The Libyan crisis is hitting Africa directly, as African governments south of the Sahara are concerned about their economies and their capacity to hold social crises at bay. The effects of the Libyan revolts are already beginninging to be felt, reports MISNA.
According to MISNA, amongst the many problems, one of the most immediate is the fate of the million youth from Algeria, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia that have been living in Libya .
“Many are permanent migrants and their remittances are an important contribution for their countries of origin,” Issaka Souaré from the Pretoria based Istitute for Security Studies, told MISNA.
“Qaddafi has practiced,” says Souaré, “checkbook diplomacy. He has authorized investments and granted interest free loans, ensured not by the Libyan State, but by himself personally”.
As an example, MISNO noted that in Guinea, Alpha Condé’s first trip abroad was to Tripoli, where he received promises of financial aid and even a commitment to build luxury hotels in Conakry.
Other examples incled the Libyan African Investment Company (LAFICO), the investment fund controlled by the Qaddafi family, has financed agricultural and tourism projects in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Chad and Benin.
The Libyan National Oil Company controls the oil distribution market in several Sahel countries such as in Mali for example.
And if Qadhafi were to fall? The blockade of Libyan ports has pushed the oil price to above USD 108/barrel. Tripoli had ensured a daily production of 1.8 million bpd, surpassed only by Nigeria, Angola and Algeria in Africa.
According to Kayode Akindele, director of the Lagos based financial consulting company Greengates Strategic Partners, the increase in crude oil prices has various consequences depending on the country.
Akindele told MISNA that “Nigeria can take advantage in extraction and investments from multinationals that distance themselves from Libya”.
In Nigeria, production has reached a record average of some 2.6 million bpd. However, the benefits end in those countries that have to import fuel.
In Antananarivo, Madagascar, some 4,000 km. away from Tripoli, the government concluded yesterday that “the inhabitants of Madagascar would be unable to sustain significant increases in the price of petrol/gasoline”, MISNA noted.