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Significance As many as a dozen lockdown parties are now alleged to have been held at Downing Street, significantly damaging Johnson’s support among the public and his Conservative Party. His position as party leader and prime minister is gravely threatened. Impacts Johnson’s domestic troubles, coupled with rising economic concerns, increase the chance of an agreement with the EU over Northern Ireland. Disillusionment with Johnson, opposition to net-zero and culture wars open the door for Nigel Farage’s Reform Party to revive its appeal. Rising inflation threatens to undermine consumer confidence and slow the economic recovery over the coming year.


Headline UKRAINE: Cyberattack is a symbolic messaging

Headline IRAN: The establishment can manage new teacher strikes

Headline SENEGAL: Major pre-electoral violence is unlikely

Significance These included the death of 53 gendarmes at Inata in November and an ambush that killed over 40 government-affiliated vigilantes near Ouahigouya in December. Public anger is producing protests and backlash that have put President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s administration under intense pressure, including possible coup plotting exposed by arrests this week. Impacts Local dialogue efforts with jihadists may be inhibited by harder-line government policies. Kabore’s administration will struggle to define and pursue its ‘national reconciliation’ project. Burkina Faso’s 2021-25 national development plan may deliver modest improvements in growth prospects. Burkina Faso will have longer-term problems operationalising military cooperation with neighbours.

Headline CHINA: Growth will slow in 2022, including exports


Headline IRAQ: Intra-sectarian splits herald further escalation

Significance The agreement would open a market of USD1.7tn for Brazilian companies to compete for government procurement contracts internationally, but would also render them vulnerable to competition for Brazilian government contracts from foreign suppliers on equal terms. The process of negotiations is a lengthy one, as well as controversial. Impacts Accession to the GPA could facilitate Brazil’s ambition to join the OECD. Domestic companies’ lack of competitiveness within the GPA could aggravate existing problems with industrial performance. Political uncertainties surrounding the October elections could delay the pace of accession.


Headline NORTH KOREA: Hackers leverage crypto boom

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