Africa (sub-Saharan)

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Project Syndicate: South Africa Breaks Out

Author: Joseph E. Stiglitz

"International investment agreements are once again in the news. The United States is trying to impose a strong investment pact within the two big so-called "partnership" agreements, one bridging the Atlantic, the other the Pacific, that are now being negotiated. But there is growing opposition to such moves."

See more in South Africa; International Finance

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Irish Times: Somalia Starts to Pick Up the Pieces

Author: Mary Fitzgerald

"For the first time in a very long time, people here have hope," says Liban Mahdi, one of scores of diaspora Somalis who have returned to Mogadishu since al-Shabaab were routed from the city by African Union and Somali forces in August 2011. Parts of the battle-scarred capital are experiencing a construction boom, with hospitals, homes, schools, shops and hotels rising from once rubbled neighbourhoods. Streets hum with cars and hawkers. "We have traffic jams in Mogadishu now," says Ismail, who works in construction. "I never imagined I would see that here."

See more in Somalia; Economic Development

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National Geographic: The War for Nigeria

Author: James Verini

"In the national collective consciousness, Boko Haram has become something more than a terrorist group, more even than a movement. Its name has taken on an incantatory power. Fearing they will be heard and then killed by Boko Haram, Nigerians refuse to say the group's name aloud, referring instead to 'the crisis' or 'the insecurity.'"

See more in Nigeria; Conflict Assessment

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The Guardian: How The US Raid On Al-Shabaab In Somalia Went Wrong

Authors: Abdalle Ahmed, Spencer Ackerman, and David Smith

"What had been invisible to Sheikh and other residents of Barawe was the stealthy advance of navy Seal team six – the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan – in a speedboat towards the Somalian coastline before first light. The team consisted of about 20 Seals, according to leaked accounts, and their craft was flanked on the Indian Ocean by three small boats to provide back-up."

See more in Somalia; Military Operations

Ask CFR Experts

Will the Obama administration show a greater interest in Africa in the second term?

Asked by Nuno Halpern, from West Sussex

The Obama administration is demonstrating a renewed interest in African economic partnerships after largely ignoring the continent during the president's first term. During his summer 2013 trip to Africa, President Obama articulated a policy focus on energy and business ventures. He announced that the United States would aim to expand sub-Saharan Africans' access to electricity and committed $7 billion over five years to the "Power Africa" initiative. He also vowed to send more trade missions to Africa and invite African leaders to a U.S. summit in 2014.

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See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); United States; Politics and Strategy

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World Policy Journal: The Somali Question

Author: Mwaura Samora

"Life has not been the same in Eastleigh since the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) invaded war-torn Somalia to hunt down the al-Shabab terror group in 2011. Since then, explosions halt, at times violently, the buying and selling in this market town."


See more in Kenya; Terrorism

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The Atlantic: The New Terrorist Training Ground

Author: Yochi Dreazen

"In the summer of last year, an al‑Qaeda affiliate known as AQIM, for "al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," took over Gao and made it the capital of the rump state the group created after forcing the Malian army out of the north."

See more in Mali; Terrorism