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March 6, 2020

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Confronts Falling Oil Prices Amid Coronavirus

The new coronavirus has led to a slowdown in economic activity in China and East Asia more broadly. The global price of oil has now fallen to $53 a barrel. This is beginning to affect the oil-exporting countries of Africa. According to Africa Confidential, three-quarters of Nigeria’s and Angola’s oil production ear-marked for export in April is unsold. Similar deficits are reported from Chad, Republic of Congo, and Gabon.

A man arranges Agip drums at an oil station and depot in Nigeria's capital Abuja, on June 19, 2009.

March 5, 2020

Democratic Republic of Congo
Tentative Victory Against Ebola in Eastern Congo

Officials from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the last Ebola patient has been discharged from a hospital in Beni. The patient’s discharge follows two weeks in which no new cases of Ebola have been reported. The current Ebola outbreak in the eastern DRC started in August 2018. Some 3,300 fell ill from the virus, and about two-thirds of those succumbed to it.

Semida Masika, the last patient being treated for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is seen in a sleeveless blue flowery dress, flanked by male health workers and officials, after she was discharged from hospital in Beni, DRC.

March 4, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Responds to First Coronavirus Case, Learning From 2014 Ebola Response

The new coronavirus was introduced into Nigeria on February 25, 2020, by an Italian engineer traveling from Milan (a European center of the virus outbreak) via Istanbul to Lagos on Turkish Airlines. Nigeria’s Ebola response in 2014 may be instructive for how it responds to coronavirus today.

Nigeria's Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire briefs the media on the status of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in Abuja, Nigeria.

February 28, 2020

West Africa
As Militaries Struggle in the Sahel, Jihadis Cooperate

According to The Washington Post, jihadi groups with ties to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) are working together to gain control of a large part of the Sahel, the border region between the Sahara and the better-watered pasture and agricultural lands to the south. The story’s sources are identified as U.S. and local officials on the ground. “What we’ve seen is not just random acts of violence under a terrorist banner,” says Brigadier General Dagvin Anderson, head of U.S. Special Operations in Africa. “But a deliberate campaign that is trying to bring these various groups under a common cause.

Armed Burkinabe soldiers ride in a truck, facing to the left and the right, as it drives down a dirt road during a patrol in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso.

February 25, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 15–21

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from February 15 to 21, 2020.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect NST-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink.

February 24, 2020

China
African Students in Wuhan Confront Staying Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Almost 5,000 African students study in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. To date, health officials reported over 2,000 deaths and more than 70,000 infections across mainland China. In response, many governments have moved to evacuate their citizens from Hubei province, where Wuhan is. China is Africa's most important trading partner, and African governments are concerned about the coronavirus spreading to the continent. 

A young female traveller in a blue hoodie with a medical mask passes a ticket to the gate agent at the Addis airport.

February 21, 2020

Togo
Togo Slides Toward Authoritarianism

President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo will face six other candidates in the election, including longtime rival Jean Pierre Fabre. Fabre, a human rights activist, was nominated as the leader of Togo's main opposition party, National Alliance for Change, late last year. Thanks in part to the fragmented opposition, Gnassingbe is favored to win.

Faure Gnassingbe, president of Togo, wheres a navy suit and dark blue tie as he clasps his hand in front of a double microphone. Behind him and to the side is a Togolese flag hanging on a flag pole.

February 13, 2020

Nigeria
Military Failures Mount in Borno Against Boko Haram

The security situation around Borno’s capital, Maiduguri, appears to be going from bad to worse. On February 9, The Boko Haram faction Islamic State in West African (ISWA) shot or burned alive some thirty people sleeping in their cars and trucks that night outside the town of Auno, some ten miles from Maiduguri. They also kidnapped others.

Nigerian soldiers in military fatigues hold their helmets up and to the right in a salute for President Buhari (not pictured). Behind them are two armored military vehicles and a red carpet.

February 10, 2020

World Order
Can Trump’s Successor Save the Liberal International Order?

President Trump's successor can rejuvenate the liberal international order by reconsolidating the West, giving globalization a human face, and bolstering support for democracy and human rights around…

U.S. President Donald Trump exits the Oval Office.

February 10, 2020

Technology and Innovation
Can the “Maine Model” Bring the Innovation Economy to the Rest of America?

The opening of Northeastern University's Roux Institute in Portland, Maine is a crucial first step in bringing the innovation economy to states that have historically been overlooked by venture capit…

David and Barbara Roux