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July 30, 2019

Sudan
Sudan's Fragile Transition

Despite some important progress toward a transitional framework for Sudan—on July 5, the civilian-led forces of the Freedom and Change coalition and the Transitional Military Council signed a deal on the structure for a three-year pre-election period—the country’s future remains deeply uncertain.

Sudanese people chant slogans and wave their national flag as they celebrate on the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, after the country's ruling military council and a coalition of opposition groups reached an agreement to share power during a transition period leading to elections, on July 5, 2019

July 24, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Taking a Moment to Recognize HIV/AIDS Research in Africa

Recently, scientists published the results of three related, extraordinarily labor-intensive efforts to strike a decisive blow against HIV/AIDS. For five years –significantly longer if one considers the work involved in preparing to launch such massive studies - teams in Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia worked to provide universal testing and treatment to communities encompassing well over a million people.

A Kenyan woman prepares a ribbon in honor of World AIDS Day in Nairobi, Kenya on November 25, 2004

July 16, 2019

Nigeria
The Post-Presidential Legacy of Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s international reputation has improved since conceding the presidency in 2015. What does that say about democracy in the country?

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media as part of the National Democratic Institute's election monitoring delegation in Liberia on December 26, 2017.

February 6, 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo
The Truth About United States’ Complicity in DRC’s Fraudulent Election

Despite having suggested it would isolate and pressure those undermining democracy in Congo just days before, the Trump administration decided to join other states in accepting the sham outcome in an effort to stave off a potentially violent stalemate in Congo. The wisdom of that choice is debatable.

DRC Blog Post

June 20, 2019

Botswana
Personal Rivalries Overshadow Botswana's Democracy

The feud between current President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor and former boss, Ian Khama, sometimes reads like highlights of an overwrought soap opera. The latest dramatic turn saw Khama renouncing his membership in the party his revered father helped found, complaining that his legacy was being dismantled, and encouraging others to throw away their BDP membership cards.

Former Botswana President Ian Khama at the Botswana-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Pretoria, South Africa, November 11, 2016.

June 18, 2019

Ethiopia
U.S. Should Acknowledge Critical Challenges for Ethiopia’s Transition

Anyone fishing for a good news story out of Africa recently has, rightly, celebrated Ethiopia, where dynamic young Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has dramatically opened political space, departing from decades or repressive, tightly controlled government. But Ethiopia faces real and urgent challenges, and it is critical that well-wishers not ignore them. Abiy has lifted the lid off of a pressure cooker—one his predecessors held in place with sometimes brutal force—and in some cases the result has not been euphoria, but rather messy, complex eruptions of communal violence.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sits at a desk in parliament and responds to questions

June 11, 2019

Sudan
Sudanese Opposition Needs Stronger International Support

The news out of Sudan, so recently full of fragile hope, is now deeply troubling. For over a week, the Transitional Military Council, or TMC, has been violently suppressing the very protestors whose bravery and persistence created the conditions for the security services to seize power from disgraced former President Omar al-Bashir. Over a hundred civilians have been killed, many more wounded, and the façade of shared goals and commitment to reform between citizens and security elites irreparably broken. 

Sudan-Protest-TMC-Support

March 29, 2019

Mozambique
Cyclone Idai and the New Reality of Climate Change in Africa

As Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi continue struggling to cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, it’s worth noting while the storm was exceptional in its destructive power, the risk of flooding in…

Locals look on after Cyclone Idai in Buzi district outside Beira, Mozambique, March 22, 2019.

September 19, 2018

Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea's Teodorin Obiang Faces Trouble Abroad for Corruption, Again

Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (nicknamed Teodorin), vice president of Equatorial Guinea, son of his country’s president, and heir apparent to that office, made headlines this week. According to media reports, authorities in Brazil seized some $16 million in cash and high-end watches from his delegation, where he had reportedly traveled for medical treatment. Brazilian law limits the amount of cash visitors can bring into the country to $2,400. 

Equatorial-Guinea-Teodoro-Nguema-Obiang-Mangue-Corruption-Oil

March 6, 2019

South Africa
Southern Africa’s Leaders Walking Anti-Corruption Tightrope

Several southern African states are in the news for anti-corruption efforts. In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has established a special tribunal to expedite state efforts to track down ill-gotten gains. In Mozambique, the former chief of the intelligence service and the former president’s son have been arrested in connection with a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal. In Angola, which also witnessed the arrest of a former president’s son last year, two sitting members of National Assembly from the ruling party were recently indicted on charges relating to corruption.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives to deliver his State of the Nation address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa February 7, 2019.