May 26, 2020Coronavirus
Voices from the Field features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development, diplomacy and security challenges. This post is author…
April 23, 2020Rwanda
This April marks the twenty-six-year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and twenty years since Paul Kagame took the reins as president. For much of that time, Kagame imposed limits on the political process, democratic debate, and opposition figures. He justified these limits by saying that the country was too fragile, the wounds too fresh, and the competitive aspects of democracy too divisive for a country emerging out of a genocide. But when does that grace period end?
April 9, 2020Health Policy and Initiatives
On March 20, Ghana's parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission (NCC) bill in response to the dramatic growth in domestic drug consumption. The NCC treats illicit drug use as a public health crisis rather than strictly a law enforcement issue by decriminalizing certain narcotics and prioritizing treatment and rehabilitation for drug addicts. This is an important shift in Africa’s approach to combating the trade and use of illicit drugs.
April 15, 2020China
Beyond expressing legitimate concerns about the treatment of Africans in Guangzhou, U.S. officials would be wrong to add sow further discord between China and its African partners. It benefits no one. China must be a partner to international financial organizations in their aid to Africa, financing loans, suspending debt payments, and providing stimulus.
May 13, 2020Nigeria
The fall in international oil prices amid coronavirus is having a devastating impact on Nigeria’s formal economy. Oil, the property of the Nigerian government, provides more than 60 percent of government revenue and 90 percent of foreign exchange.
April 10, 2020Nigeria
While at prayer on April 13, 2007, the prominent Salafi scholar, Shaikh Jaafar Mahmud Adam, was assassinated at his mosque in Kano. At the time, the murder made a deep impression on mainstream Muslims, many of whom revered Adam. The murder took place in the final days before the 2007 presidential elections, and many observers, including those at the U.S. embassy, thought that the murder was somehow related. But it now seems more likely that Adam was assassinated by a vengeful former member of the Nigerian Taliban. His murder was an early manifestation of the deadly battles among Boko Haram’s competing factions that continue up to the present.
May 8, 2020Nigeria
Leadership of the moment in Nigeria cannot overcome the generations of poor leadership and corruption that have left underdeveloped public health services, social safety net, and trust in government, at a time when it faces low oil prices and COVID-19.