Africa

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »

Beyond Short-Term Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa

The United States and Europe should pursue a strategy of long-term civil society development in the MENA. They should also seek stability and an end to conflicts in the short term. Richard LeBaron The National Interest In the final months of 2018, seven years after historic change swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries in the region still face significant political, economic and security challenges. In most countries that underwent a transition, the situation is worse than before: ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi: murder in the consulate

After days of denial, Saudi Arabia has now said that the writer Jamal Khashoggi died in a ‘fist fight’ at its Istanbul consulate. Martin Chulov pieces together events surrounding this death and the investigation, and links to Riyadh’s controversial crown prince The Guardian The Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul is a homely looking place, much smaller than it seems, nestled into a quiet suburban street, and painted pastel yellow. Were it not for a giant steel door and a green flag ... Read More »

Lynsey Addario on maternal mortality

Renowned for her fearless coverage of conflicts, Addario reflects on the experience of documenting a silent epidemic of epic proportions Words: Hannah Abel-Hirsch British Journal of Photography Throughout the Wellcome Photography Prize submission period, British Journal of Photography is profiling photographers who are exploring the importance of health in society and the… In line with theMedicine in Focus category, BJP spoke to Lynsey Addario about her series on maternal mortality in Sierra… Lynsey Addario is no stranger to conflict. The Pulitzer Prize-winning ... Read More »

Brussels casts pall over Tunisia’s desert jewel

New environmental rules in the EU threaten the country’s phosphate mines, which have spluttered since the revolution. Emmet Livingstone Politico REDEYEF, Tunisia — In the desert, far from Tunisia’s bustling ports, tourist beaches and sprawling olive plantations, lies a colossal state company that was once the beating heart of the national economy. Brought to its knees by inefficiency and social unrest, it is now threatened with extinction — by an obscure bit of legislation making its way through the Brussels machinery. The Compagnie ... Read More »

How African American folklore saved the cultural memory and history of slaves

All over the world, community stories, customs and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. Jennifer Dos Reis Dos Santos The Conversation This folkore is used by elders to teach family and friends about their collective cultural past. And for African Americans, folklore has played a particularly important part in documenting history too. The year 1619 marked the beginning of African American history, with the arrival of the first slave ship in Jamestown, Virginia. Slavery put African Americans ... Read More »

Tanzania law punishing critics of statistics ‘deeply concerning’: World Bank

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – The World Bank said it was deeply concerned about new Tanzanian legislation which would punish anyone who questions official statistics, saying the law would undermine the production of useful and… Lawmakers last month passed amendments to the Statistics Act that would impose fines, at least three years jail time, or both, on anyone who questioned the accuracy of official figures. The attorney general said the changes were needed to… Opposition groups and other critics have ... Read More »

Pipeline Dreams

Eastern Mediterranean gas creates new allies—and deepens old enmities John Psaropoulos the weekly Standard Athens On January 30, the deepwater drillship Saipem 12000 sent its drill bit into a cavern beneath one-and-a-quarter miles of water and a mile of rock in the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian oil and gas company Eni, which had contracted the ship, announced a week later that the cavern, called Calypso, was “an extended gas column,” containing an estimated six to eight trillion cubic feet of ... Read More »

Cameroon: Divisions Widen Ahead of Presidential Vote

The risk of violence around the 7 October vote is greatest in Anglophone regions, but other parts of Cameroon could also be affected. ICG The government should take steps to curb divisive rhetoric and declare a ceasefire, even if only temporary, with Anglophone armed groups. What’s new?  Cameroon’s presidential election on 7 October comes at a tense moment. The country is torn between the fight against Boko Haram in the Far North and the Anglophone conflict in the Northwest and ... Read More »

Melania Trump begins tour of Africa in Ghana amid questions and criticism

Melania Trump began her week-long sojourn to Africa in Accra, Ghana. Landing Tuesday morning, the first lady was greeted on the tarmac by Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and a… By Emily Heil and Mary Jordan The Washington Post Later, she stopped by Greater Accra Regional Hospital where she visited with new mothers and held a baby before passing out miniature teddy bears and blankets emblazoned with the logo for Be Best, her child-welfare initiative. From Ghana, Trump will travel to ... Read More »

Why do people work? Respect trumps money in South Africa case study

In South Africa, more than 50% of working age adults don’t have jobs. But is the country asking the right questions when it comes to understanding what drives people’s employment-related decisions? Christine Jeske The Conversation Research on unemployment mostly focuses on getting wages right. But there are also many non-monetary reasons that motivate South Africans’ work-related decisions. My research, conducted over the period of a year in KwaZulu-Natal province, sought to understand these decisions. My work included interviews and observations ... Read More »

South Sudanese doctor wins prestigious UN prize for lifetime spent tending to refugees

In the single functional hospital in war-ravaged South Sudan’s Upper Nile region, the only X-ray machine is broken, the sole surgical theatre is lit by a single light, and electricity is provided by generators that often break down. The World – By Holly Robertston ABC But a team of medical staff led by head surgeon Evan Atar Adaha works tirelessly to treat all those in need, regardless of their background, at Maban Referral Hospital, which serves more than 200,000 people. While ... Read More »

Al-Shabaab Five Years after Westgate: Still a Menace in East Africa

Al-Shabaab remains focused on recapturing power in Somalia, but it continues to plot attacks in Kenya and Tanzania – and perhaps in Uganda as well. ICG To counter the movement, East African states should eschew heavy-handed crackdowns and work instead to reduce its appeal to potential recruits. Executive Summary What’s happening? Five years after an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, Al-Shabaab appears committed to striking targets across East Africa. Security crackdowns have blunted its capacity to stage regular assaults, but ... Read More »

Housegirl Complicates the Diaspora Narrative

The debut from the Ghanaian British author Michael Donkor explores the life of a domestic worker in London, while rejecting the common impulse to focus on more aspirational immigrant stories. Hannah Giorgis The Atlantic The Ghanaian British author Michael Donkor’s U.S. debut, Housegirl, is full of movement. The novel follows a 17-year-old domestic laborer named Belinda as she travels from Ghana to London. Before the start of the novel, Belinda has already journeyed from her home village to Kumasi, one of ... Read More »

Kweku Adoboli: Home Office Rejects Ex-UBS Trader’s Latest Claim Against Deportation

He has been living in the UK since the age of 12. Nadine White HuffPost The Home Office has rejected a fresh claim against its decision to deport former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli to Ghana in a final appeal bid. Adoboli’s lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie told HuffPost UK his claim was not accepted on the basis that there is “no realistic prospect of success”. Barristers involved in the case have now been briefed on a judicial review currently being prepared for submission. Adoboli ... Read More »

Israel, Greece, Cyprus plan underwater gas pipeline

Netanyahu meets with Greek, Cypriot foreign ministers as three countries plan gas pipeline to Europe Arutz Sheva Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, held a trilateral meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides. He also met… The three discussed, in continuation of previous meetings, the laying of a joint Israel-Cyprus-Greece East-Med gas pipeline in order to export gas to Europe. They also discussed – inter alia – ... Read More »