in the first quarter 2019 issue of African Banker magazine

macroafricaintel | Sall’s Senegal

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, is perhaps still basking in the euphoria of his re-election win. Sall won 58 percent of the presidential vote held on 24th February. Second-place winner, Idrissa Seck, garnered 21 percent of votes cast, while Ousmane Sonko, the third-place winner, secured 16 percent. In any case, it was not much of a contest.

Potentially stronger contenders were not on the ballot. Karim Wade, son of former president Abdoulaye Wade, and Khalifa Sall, the former mayor of Dakar, were barred from running owing to convictions for corruption.

The opposition did not take it totally lying down per se. In early February, the senior Wade, who was Senegal’s president for twelve years, returned home from France, where he lives, to speak his mind in person. He called for a largely unsuccessful boycott of the polls.

Incidentally, in four of the twelve years of Wade’s rule, Sall was prime minister. And Sall would later go on to be his nemesis in the 2012 presidential election.

Naturally, some argue the series of events that led to the disqualification of Wade’s son and the incumbent’s namesake, Sall, were politically motivated. They are probably right.

Mark Bohlund of Bloomberg Economics in London argued ahead of the February polls that “a new system that involves sponsorship of presidential candidates and validation by the Constitutional Court…prompted accusations of a limiting factor for political competition being created that tarnishes Senegal’s strong democratic record.”

Such was the convincing grip of President Sall on Senegalese politics ahead of the February polls that Bloomberg Economics’ Bohlund reckoned early on that “attempts at constitutional changes allowing [Sall] to contest a third term [could not] be ruled out.”

Economic boom amid rising debt
Still, Sall won a second term in office on the back of a remarkable economic record. The Sengalese economy grew from about 5 percent in 2012, when he first took office, to 7 percent in 2017, the most recent year for which actual data is available.

Economic projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest the economy would likely maintain this momentum for another half a decade to 2023, with oil and gas production in 2022 expected to lift real GDP growth to the double-digits in the last two years.

Bloomberg Economics’ Bohlund worries about Senegal’s rising debt, however. “The sharp rise in Senegal’s debt in recent years has been described as an example of the ‘pre-resource’ curse in which governments borrow heavily now to reap the benefits of revenue streams coming online in the future. Reducing Senegal’s indebtedness will be a key focus in coming years.”

That said, Bohlund highlights that “the Senegalese government has pledged to close the budget deficit by raising its tax revenue towards the WAEMU [West African Economic and Monetary Union] criteria of 20 percent of GDP [Gross Domestic Product].”

“If successful, this would support Senegal’s status as one of the few African countries being upgraded by credit rating agencies – Standard and Poor’s retained its positive outlook on Sengal’s B+ rating in December.”

Policy continuity
With Sall now re-elected, New African asked Adeline Van Houtte, Africa Analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit in London, about the country’s outlook under his leadership for another five years.

“Macky Sall, the president, has been re-elected for a second term, and is now well placed to implement the second phase of his economic development strategy.”

“Like many other African heads of state, Mr Sall was able to benefit from incumbency advantages but also his strong track record on economic and development issues, which laid the foundations for his decisive first round victory. However, the trial of the popular Khalifa Sall and his exclusion from the election race have left many voters disillusioned.”

“We expect the president to face a tough challenge to restore trust in governance, especially in the eyes of Senegal’s influential urban youth and the media, as well as restore a workable relationship with opposition politicians.”

“Encouraged by a strong economic performance (with real GDP growth averaging more than 6% in 2014-18), and with new hydrocarbon developments set to bolster government revenues from 2021-22 onwards, the temptation will be to focus on the economy and allow governance reforms to slip down the agenda.”

“Mr Sall will preside with a strong majority in parliament, which will facilitate policy making. The government has drawn up a list of priority actions required for the next phase of its Plan Sénégal Emergeant (PSE) development strategy, which was adopted in 2014.”

“Large foreign-funded infrastructure projects played a major role in phase one of the PSE, and phase two will also include rural infrastructure projects including the construction of 3,050 km of rural roads, the electrification of 675 villages.”

“But the second phase will also lay much greater stress on improving productivity, enhancing basic social services and reducing poverty. A donor meeting in December mobilised aid pledges of €13bn (US$14.4bn) – double the level of external assistance for the first phase of the PSE. France was particularly supportive, pledging €1.5bn.”

