June 14, 2019Nigeria
On June 4, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) elected Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bande its president for the 2019–2020 term. The presidency rotates between representatives of the five regional groups in …
June 13, 2019Boko Haram
Abdulbasit Kassim, leading Boko Haram scholar, recently discovered a thirty-eight-minute recording of a purported Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) communique. I translated it from the original Kanuri. It provides a particular version and explanation of ISWA's immediate history, and sheds light on why the group executed Mamman Nur, one of the Boko Haram’s founding fathers and an influential ideologue, its internal decision-making, and ISWA’s relationship with the Islamic State (IS). It is not clear, however, the extent to which what is described in the audio is true to what actually happened.
June 10, 2019Trade
Kanzanira Thorington is a research associate with the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. On May 30, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) of…
June 7, 2019Nigeria
At the end of May, new rules were introduced, to take effect on June 11, that would have severely limited the press’s access to the National Assembly. According to the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the rules are “primitive, undemocratic, and blatantly anti-press and anti-people.” Happily, the proposed rules seem to have been withdrawn, however coverage of the swearing-in of members of the National Assembly will still be unusually restricted.
June 6, 2019South Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Naledi Pandor as minister of international relations may be a positive step toward improving South Africa’s relations with the United States. Pandor is part of a Ramaphosa’s trimmed-down cabinet whose positions are split equally between men and women.
June 5, 2019Diplomacy and International Institutions
In February, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it would set up a twelve-team-league, Basketball Africa. Slated to begin in 2020, it would be the first time that the NBA helped operate a league outside of the United States and Canada. The league would be in partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and would build on FIBA’s Africa League.
June 4, 2019South Africa
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on national television the selection of South Africa’s new cabinet. Although there was no surprise to see the names of such competent officials as Pravan Gordhan, Ephraim Patel, Naledi Pandor, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Tito Mboweni, Ramaphosa’s selection of Patricia de Lille as minister of public works and enterprises really “put the cat among the pigeons.”
May 31, 2019Nigeria
Part of the basis of Muhammadu Buhari’s street popularity is his modest style of living, at least compared to other members of Nigeria’s elite. As is required by law, in May 2019, President Buhari submitted his asset declaration to the Code of Conduct Bureau. According to Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, there was no significant change in President Buhari’s assets since he last submitted a declaration following his 2015 election as president.