Localizing African Structural Transformation: Voicing Lessons from Madagascar›
The 2009 uprising in Madagascar that led to the overthrow of President Marc Ravalomanana and the subsequent intervention of the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) shook Madagascar to its core. The political crisis, which began with tensions and protests, culminated in violence against the opposition, a Malagasy military intervention, and the ousting of the president. President Ravalomanana’s removal was followed by an AU and SADC intervention to mediate and resolve the conflict.MORE
Mauritania: Continued Progress, or Stuck in the Sand?›By Scott Mastic // Monday, May 23, 2016
Mauritania has reached a pivotal point in its post-2008 coup political transformation, when military officers overthrew the country’s first democratically elected government. The country is situated where the Maghreb states of North Africa meet the Sahel states south of the Sahara. Neither wholly Arab/Berber nor wholly Black West African, its history and culture are deeply entwined with both regions. Outsiders often mistakenly relegate the country to a secondary status; however, if Mauritanian leaders make the right decisions on three important issues, the country can become a democratic development leader in the greater Maghreb-Sahel region, just as it has been a leader on counterterrorism. These three issues are the government’s continued fidelity to Mauritania’s constitution, full government partnership with civil society, and renewal of the country’s institutions by full political participation in fresh elections by all democratically-inclined parties.MORE
What Works and What’s Wasteful: An Insider Perspective on Funding the African Environmental Sector›By Devon Knudsen // Monday, June 1, 2015
Partially in response to being a hub of environmental conflict, Kenya is also a hub of environmental activity. As the home of Wangari Maathai and the U.N. Environment Program, Kenya is also a founding member of IGAD, originally IGADD, when the DD’s stood for drought and development. Expansively mandated, IGADD was an impressive African environmental initiative to respond to what, even in the 1980s, was recognized as a major impending crisis. More recently, CNN Hero Evans Wadongo, Goldman Prize winner Ikal Angelei, and Global Energy Award finalist Teddy Kinyanjui are proof of how Kenyan youth are using their renowned entrepreneurship to help their communities.MORE
The Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Africa’s Growth ›By Joseph Atta-Mensah // Friday, May 22, 2015
Africa’s growth performance remains relatively impressive, growing at 3.3 percent in 2014 up from 3.2 per cent in 2013, driven mainly by improving regional business environment, good governance, sound macroeconomic management, increasing investments in infrastructure, and increasing trade and investment ties with emerging economies .MORE
China Integrates the African Continent›By Robert I. Rotberg // Thursday, February 26, 2015
Declaring it “the most substantive project the AU has ever signed with a partner,” Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, praised China late last month for agreeing to help the African continent knit its disparate infrastructure together.MORE
Nigeria’s Uncertain Elections›By Belinda O'Donnell // Monday, February 23, 2015
The Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Africa Discussion Group recently worked to unravel some of the knots in the details of Nigeria’s postponed elections, which the Jonathan Administration has delayed for six weeks.The decision to put Nigeria’s democratic process on ice is officially attributed to security concerns. In the context of Boko Haram’s insurgency in Nigeria’s north, voter disenfranchisement and violence are undoubtedly real threats. Yet the tenuous nature of the claim that a six-week delay can make an impact on a six-year insurgency has lead many observers to reframe the shift as something more cynical, and more anti-democratic.
Plunder and The Perils of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe›By Robert I. Rotberg // Monday, February 16, 2015
Zimbabwe is expiring, again. More banks are failing, beer sales – a key indicator – have slumped dramatically since 2013, tourist arrivals are down, and the business confidence index is at lowest ebb since the wildly inflationary days of 2008. Most tellingly, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe in January told civil servants to be patient – he “hoped” that they would soon be paid their monthly wages on a regular basis (something which had not happened often in 2014).MORE
Tensions Mount in Burundi as Elections Approach (Part II)›By Steve McDonald // Thursday, February 5, 2015
As Burundi approaches elections this year, there are underlying pressures that leave little room for hope of reform. Violence and political tension plague the nation, depriving citizens of certain basic rights. This article takes an in depth look at political parties, previous elections and prospects for the 2015 elections in Burundi. It is the second to a two part series. Please find the first part here.MORE
Tensions Mount in Burundi as Elections Approach (Part I)›By Steve McDonald // Thursday, January 29, 2015
Observers who follow Burundi closely have had a growing fear that the nation is slipping slowly back into the awful years of intercommunal violence, civil war, bad governance, and a failed economy. Burundi’s 2005 election cycle and ratification of a new constitution had inspired new hopes for advances for democracy, the rule of law, protection for human rights, and reconciliation and inclusion after the successful integration of armed rebel groups into the security and political fabric of the nation.
Toward Africa’s Transformation›By Joseph Atta-Mensah // Monday, November 24, 2014
The success of Asian and Latin American countries in embarking on structural transformation of their economies to significantly uplift living standards of the poor raises several important questions for Africa. First, can Africa draw lessons from these countries? Second, what is the role of industrialization in the process of transformation? Third, how does the global trading system support this transformative agenda? Fourth what roles should agriculture and green economies play in initializing and sustaining transformation?
What We’re Tweeting
- The Media and Election-Related Violence in Africa: Lessons from Kenya March 27, 2017
- CANCELED: A Conversation with the Foreign Minister of Nigeria, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama March 15, 2017
- Sudans Working Group: A Private Discussion with His Excellency Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of the Sudan March 1, 2017