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October 29, 2019

Nigeria
Beyond the Nigerian Correctional Services Act

Nigeria’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. Prisons are overcrowded, holding 73,314 people despite having capacity for only 50,153. Of those held, an estimated 70 percent are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime; reports find that some people have been awaiting trial for as long as thirteen years. The chronic underfunding of the justice system exacerbates overcrowding and pre-trial detention.

A Lady Justice statue stands outside the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Nigeria

October 28, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 19–25

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 19 to 25, 2019.

Map of Nigeria shaded to reflect NST-documented deaths per state.

October 25, 2019

Turkey
U.S.-Turkey Relations: The Shifting Nature of Two NATO Allies

Panelists discuss Turkey’s domestic politics, its recent actions in northern Syria, and the shifting nature of U.S.-Turkish relations in the three years since the attempted July 2016 coup. LAIPSON…

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October 25, 2019

Religion
Kenyan Theologian Who Elevated African Religion Passes Away

The Kenyan John Mbiti, an Anglican priest, theologian, and academic, died on October 5 at the age of eighty-seven. He led the reappraisal of traditional African religions that sees them as equal to other world religions. He argued that traditional African religions were specifically congruent with Christianity, and that Christianity was more than Europe.

The Ecumenical Centre and Church is pictured on November 21, 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria.

October 24, 2019

South Africa
Leader of South Africa’s Opposition Quits Party and Parliament

On October 23, Mmusi Maimane resigned as the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA). His resignation was preceded by that of the DA mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba on October 21, and immediately followed by that of the party’s federal chairperson, Athol Trollip.

Mmusi Maimane casts his vote at a polling station

October 23, 2019

Sierra Leone
Behind Sierra Leone’s Ambitious, Tech-Driven Development Plan

Sierra Leone currently ranks as one of the least developed countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of less than $300 and high levels of poverty. But President Julius Maada Bio has charted an ambitious development plan for the small West African country. Since 2017, President Bio has overseen increased investment in advanced technologies in the hopes of spurring development.

President Julius Maada Bio sits with his hands clasped at a desk.

October 22, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian Art Continues to Make Waves

A work by the late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu fetched $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London on October 15. The painting, “Christine,” is a 1971 portrait of the Caribbean-origin American wife of a missionary. After her death, the portrait hung on the wall at her family’s home. Unaware of the origin of the piece, a stepson eventually reached out to Sotheby’s to see if it had any value. 

A women looks at the painting "Christine," by Ben Enwonwu.

October 21, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 12–18

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 12 to 18, 2019.

Map of Nigeria shaded to reflect NST-documented deaths per state.

October 18, 2019

Germany
A Conversation With Minister Olaf Scholz of Germany

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz discusses fighting climate change in multilateral settings, European economic developments, and German economic policy. ALLEN: Good morning. Thank you all for b…

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October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm