Stories by Paulo Gomes

Expert Voices

Global powers accelerate plays for influence in Africa

Putin, Kagame and fellow Russian and Rwandan officials seated across a conference table
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Sochi summit. Photo: Alexander Ryumin/TASS via Getty Images

Russia's late October summit with African leaders in Sochi took place amid a renewed global scramble among foreign powers for influence on the continent.

Why it matters: Increased competition holds promise for Africa. Not only will foreign investment — which rebounded last year after a recent downturn — rise, but African countries can be more selective about deal terms while diversifying their partnerships beyond currently dominant powers such as China.

Expert Voices

Short-term African investment may slow despite bright growth prospects

A supporter of Martin Fayulu, the runner up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's elections, protests in Kinshasa, against the election of Felix Tshisekedi as president of the DRC.
A supporter of Martin Fayulu, runner-up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's contested elections, protests in Kinshasa against Felix Tshisekedi's win, on Jan. 21. Photo: John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images

The new year is off to a rocky start for African countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo held a disputed presidential election tainted by allegations of fraud; protests in Zimbabwe over a 150% hike in fuel prices have sparked a violent government crackdown; and a horrific terrorist attack that hit an upscale hotel and commercial real estate complex two weeks ago in Nairobi, Kenya, killed 21 people.

Why it matters: Recent and potential civil unrest will result in lower investment in a region of the world that needs it most. Foreign direct investment flows into African markets fell by 21% to $42 billion in 2017 and are predicted to decrease further over the next three years.

Expert Voices

Kim's resignation could tee up non-U.S. leadership at World Bank

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim arrives for a news conference at International Monetary Fund Headquarters April 19, 2018 in Washington, DC.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Jim Yong Kim suddenly stepped down Monday as president of the World Bank, 3 years ahead of the end of his second 5-year term. Kim’s resignation is expected to spark a heated debate over leadership of the World Bank.

The big picture: At issue is whether the presidency should reflect the needs of donors or recipients. While the U.S. candidate has always been picked as president — an informal tradition since the bank's founding in 1944 — the board of directors, made up of donor countries, is likely to challenge a U.S. candidate because of growing opposition to historical U.S. dominance of the institution. Given that Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the largest recipients of bank funds, the timing could be ripe for an African leader.