“The re-election of Macky Sall will provide policy continuity in the country and policy will continue to be guided by the government’s PSE supporting strong economic activity.”

An edited version was published in the April 2019 issue of New African magazine

macroafricaintel | In Conversation: Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, First Bank (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of one of sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest and largest private sector banking groups, reviews the dominant trends of the sector in Nigeria and the wider West African region and discusses the relationship between the banking industry and the increasing number of telcos which are providing alternative financial services. Interview by Rafiq Raji.

What are the notable banking industry trends in Nigeria and wider West African region you’ve observed over the past year?

Within the past year, banks across Nigeria and West Africa have made good progress towards being more customer-centric. There is a greater emphasis on putting the customers at the heart of business decisions and actions. Significant number of Nigerian and West African banks have been deliberate in accelerating the implementation of their digital transformation agenda. This trend is supporting the drive towards turning banks’ operations into more agile, strategically focused and technologically-driven organizations.

There is increased focus on leveraging artificial intelligence and robotics to drive improved customer experience as well as internal operational efficiency. Many of the banks are making strategic investments in data and analytics as data has been tagged ‘the new oil’. Overall, we have observed an increase in the deployment of digital banking platforms, artificial intelligence, robotics and analytics capabilities.

We have seen many banks setting up digital and innovation laboratories as a means of institutionalizing new ways of working and serving customers.  As the industry and its ecosystems continue to evolve, Nigerian and West African banks are embracing innovation to achieve institutional agility. Banking industry players are also collaborating with key partners within the broader ecosystems to curate lifestyle banking solutions for various customer segments from wealth management to a bouquet of digital retail products that will improve financial inclusion. As these transformations continue to shape the way that banks transact, numerous trends will continue to emerge within the banking sector.

With respect to revenue generation and profitability, we have witnessed a significant drop in the rate of return on government securities in Nigeria and other West African economies over the last one year. For instance, we have seen Nigerian treasury bill rate drop from about 19% to below 13% over the last 12 months. In other West African economies such as Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ghana, etc, we have seen rates drop from over 20% to as low as single digital. This trend has made it imperative for Nigerian and West African banks to refocus their business strategies towards growing risk assets portfolio by funding quality wholesale transactions and aggressively driving consumer lending.

How do you see the banking industry evolving over the next year or so; in Nigeria, Ghana and broader West African region?

Over the next year, we envisage an upsurge in fully digitized bank operations that target digital customer segments with increased collaborations with FinTech. The overall outcome will be increased emphasis on innovative banking products from micro-lending on mobile platforms to enhanced retail banking offerings for the mass market leveraging social media platforms. Generally, the goal would be to ensure that the users of financial products can carry out self-service banking services across several platforms. Additionally, with improved use of analytics and customer relationship management tools; the industry will experience a shift from generic banking products to customized products that directly address specific customers’ needs.

For Nigerian, Ghanaian, and wider West African customers, I see a future where the industry players will reinvent traditional banking and the way services are offered to customers. A future where customers can acquire over 80 percent of banking products online, have access to automated credit, peer to peer lending, one stop shop for small and medium scale businesses and other banking product innovations driven by technology. I also see a future, in Nigerian and other West African banks, where there will be increased focus on deploying and leveraging omni-channel capabilities to improve overall customer experience.

Interview was first published in the first quarter 2019 issue of African Banker magazine

macroafricaintel | South Africa – Mmusi’s DA (2)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Figurehead with little influence
In response to a question about one of his points about Maimane not being an effective leader thus far, Wits’ Southall has this to say. “There was always a suggestion that [Maimane] was backed as a relatively inoffensive black successor by Zille, and he has to try to span the awkward divisions across race within the DA, wherein there is quite a powerful old white guard. So the battles within the DA tend to reflect that.”

New African also sought to know why Wits’ Southall thought Maimane had thus far failed to capture the public imagination.

“Maimane is a preacher, so has some reasonable ability to capture the public imagination in public speaking, but is not particularly ‘charismatic’, and in fact is less publicly appealing in many ways than Zille in her prime, who speaks fluent Xhosa, was a very good campaigner in the townships, and could dance with the best of them.”

