July 30, 2019Sudan
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.
July 24, 2019Sub-Saharan 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.
July 16, 2019Nigeria
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?
February 6, 2019Democratic Republic of Congo
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.
June 20, 2019Botswana
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.
June 18, 2019Ethiopia
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.
June 11, 2019Sudan
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.
March 29, 2019Mozambique
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…
September 19, 2018Equatorial Guinea
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.
March 6, 2019South Africa
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.