January 7, 2020Iran
Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent. Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.
October 1, 2019Australia
The newest episode of The President’s Inbox is live. I sat down with Charles Edel and John Lee, fellows at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, to talk about the future of the U.S…
July 29, 2019Election 2020
Update: John Hickenlooper announced on August 15, 2019, that he was ending his campaign. Political strategists often ask whether a presidential candidate is someone a voter would want to have a be…
April 1, 2020Nigeria
President Buhari has ordered the lockdown of Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s commercial and political capitals, as part of the effort to contain the coronavirus. Lagos poses enormous challenges to “social distancing,” but it also has governance advantages other parts of Nigeria lack. Abuja is less crowded and in some areas has better infrastructure. It is also under the direct control of the Federal government. According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, as of the morning of April 1, Nigeria had 140 active confirmed cases, 2 deaths, and 9 people recovered. Nigeria recorded its first case of coronavirus in the country on February 25.
March 31, 2020Nigeria
On March 9, the governor of Kano state removed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from his position as Emir of Kano, which is usually regarded as the second or third most important Muslim traditional ruler in Nigeria, and an Islamic scholar. There is speculation, especially among some Nigerian expats, that he is looking to launch a political career, perhaps even contesting for the presidency in 2023.
March 27, 2020Nigeria
Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari's chief of staff, has tested positive for coronavirus following a trip to Germany and Egypt, according to Nigerian media. So, too, have at least three of his staffers. Nigerian media describes Kyari as "very sick," and that he has been removed from Abuja to an infectious disease treatment center in Lagos.
April 3, 2020Coronavirus
As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to spread in earnest in Africa, we can expect so-called jihadi groups on the continent to try to take advantage of the crisis to unleash violence and recruit members. We are already seeing indications that this has started happening. Governments, development workers, and aid agencies need to be made aware of this threat and take steps to deny these brutal militias more room to operate.
March 30, 2020Nigeria
This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from March 21 to 27, 2020.
April 2, 2020Nigeria
The Nigerian medical and public health systems were a shambles long before the coronavirus. It is estimated that half of Nigeria's physicians practice medicine outside of the country. Contributing to the poor medical and health system, rich Nigerians routinely go abroad for medical treatment.
March 6, 2020Sub-Saharan Africa
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.