June 4, 2019South 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.”
May 31, 2019Nigeria
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.
May 24, 2019Islamic State
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.
May 30, 2019South Africa
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.
May 29, 2019Nigeria
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…
May 21, 2019Chad
There are new reports of violence, characterized as farmer-herder conflict, in Chad. According to Agence France Presse and Voice of America, thirty-five have died [French] since May 16 in separate in…
May 23, 2019Nigeria
The conventional wisdom is that the Boko Haram faction that calls itself the Islamic State in West African (ISWA) is less brutal than Abubakar Shekau’s rival faction, notorious for the Chibok school girl kidnapping and the targeting of civilians. There is some truth to this: ISWA has avoided using female and child suicide bombers and it does not seem to indiscriminately murder entire villages. Its rhetoric does not glory in murder like Shekau’s.