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January 10, 2019

Ethiopia
David Pilling's African Year in Review

He recalls the popular challenge now underway against Omar al-Bashir’s rule in Sudan; the deaths of Kofi Annan, the first African secretary General of UN, and Winnie Mandela, a flawed leader of the South African liberation movement; the highly positive emergence of the reform-minded Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister; and the international attention to Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege, who won a Nobel Peace prize for his work with rape victims.

Ethiopia-Eritrea-Abiy-Afwerki-Peace

December 12, 2018

Nigeria
Doing Business in Nigeria's Northeast, the Land of Boko Haram

On December 10, the Financial Times published a fascinating article by Neil Munshi, dateline Maiduguri, on how honest businesses have adapted to operating in areas affected by Boko Haram. Specifically, Munshi cites Coca-Cola, Unilvever, and MTN, and telecommunications company. Since multinational forces dislodged Boko Haram from holding territory in 2015, the three have expanded their operations and their markets in Nigeria’s northeast.

Nigeria-Maiduguri-Business-Market

January 14, 2019

United States
Guns, Tech, and Steel: The Wall Debate and Digital Technologies in Border Security

The president's push to "build the wall" fails to grasp the role of modern technology in policing U.S. borders.

U.S. President Donald Trump puts his hand on a drone aircraft used to patrol the border at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility in Yuma, Arizona, U.S., August 22, 2017.

August 23, 2018

South Africa
President Trump Gets South African Land Reform Wrong

President Trump tweeted on August 22 that he has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures” and the “large scale killing of farmers.” In his tweet, the president quoted Fox News host Tucker Carlson that “South African government is now seizing land from white farmers.”

South-Africa-Trump-Tweet-President-Land-Reform

October 23, 2018

Human Rights
UN Treaty Talks and Human Rights Accountability for Corporate Digital Activities 

A UN working group is drafting a new treaty that could make social media companies liable for content hosted on their platforms that infringe international human rights law. 

Human rights council

August 8, 2018

South Africa
Despite Land Reform, South Africa Is not Becoming Zimbabwe or Venezuela 

The ANC's proposed legislation would clarify the constitutional provisions that already provide for the government to take ownership of land, but not expand them. Ramaphosa and the ANC acknowledge that the constitution’s property clause already “enables the state to effect expropriation of land with just and equitable compensation and also expropriation without compensation in the public interest.”

South-Africa-Constitution-Land-Reform-Expropriation

March 2, 2018

South Africa
Ramaphosa Confronts Land Reform in South Africa

Ramaphosa publicly supports expropriation without compensation, which would require amending the constitution, but also stresses that commercial agriculture and the country’s food security must be protected.

South-Africa-Land-Reform-Ramaphosa-Farming

January 16, 2019

United Kingdom
What Brexit Means

Brexit supporters argue that the EU threatens sovereignty and stifles growth, while opponents counter that EU membership strengthens trade, investment, and the UK’s standing in the world.

EU and UK flags fly during a pro-EU march in front of the British Parliament in London.

May 21, 2018

Women and Economic Growth
A Place of Her Own: Women’s Right to Land

This blog was coauthored with Alexandra Bro, a research associate at the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Last month, Liberian women activists marched to the p…

Women from the Indian Dhenga village oppose a land acquisition by companies and the Indian government, saying that the land belongs to them and their children and that it is needed for their social and economic well-being and survival, March 27, 2015.