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Tara O’Connor

Tara O’Connor

O’Connor is MD of the pan-African consulting firm Africa Risk Consulting. She is a University of Cape Town graduate and has spent 25 years assessing Africa’s political and business environment –

Elon Musk promises a return to social media Wild West

20th May 2022 Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema is famous for his expert use of social media platforms. His opponents taunted him as the President only on social media – until the quiet crowds of his young social media-active followers lined up to give him a landslide victory last year. Inspired,... 

Nigeria’s oligarchs face pressure as Presidential candidates emerge

22nd April 2022 As international businesses scurry to close off any links to Russia’s sanctioned political and oligarch class, some of Nigeria’s politicians and would-be politicians may start to feel a little uncomfortable. Nigeria’s domestic politics is often every much as brutal as Russia’s, with a history of... 

Russia in Africa

25th March 2022 “You can focus on the details of contracts and modelling in risk management but it’s the big events – like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – that can literally wipe out your balance sheet.” These words of an Africa infrastructure investment professional who sits on several companies’ risk management... 

Ethiopian leader pushing ahead with economic reforms, despite the armed conflict in Tigray

18th February 2022 I recently received a horrifying message from a friend in Guinea-Bissau. She had narrowly escaped death while working in the Presidency during the failed coup on February 1. “When the shooting started, I had gone to the bathroom and managed to escape that way – but two of my colleagues died. It’s... 

New Omicron variant takes volatility and uncertainty to new levels

10th December 2021 The end of the year is traditionally when we muse about the year gone by as we look to the one ahead. This is difficult at the best of times, but the Covid-19 pandemic has taken volatility and uncertainty to new levels.  For Southern Africa, all indicators were pointing towards 2022 as the year... 

Angola – taking on the oligarch-kleptocrats

19th November 2021 As Angola takes on the oligarch-kleptocrats and makes meaningful reforms, investors start to notice, but is it too late to woo voters? Rio Tinto’s signing in early October of a diamond mining investment contract for Angola’s major Chiri kimberlite concession, in Lunda Sul, is a vote of confidence... 

From Francafrique to France-Africa

22nd October 2021 That France’s special relationship with Frenching-speaking nations, known as Françafrique, is undergoing a fundamental transformation would not have been obvious at the 28th Afrique-France Summit, in Montpellier, earlier this month. Nothing of any great import happened at the summit, which has... 

Of prisons and Presidencies

24th September 2021 What links a military coup in the ‘wildest west’ of West Africa and the less media-glamorous landslide election victory in Zambia? West Africa has turned back the regional political clock to the 1970s and 1980s, when every few months some junior officer with political ambitions would oust the... 

The corrupt’s horizons are narrowing

20th August 2021 Do three significant events in the subregion signify a trend? First, although the trial of South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, may have been postponed to September 9, the so-called Arms Deal corruption trial, along with that of French arms company Thales, is likely to go ahead. This,... 

Be careful what you wish for . . .

23rd July 2021 In this opinion piece, African Risk Consulting's Tara O’Connor and Raphael Korber-Hoffman review recent security developments across the African continent Two events pointing to a significant shift in pan-African security policy – and notably the battle against international Islamist extremist... 

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