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June 7, 2019

Nigeria
Difficulties Continue for Nigerian Journalists Covering Government

At the end of May, new rules were introduced, to take effect on June 11, that would have severely limited the press’s access to the National Assembly. According to the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the rules are “primitive, undemocratic, and blatantly anti-press and anti-people.” Happily, the proposed rules seem to have been withdrawn, however coverage of the swearing-in of members of the National Assembly will still be unusually restricted.

Nigeria-National-Assembly-Press

June 5, 2019

Diplomacy and International Institutions
The NBA's New Africa League Builds on Strong Foundation

In February, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it would set up a twelve-team-league, Basketball Africa. Slated to begin in 2020, it would be the first time that the NBA helped operate a league outside of the United States and Canada. The league would be in partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and would build on FIBA’s Africa League.

Africa-NBA-Basketball-Siakam-Ibaka

June 6, 2019

South Africa
South Africa’s New Foreign Minister Is a Starting Point for Improved U.S. Ties

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Naledi Pandor as minister of international relations may be a positive step toward improving South Africa’s relations with the United States. Pandor is part of a Ramaphosa’s trimmed-down cabinet whose positions are split equally between men and women. 

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Naledi-Pandor-Foreign-Minister

June 4, 2019

South Africa
Ramaphosa’s Bold Pick for Public Works Minister of South Africa

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on national television the selection of South Africa’s new cabinet. Although there was no surprise to see the names of such competent officials as Pravan Gordhan, Ephraim Patel, Naledi Pandor, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Tito Mboweni, Ramaphosa’s selection of Patricia de Lille as minister of public works and enterprises really “put the cat among the pigeons.”

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Patricia-de-Lille-minister

June 1, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker

The Council on Foreign Relations's Nigeria Security Tracker is an effort to catalog and map political violence based on a weekly survey of Nigerian and international press. The data presented includes violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliative groups (or conversely the state employing violence to respond to those incidents.)

May 24, 2019

Islamic State
Where Exactly is the Islamic State in West Africa?

The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks. 

Cameroon-Boko-Haram-Islamic-State-Terrorism-West-Africa

May 31, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian President Buhari’s Lack of Wealth Matters Little

Part of the basis of Muhammadu Buhari’s street popularity is his modest style of living, at least compared to other members of Nigeria’s elite. As is required by law, in May 2019, President Buhari submitted his asset declaration to the Code of Conduct Bureau. According to Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, there was no significant change in President Buhari’s assets since he last submitted a declaration following his 2015 election as president.

Nigeria-Buhari-Inauguration-2019

May 30, 2019

South Africa
Ramaphosa Inaugurated in South Africa, U.S. Sends Delegation

At a rugby stadium in Pretoria on May 25, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president since 1994. The U.S. presidential delegation to the inauguration was headed by Kimberly A. Reed, the president of the Export-Import Bank.

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Inauguration-Pretoria

May 29, 2019

Nigeria
Strapped for Cash, Nigeria Plans to Close Some Embassies

Nigeria, the “Giant of Africa,” has a long history of diplomatic leadership. It was one of the founders of the African Union and of the Economic Community of West African States. It regularly occupie…

Nigeria-Oslo-Foreign-Affairs-Minister-Onyeama

June 20, 2019

Monetary Policy
The Role of the U.S. Federal Reserve

The role of the Federal Reserve has transformed in the past decade, as it has deployed trillions of dollars to boost the U.S. economy while expanding its regulatory oversight of the nation’s financia…

Federal Reserve