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November 23, 2021

Ethiopia: External Leverage to Stop Conflict in Short Supply

When U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken traveled to Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal last week, he made a point of emphasizing U.S. concern about Ethiopia’s conflict. Blinken stressed that “it is imperative that the fighting stops” and that the United States fully supports former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, the High Representative for the Horn of Africa for the African Union (AU), in his diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire that leads to political negotiations. Monday’s statement from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promising to personally “mobilize to the front to lead the defense forces” suggests those efforts are far from succeeding.

A protester holds a sign reading "#NoMore TPLF STOP U.S. Meddling" amid a group of protesters holding Ethiopian flags.

November 30, 2021

Omicron Travel Bans Will Hinder U.S. Africa Policy

When scientists in Botswana and South Africa identified the COVID-19 Omicron variant, they moved quickly to share that information internationally. The response from much of the world was to announce travel bans on Southern African states. Those restrictions are a brutal blow to Southern African economies and morale, even prompting a statement of concern from the UN secretary-general.

U.S. President Joe Biden stands wearing a mask behind Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease expert, who is speaking at a podium with a mask in hand.

June 22, 2021

Women and Economic Growth
Women and E-Commerce: The $300 Billion Opportunity

Closing the gender gap on online platforms means being able to put billions of dollars into the wallets of women entrepreneurs and exponentially grow global e-commerce markets. This blog is authored …

A woman packages e-commerce items.

July 1, 2021

Global Growth Tracker: World Economies by GDP

This tracker charts the economic growth performance through time of ninety-one countries around the globe.

February 17, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa
What is the African Growth and Opportunity Act?

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. This article was originally published on SSA Frontiers.  On May 18, 2000, Congr…


September 10, 2021

South Africa
Murder of South African Whistleblower Illustrates Dangerous Status Quo

The murder of Babita Deokaran on August 23 is a tragic example that strains of political violence harnessed by those resisting accountability and transparency persist. Deokaran was a senior financial officer at the Gauteng Department of Health and an important witness in an investigation of corruption within the department; former colleagues believe she was helping authorities link senior political figures to irregular procurement deals and contracts in an organization that is supposed to be committed to public health, not elite enrichment. President Ramaphosa hailed the late whistleblower as “a hero and a patriot.”

A woman walks holding the hand of a child with an armored car and a police vehicle parked behind her. The image is seen through a wall of barbed wire.

September 17, 2021

Women and Women's Rights
Women This Week: UN Withdraws 450 Peacekeepers from the Central African Republic

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post covers September 11 to September 17.

UN peacekeepers patrol a street in Bangui during the 2015 presidential election in the Central African Republic.

January 26, 2021

What Is the Defense Production Act?

Presidents Trump and Biden have turned to the Defense Production Act to deal with a shortage of critical medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. What does the law do?

November 20, 2008

The African Growth and Opportunity Act

The African Growth and Opportunity Act has boosted U.S.-Africa trade and is viewed favorably by economists. But experts say African states must build trade capacity to benefit fully.

April 8, 2021

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Islamic State and al-Qaeda Linked to African Insurgencies

Violence attributed to Islamist groups has dramatically increased in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, and continues to infect new venues where it has been absent.

Two soldiers wearing camouflage stand in front of a building, the Kismayo International Airport, with an al Qaeda flag painted on it.