“Maimane is a bit stilted. To be fair, its a difficult role he has to fill.  And as an opposition leader, he has to compete with [Julius] Malema, who is bombastic, full of fiery speeches, and makes a public spectacle, and is always in the news. In fact, he creates news, Maimane doesn’t.”

A recent incident vindicates some of the points raised by Wits’ Southall. No, the pertinent example is not the “forty-four out of ten South Africans don’t have a job” slip of the tongue Maimane suffered on the campaign trail in March.

It is rather the faux pas Maimane committed during Ramaphosa’s question and answer session in parliament in early March, when he attempted to ask a question in the local language. He made a mistake in the use of the right protocols in his reference to Goodwill Zwelithini, the Zulu king.

His error forced Mandla Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, who is a member of parliament (MP), to point out the difference between a ‘King Zwelithini’ and a tribal chief like himself.

“The honourable member just misled the house”, echoed Mandela, “there is a difference between a king and a traditional leader being a chief…King Zwelithini is addressed as such ‘His Majesty’”. Thereafter, national assembly speaker Baleka Mbete ruled that Maimane “be sensitive to the protocols”; amidst laughter by some of the black MPs. Maimane asked the remainder of his question in English afterwards.

The slight error on the right protocol was not the substance of Maimane’s question; which was on land expropriation. But to be corrected on such small but very important local nuances is probably evidence of why Maimane still does not appeal very much to the hearts of many black South Africans. He should not have to be corrected on these things.

Maybe a slight bump
So what are the DA’s chances in the upcoming elections in May? New African asked Langelihle Malimela, Johannesburg-based Senior Africa Analyst at IHS Markit.

“The DA is unlikely to progress much further than the 22 percent that it managed in the 2014 poll. I would hesitate to put a number to this, but I think that they will climb by perhaps three to five percent.”

“This is largely because the DA has done the majority of its growth over the years by eating into the share of other smaller parties, rather than eating into the ANC. In this regard, they have probably approached a ceiling and are unlikely to grow a lot more, at least for the time-being.”

“They have encroached a little in recent times on ANC votes, but not substantially. This is because the data shows that as ANC voters have begun to punish the ANC for corruption etc. in recent times, the majority of them have done so by not voting at all, rather than voting for another party, including the DA.”

“This tells you that the opposition in South Africa still struggles to take advantage of the ANC’s blunders.”

“In terms of manifestos, really the ANC and DA cancel each other out. Both place great emphasis on growing the economy, cleaning out corruption and improving education.”

“Where the DA has tended to fall short is in the realm of Black Economic Empowerment (or BEE). This is a policy regime that aims to transform South Africa’s economy by giving preferential access to economic opportunities to people of colour in South Africa.”

“Given that the DA is an historically white party, it has always been equivocal in how it approaches this matter and voters have tended to pick up on this.”

“The latest manifesto flatly rejects BEE in the manner that it has been implemented by the ANC, which has resulted in the enrichment of a quite small, politically connected elite, increased corruption and largely failed to change the demographic make-up of the South African economy.”

“But in its place, the DA has not been able to suggest a coherent alternative that prioritises redress, and speaks to the aspiration of a rapidly urbanising black middle class.”

An edited version was published in the April 2019 issue of New Africa magazine

macroafricaintel | South Africa – Mmusi’s DA (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Mmusi Maimane, the head of South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, should ordinarily be popular with most South Africans. He is black and so should naturally appeal to black South Africans. And since he is married to a white woman, whites should naturally warm up to him as well.

As head of the DA, which is still adjudged by most black South Africans, as a party that promotes the interests of whites, Maimane ought to fit in perfectly. But that has not been the case. In other words, Maimane’s black heritage has not proved to be as much of an asset as the DA likely hoped.

Ironically, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Maimane’s counterpart in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), likely ticks most of the boxes on the key traits the DA likely sought in their leader.

Ramaphosa has mass appeal with Blacks, Whites and Indians in South Africa. And yet this should ideally be Maimane’s forte.

What the DA has going for it as a party, however, is a reputation for service delivery. It has demonstrated this in the relatively better-run Western Cape province, which it has been governing since 2009.

But why is this reputation not resulting in more popular support? One of the reasons is that memories of apartheid still run deep. There is hope that this might change in the future, however.

