Without Mugabe, is democracy coming to Zimbabwe?

On Tuesday, after 37 years of authoritarian rule, Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe. A look at both broad African political trends and at the specifics of Zimbabwean politics suggests that there are many stumbling blocks between Mugabe’s ouster and open elections. Fifteen coups toppled African regimes between 2000 and 2012. Only five resulted in elections that transferred power to civilians. Continue reading →

Natural gas takes centre stage

During the last two decades, natural gas steadily increases its share in the global energy mix. Characteristically, the average growth of natural gas demand was 3.5% per year, compared to 2% for crude oil. In countries such as the USA, Canada, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran natural gas consumption overtakes that of oil, with at least 30% in the energy mix. On the other hand, in Asia-Pacific region, 10% of the energy consumption comes from gas and more than 50% comes from coal. However, the numerous projects in the industry show how interested are governments and oil majors to the potential growth of natural gas consumption, particularly in countries such as India and China.  Continue reading