Africa

Helping the Burundian People Cope with the Economic Crisis

Burundi’s worsening economy threatens to incite further violence in an already unstable country. ICG The European Union and its member states, who have suspended direct aid to the government, must redouble efforts to ensure that their support benefits the Burundian people. What’s happening?  In the wake of the political and security crisis ongoing in Burundi since 2015, the economy has suffered a sharp decline. The economic and social progress achieved since the end of the civil war in the 2000s ... Read More »

South Sudanese rebels ‘approve’ peace deal with government

The final peace agreement between the government and rebels will be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders. AlJazeera South Sudanese rebels have approved a peace deal with Juba that is expected to be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders. Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, who is mediating the negotiations, said rebels had signed a key document aimed at ending the country’s devastating five-year civil war on Thursday. “By signing this document today, we have reached ... Read More »

Europe struggles to atone for its colonial evils

At a handover ceremony held in a Berlin church on Wednesday, Namibian officials received the remains of indigenous people killed in their country by German forces more than a century ago. Edited by Max J. Rosenthal and Ruby Mellen By Ishaan Tharoor The Washington Post The grisly contents included 19 skulls, a scalp and bones belonging to five skeletons, all of which had been been housed for decades on dusty shelves in German universities and museums. The remains are a ... Read More »

A new dawn or more of the same for Zimbabwe?

Many Zimbabweans hope inauguration will usher in new era but critics raise concerns over Mnangagwa’s ties to old guard. Tendai Marima AlJazeera Harare, Zimbabwe – A loud and familiar chant rang out across the tightly-packed arena as Emmerson Mnangagwa took to the stage to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president. “ED Pfee! ED Pfee!” the crowds roared in unison, echoing the ruling ZANU-PF party’s election campaign slogan for Mnangagwa to “get in there” in the hope that Zimbabwe’s second president will deliver a new era of ... Read More »

Egypt joins with EU to protect water security

CAIRO — Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Mohamed Abdel Aty announced in a July 24 press release that an agreement had been reached with the European Union (EU) to finance an irrigation-development project and improve the… Ayah Aman Al-Monitor The Egyptian government has been seeking to expand cooperation with international partners to address the threats to Egyptian water security. Egypt suffers from water scarcity, with a water deficit of 20 billion cubic meters (16.2 million acre feet) a year. The government has… Egypt joins ... Read More »

Is China worsening the developing world’s environmental crisis?

The developing world is in the midst of an environmental crisis. Simply breathing the air is a leading cause of death. Jonas Gamso The Conversation One recent study found that pollution is to blame for a fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s infant deaths. Another showed that exposure to toxins or other dangerous substances in the air killed over 9 million people in 2015 alone, with 92 percent of those deaths occurring in developing countries – this is more people than were ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results. Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

How new Silk Road will cement China as major trading partner for Africa

In 138 BC China took its first step towards global connectivity with the establishment of the historical Silk Road. Authors: The Conversation Zhang Qian was sent by Emperor Wudi to Central Asia to establish trade relationships. His historic missions enabled China to make contact with the outposts of Hellenic civilisation established by Alexander the Great. These efforts enabled Emperor’s Han dynasty to develop political and trade relationships with Central Asian countries. New ideas came to China, along with new plants ... Read More »

Who says the most liveable city is in the west? Culture doesn’t just live in museums

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index claims Vienna is more cultured than Lagos. But it is flawed and subjective Chibundu Onuzo The Guardian A few months ago, I stepped out one morning and saw a coil of animal poo on the doorstep. My mother and I spent a long time trying to figure out what sort of animal had done the deed. We decided, in the end, that a fox was the culprit. But it could also have been a racist. ... Read More »

Crime gangs: Facts, fiction and furphies

First, an admission – this story is a waste of time. For it relates to the issue of Sudanese crime gangs, where everyone seems to have a firm opinion and no one shows the slightest inclination to change theirs. John Silvester The Age This is not a black-and-white topic. Those who say there is a problem are not necessarily paid-up members of the KKK and those who say there isn’t are not, by definition, ABC sympathisers who believe tofu should ... Read More »

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, dead at age 80

(CNN) – Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. By Laura Smith-Spark, Richard Roth and Joe Sterling, CNN He served as Secretary-General at a time when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism, and his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the… Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, ... Read More »

Kabila Shows His Hand in DR Congo’s Electoral Poker

As election preparations in the Democratic Republic of Congo proceed, President Joseph Kabila has announced he will not run for re-election. He may hope this important move will relieve outside pressure for free and fair elections. International actors should keep up the scrutiny. Hans Hoebeke ICG On 8 August 2018, the filing deadline, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s ruling majority coalition announced that Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari would be its candidate in the presidential election slated for 23… The announcement ... Read More »

Fighting the vanilla thieves of Madagascar

A barefoot farmer is making his way through a forest. Quiet drops of rain tumble steadily through the night, picked out in the light from his torch. Nancy Kacungira * BBC The rusty machete he holds isn’t for cutting down vines or chopping away stubborn branches – it is a defence against thieves. Lots of other men – farmers like him – are out in the rain, patrolling the forest. For the past three months, they have left their homes ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »