Kenya’s March Fourth Election: “Lessons for Governance in the Future”›By Suraiya az-Zubair // Monday, June 10, 2013
By Suraiya az-Zubair
Kenya’s presidential election, held on the March 4, 2013, was one of the most closely watched events in the nation’s history. Political analysts all over the world made predictions as to whether or not the election was likely to lead to violence similar to that which occurred in 2007/8, and breathed a collective sigh of relief when the optimists were vindicated. Understanding the factors that led to this outcome is crucial to create meaningful lessons for governance in the future. Our last article on the Kenyan presidential race pointed out that elections alone are necessary, but not sufficient for democracy. In order to move forward, Kenya and other developing democracies should endeavor to learn from both successes and mistakes.MORE
‘Youth Farming and Aquaculture Initiatives Aim to Reduce Food and Political Insecurity in Senegal’ – New Security Beat›
By Mark Brennan and Kody Emmanuel, New Security Beat
This blog post first appeared on New Security Beat, the blog for the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program.
The 2011-12 West African food crisis led to riots in Senegal and Burkina Faso as well as food insecurity for millions of rural and urban poor across the region. The crisis emerged from a number of factors, including instability in northern Mali, increases in global food prices, and low rainfall in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 growing seasons. Many countries in the region are now reassessing and expanding domestic agricultural capabilities. At the top of the agenda for Senegal, a democratic republic on track to reach many Millennium Development Goals, is reducing youth unemployment and increasing domestic agricultural capacity.MORE
Brazil confirms Africa’s priority in its international agenda as it forgives the continents foreign debt.›
May 16, 2013
Brazillian Article Translation
“Brasil confirma prioridade da África em sua agenda externa ao perdoar dívidas”
“O Brasil confirmou que a África é uma prioridade de sua agenda de política externa ao anunciar que perdoará e reestruturará dívidas de 12 nações desse continente, rico em recursos naturais, onde tanto Brasil como a China buscam ampliar sua influência. A presidente Dilma Rousseff anunciou o perdão e a reestruturação de uma dívida de 900 milhões de dólares no sábado em Adis Abeba, na Etiópia, onde participou das celebrações dos 50 anos da União Africana.”
Brazil has confirmed that Africa is a priority in its foreign policy agenda by announcing that it will forgive and restructure the debt of 12 countries in the continent, rich in natural resources, where both Brazil and China seek to expand their influence. President Dilma Rousseff announced the total relief and restructuring of 900 million dollars worth of debt on Saturday, May 25th, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she participated in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the African Union.
This article has been translated from Portuguese. Click here to read the original version on Em.com.br.MORE
Events for the Week of June 10th – June 16th›
Continue reading for some of the events this week in D.C. concerning Africa.MORE
African News from around the World›By Leadership Project // Thursday, June 6, 2013
Politicians, Military Undermine Guinea-Bissau’s Stability; Ghana arrests Chinese for ‘illegal mining’; Britain to compensate for colonial-era torture; The 8th Senior Officials Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation; China to Africa: Give a man a fish; Chinese Company Brings Digital TV Content to Africa; RDC: la rébellion M23 prête à reprendre le dialogue avec Kinshasa; Mali: l’armée renforce ses positions à Anefis après de violents combats; Madagascar: la présidentielle reportée au 23 août.
Continue reading for an overview of today’s news.MORE
Daily News on Issues Affecting Africa for June 5, 2013›By Leadership Project // Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Rwandan President Paul Kagame dropped two RPF members from his cabient, fueling speculation that the former justice minister and former minister of cabinet affairs would oppose a third term for Kagame. The 23rd World Economic Forum took place in Cape Town, South Africa in May. Kenya’s Clerk of the National Assembly has told journalists that they must abandon Parliament’s media center, and can only return when “needed.” The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary of the UN Security Council reports that African countries are on the frontlines of pushing for reforms in the Council. Strikes by Mozambique Doctors and nurses enter their third week as the medics march with tape over their mouths to symbolize the government’s lack of response. Five years after a reform bill on Nigeria’s oil and gas industry was presented to Parliament, the efforts have fallen apart. The World Bank and the UN promise do things differently in relation to African Policy, amidst announcements of the Bank pledging US $1 billion to the Great Lakes Region. Finally, an Egyptian Morsi aide is apologizing after a discussion between two politicians on sabotaging a new Ethiopian dam project was broadcast live.