Younger South Africans, who naturally would increasingly have vague memories of apartheid, might eventually buy into the DA’s message; especially if the ruling ANC continues to flounder on the provision of basic public services and does not succeed in checking the corrupt activities of its cadres. But that future is probably still a long way off.

 

Thus, there is a sense Maimane is probably resigned to the fact that the DA may not be a ruling party at the federal level for a long while. And it is almost certain the DA would not be one under Maimane’s leadership.

What do experts think? New African asked Roger Southall, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, who first highlights points on the subject from an earlier paper he wrote and thereafter answers our follow-up questions.

“The Democratic Alliance, the official opposition, had sought to divest itself of the tag of being the party of white liberalism by becoming more racially diverse and progressively transforming its free-market [orientation] into a social market orientation.”

“However, for all that it had increased its vote share and representation in parliament from one previous election to another, it had proven incapable of taking advantage of the ANC’s dismal record of governance and an upsurge of popular ‘Zuma must Fall’ sentiment which had swept the country during the latter years of his presidency.”

“Although it had played an important role in demanding accountability by Zuma in parliament and via the courts, the DA had been outshone in this regard by the theatrical performances of the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters].”

“Despite the many scandals of the Zuma administration, the DA’s likeable but ineffectual leader, Mmusi Maimane, had failed to capture the public imagination.”

“Worse, his predecessor, Helen Zille (who remained Premier of the DA-ruled Western Cape) had antagonized vast swathes of the black public (whose support the party was desperate to attract) by a long series of ill-advised ‘tweets’ which highlighted what she regarded as the constructive aspects of colonialism.”

“To be sure, a solid party performance in the 2016 local government elections had led to ANC defeats and the forging of coalitions between the DA, the EFF and smaller parties to run Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela metro (Port Elizabeth) but these were soon to come under severe strain.”

“Indeed, the latter one had collapsed in a racially-charged dispute in August 2018. Most damagingly, the DA had fallen out with Patricia De Lille, its own mayor of Cape Town, in an extended fractious battle in which unspecified charges of corruption were rebutted by equally unspecified charges of the party being run by a white cabal.”

“De Lille’s eventual resignation from the DA, after various court battles, threatened to fracture its hold over the Western Cape’s Coloured community and, as a result, its control over the province (which it had swept in 2014 with 59 percent of the provincial vote).”

An edited version was published in the April 2019 issue of New African magazine

macroafricaintel | South Africa: Will Ramaphosa bring down the house? (2)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Out of his hands
In a nutshell, while Ramaphosa’s position as ANC president may not be secure, he has deftly ensured that his anti-corruption effort would be able to take on a life of its own with or without him on the saddle.

“South Africa is a constitutional democracy in which the head of government does not decide who gets prosecuted for corruption or any other crime. Not even Jacob Zuma could decide that, much to his regret”, says Steven Friedman, a research professor and renowned political scientist at the University of Johannesburg.

“Ramaphosa did not even appoint the head of the prosecution service alone – he was careful to ensure that she was chosen by a committee consisting mainly of professional lawyers so that he could not be accused of influencing the process”, adds Friedman.

“Who is prosecuted will, therefore, be determined by the National Director of Public Prosecutions [Advocate Shamila Batohi], an independent person recently appointed with the support of the entire legal profession”, the UJ professor avers further.

Already, the South African president has announced a new special investigative unit to prosecute the state capture allegations: “We have agreed with the new National Director of Public Prosecutions, that there is an urgent need to establish in the office of the NDPP an investigating directorate dealing with serious corruption and associated offences, in accordance with section 7 of the NPA Act.”

So, he is certainly heading in the right direction. The key question is whether he would be able to stay the course as the casaulties of his anti-corruption war start to get closer to home.

Oxford Analytica’s Robinson has cogent views on the question. “While his administration has faced public criticism for not hastening anti-corruption investigations, especially the slow pace of prosecutions or some notable withdrawn cases (e.g., Estina Dairy Farm, Ajay Gupta arrest warrant), the fact is that if Ramaphosa tries to interfere in ongoing investigations he risks going down the path of politicising South Africa’s anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies as his predecessor did – which is what allowed the process of state capture to emerge in the first place.”

IHS Markit’s Malimela also has some views on this. “Given the evidence that has come out of the state capture Inquiry, it is hard to see Ramaphosa trying to protect anyone.”

