This week offers one of Africa’s most important votes this year as Kenyans go to the polls to decide on a new president on Tuesday.
The competition is between the current vice-president, 55-year-old William Ruto, and Raila Odinga, 77, a 77-year veteran of such campaigns, who is now in her fifth attempt at the top post. Relations with China, which has invested heavily in the country in recent decades, have become a major battlefield for the campaign, raising concerns among Kenyans.
After Ruto fell out with current president Uhuru Kenyatta, the general rule of advantage has flipped for the incumbent, who in turn has thrown his weight behind Odinga. As a result, the competition is now wide open, according to FT’s Africa editor David Pilling. Further FT comment on Kenya’s election, which will also include elections to parliament and 47 local assemblies, will be posted when the results are out.
Attention this week (once again) will turn to the last important turnout: the 2020 US presidential election. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who became former President Donald Trump’s personal counsel, was asked by a New York judge on Tuesday to testify before a grand jury investigating attempts by Trump supporters to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. has ordered.
This is a sign of danger to Trump and those around him from the Georgia grand jury investigation, which some believe exceeds a Congressional January 6 committee investigation into the 2021 Capitol attack.
In other news, the UK’s Summer of Discontent post-lockdown Pay Awards kicks things off this week with a walkout on Tuesday with 120 Red Funnels employees on the Isle of Wight Ferry. More than 1,000 workers from Armagh City, Bainbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, one of Northern Ireland’s largest local authorities, will strike Wednesday, affecting waste collection, planning and holiday services.
Friday will be the turn of Glasgow Subway workers, a particular inconvenience for Rangers fans on match day, followed by a (noter) national rail strike on Saturday by Asleaf train drivers at nine rail companies.
On the bright side, and goodness knows we need it, British school exam results season kicked off on Tuesday with Scottish students hoping for the news that they have university and college places to go. Higher and Advanced Higher have required grades.
This has been the first year of students appearing for the exam since the pandemic, so expect this to be discussed as a factor in whatever grades students will get. It would also be an occasion for a school report on the performance of the Scottish National Party on education going on in the north of the border.
Major economic news this week will be inflation data from the US and China, as well as the UK’s first take on second-quarter GDP figures.
We may also get some indication of the future movement of fuel prices with monthly oil market reports from the Energy Information Administration and OPEC. The rising prospect of a recession and, by extension, oil demand concerns will have an impact on these updates, although supply remains very tight.
Like the holiday tan, the crowd of announcing the company’s results is fading for another season. The key theme will be insurance companies, providing further evidence of inflationary losses to the sector, particularly motor insurers, as parts prices and other claims costs rise sharply.
After July’s profit warnings for Direct Line and Saber, all eyes will be on Admiral’s half-year results on Wednesday to see whether its profitability and guidance can withstand the threat of inflation.
Other notable players are Aviva and Zurich. “These will provide more evidence of how the largest, diverse groups are faring in a period of rising interest rates and a deteriorating economic outlook,” says my colleague, FT insurance correspondent Ian Smith.
Read full week ahead calendar here