Continue reading to see each story in more detail…MORE
Daily News on Issues Affecting Africa for June 4, 2013›By Leadership Project // Tuesday, June 4, 2013
After an October 2012 test case in London’s High Court, thousands of Kenyans are signing on with the Law Society of Kenya to sue Britain over abusive treatment during the Mau Mau rebellion. Pourquoi la dette africaine attire les investisseurs. Oscar Pistorius’s case has been delayed two months following a pre-trail hearing, and media misconduct could push that even farther (South Africa). La CPI demande plus de preuves contre Laurent Gbagbo avant de le juger. At the Fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development in early June, Japan plans on rolling out its next five-year phase of African engagement. Robert Mugabe plans abide by a new court ruling that he must hold elections in Zimbabwe by the end of July. Libya appeals to the International Criminal Court that it can fairly try Gaddafi’s son, and does not wish to turn him over to the ICC. Finally, the World Cup Legacy Edition will be hosted in Qatar on June 4th, and a group of representatives of the South African business community have arrived, led by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elisabeth Thabethe.
Continue reading to see each story in more detail…MORE
Finding long-term solutions to the food crisis in Africa: How can indigenous soil and water conservation techniques help build resilience?›By Eugenie Maiga // Monday, June 3, 2013
By Dr. Eugenie Maiga, Economist, African Center for Economic Transformation
With the 2011 and 2012 food crises in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, calls for urgent action and sustainable solutions to food insecurity in Africa have intensified. While many factors like rising commodity prices have been contributing factors, land degradation stands out as a main catalyst. In the search for a solution, indigenous farming techniques may offer some quick wins.
The challenge of fixing the problem of degraded lands in famine-prone regions is a huge one. In many parts of Africa, land degradation has already reached crisis proportions, leading to famine, land erosion, erratic rainfall, recurrent drought (particularly in East and West Africa), food insecurity, and sometimes death of the most vulnerable individuals. In 2011 in the Horn of Africa, for example, an estimated 12 million people faced severe malnutrition in the region, while 90 percent of the livestock died. For a region whose populations engage primarily in farming and animal husbandry, this holds dire implications.MORE
The Last Word for May 2013›By Steve McDonald // Thursday, May 30, 2013
May has been a busy month for us at the Wilson Center, with a trip to Kenya that served to convene new and original members of our Southern Voices Network, as well as hosting a number of local events. One major conference held here in DC on May 1 was on the subject of technology and innovation as tools to elicit social change amongst women and youth populations in Africa. A report of the whole conference can be found on the Wilson Center website, as well as some related interviews of conference.
This month’s blog posts reflect this theme through the eyes of a practitioner, African scholar, and mentor. First, you will find a piece from one of our partners in the Southern Voices Network, “Paying It Forward: How to Sustain New Generations of Female and Youth Leaders in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Africa,” by Edith Kirumba of the African Technology Policy Studies Network. Along with Edith’s piece include a submission by Liz Ngonzi, titled “Mentorship, Coaching, Board Service, Sponsorship…How Will You Pay it Forward TODAY?” and “Transformative Effects of Women, Youth and Technological Innovation” by Gregor Young of Management Systems International. Our monthly “Lessons from the Field” column was provided by Vivian Lowery Derryck titled, “Mali Matters.”
However, the big news this month, of course, is the President and First Lady’s trip to Africa in June, including a trip by Secretary of State John Kerry. In a short, precise statement issued last week, the White House announced that he and the First Lady would visit Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania from June 26 – July 3. The stated purpose of the trip was to “reinforce the importance that the United States places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade; strengthening democratic institutions; and investing in the next generation of African leaders.” It further stated the President would meet leaders from “government, business, and civil society, including youth, to discuss our strategic partnerships on bilateral and global issues.” There were no further specifics, just a confirmation of the United States’ desire to cooperate in advancing “regional and global peace and prosperity.”MORE
Events for the Week of May 27th – June 2nd›By Leadership Project // Friday, May 24, 2013
Continue reading for events this week in D.C. concerning Africa.MORE