“Remember that South African courts are very independent, and while Ramaphosa has a slim majority in the ANC, the ANC has been losing power overall in any case, and thus in a parliament where they enjoy an ever slimmer majority, it is very difficult from here on, to protect anyone against whom the NDPP finds solid evidence (which won’t be hard).”

“The new NDPP is very highly qualified, competent and respected, and has left the ICC [International Criminal Court] where she worked for 9 years to return to the NPA where she began her career. Much is expected of her.”

“My point is that, it may not be all up to him, and how far he will go. And that was his intention. He has played it very well in the sense that he is giving law enforcement institutions the space and resources to do their work: and they are starting to. But it will be a marathon, not a sprint.”

An edited version was published in the March 2019 issue of New African magazine

macroafricaintel | South Africa – Will Ramaphosa bring down the house? (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

In mid-February, Bantu Holomisa, president of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), a political party, exclaimed “we now know the cost of state capture…billions of rands have been stolen and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been weakened”. Holomisa made these remarks at UDM’s manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth against the backdrop of renewed load shedding by the country’s state power utility monopoly, Eskom, which the UDM president attributed to state capture. “Like Prasa, Eskom is no longer able to perform service as it should”. He was only stating the obvious.

At his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) a week before, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the matter quite succinctly. “The revelations emerging from the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture and other commissions are deeply disturbing, for they reveal a breadth and depth of criminal wrongdoing that challenges the very foundation of our democratic state”. More importantly, “where there is a basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently”, the president added.

Incidentally, Holomisa’s speech a week after, happened at exactly the same time the ruling African National Congress (ANC) president was addressing party faithfuls at their own manifesto rollout in Limpopo. “President Ramaphosa may be a decent man, but he is just one man”, Holomisa remarked.

“There is nothing to stop the ANC from deciding to remove him just as they recalled Thabo Mbeki and replaced him with a person facing over eight hundred criminal charges”, the UDM president added. Holomisa was also speaking from personal experience: the ANC expelled him in 1996, after he testified before the Desmond Tutu-led Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Incidentally, Ramaphosa had, only just days before, during his response to the SONA debate in the South African parliament, been defending himself against accusations by Congress of the People (COPE) president Mosiuoa Lekota, a former member of the ANC and former minister of defence, that he betrayed his struggle comrades to the apartheid regime when he was a student leader. Ultra-leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party has called for a judicial commission of inquiry into the accusations by Lekota.

And about a month before, EFF leader Julius Malema also asked Ramaphosa to clear the air on the actual relationship between his son Andile and Bosasa (registered as “African Global Operations”), a facilities management firm implicated in state capture that was recently liquidated by its sponsors after banks refused to do business with it.

In light of this context, how far will Ramaphosa go to fight corruption within the ruling ANC and the state? How far can he really go? New African posed these questions to top political analysts.

Treacherous politics
“Ramaphosa has already started to tackle corruption by replacing the boards of corrupted firms and hiring credible prosecutors”, says Adeline Van Houtte, Africa analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in London. “Cracking down on corruption and prosecuting offenders remain key elements of Ramaphosa’s agenda”, she adds.

“But whether Ramaphosa succeeds depends on elections outcome on May 8th. But even if the ANC wins, he will face ferocious opposition to the clean-up from within his party. He will therefore need to tread carefully as it would be easy for rivals to remove him from the party leadership”.

Thus, “Ramaphosa is constrained in different ways in terms of combatting corruption at the state level and within the ANC itself”, says Oxford-based Jason Robinson, a senior Africa analyst at Oxford Analytica.

Langelihle Malimela, Johannesburg-based senior economics and country risk analyst at IHS Markit, provides additional context. “It is all likely to drag though, for some time. In other words, it will be some time before many prominent people are actually put on trial.”

“What Ramaphosa has done is to place emphasis on building institutions and following due process. It has served him well in the sense that, when he has gone after someone, such as his firing of the SARS [South African Revenue Service] commissioner, he has prevailed in the ensuing legal storm.”

“On the downside, it makes him appear indecisive and slow. But he is trying to ring-fence these institutions and put them on solid footing in case he is removed in future by the party.”

An edited version was published in the March 2019 issue of New African magazine