April 10, 2020Election 2020
Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: Joe Biden becomes the Democratic Party’s presumptive 2020 presidential nominee.
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.
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 7, 2020South Africa
On March 27, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize imposed on South Africa one of the strictest lockdowns outside of China to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Among the prohibited activities: dog-walking, jogging, the sale of alcohol, and leaving a place of residence (except for emergencies). At the time restrictions were put in place, South Africa had around 1,000 cases and had just recorded its first deaths.
April 6, 2020Nigeria
This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from March 28 to April 3, 2020.
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.
April 3, 2020Coronavirus
Over the more than half a century since the United States embraced its integration into the global economy, it has produced both the strongest and the weakest of the advanced economies. The streng…
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.