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October 10, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Rich People and Wealth in Africa

Rich people are everywhere, and they can have something to say about the level of economic development in their home countries. Afrasia Bank and New World Wealth have just published the 2019 Africa Wealth Report, which includes North Africa and African island states in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It identifies the continent’s six wealthiest cities, defined as total individual private wealth—equities, real estate, businesses—less liabilities. They are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, Lagos, Durban, and Nairobi.

Visitors walk past a reception with an electronic board displaying movements in major indices at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange building

October 9, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
The Origins of African States, and Their Names

An article on the origins of the names of African countries was recently published in Quartz. It includes a map of the continent in 1885, shortly after the Berlin Conference. Portuguese and Arabic traders and explorers are the origins of some names, European mispronunciation of tribal names are the origins of others.

A bird flies in front of Mount Kenya on the horizon in Laikipia national park, Kenya.

October 11, 2019

Nigeria
Borno Governor Launches State-Level Initiatives to Fight Boko Haram

Faced with a resurgent Boko Haram and an ineffectual federal government, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state appears to be readying a multi-pronged strategy of his own. According to press reports, he is recruiting ten thousand hunters “with voodoo powers and hunting skills” to fight Boko Haram.

Local hunters armed with locally made guns are seen on a pick up truck

October 7, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 28–October 4

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from September 28 to October 4, 2019.

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

October 2, 2019

Tanzania
International Health Officials and Tanzania Clash Over Potential Ebola Case

On September 8, a woman in her mid-thirties died in Tanzania of apparently Ebola-like symptoms. Tanzanian health officials conducted an autopsy, but ruled that Ebola was not the cause of death. The p…

Health workers dressed in protective suits stand on the other side of an orange fence.

October 4, 2019

Nigeria
The Legacy of Nigeria's 1999 Transition to Democracy

Commentators, especially outside Nigeria, saw the elections of 2015 as an important milestone for the country’s democratic development breaking the pattern of rigged elections. However, could it be that it was the elections of 2011 that really broke the pattern, and the elections of 2015 merely restored it? Were in fact the elections of 2015 much better than those before and after? Did the political classes determine that Jonathan had to go, in part because of the deteriorating economy and security situation, but also understanding that the 1998–9 bargain struck between the south and the north be restored? Will the bargain survive in 2023? 

Obasanjo walks past a cheering crowd in a white robe.

October 1, 2019

Nigeria
Hundreds of Men and Boys Rescued From Purported Almajiri in Nigeria

The Nigerian police recently rescued some three hundred men and boys, many of them chained, from a purported Islamic school in Kaduna, according to Reuters. Some of the victims said that their parents had brought them to the building thinking it was an Islamic school in the almajiri tradition, but there is apparently no indication that the building ever was, in fact, a school.

Boys and girls protest and look at the camera in Kaduna, Nigeria.

October 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.)

September 30, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 21–27

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from September 21 to 27, 2019.

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

September 26, 2019

Benin
Confronting Africa's Role in the Slave Trade

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani has written a sensitive essay, published in the Wall Street Journal, on the African role in the trans-Atlantic and trans-Saharan slave trade. She observes that the four-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of slaves in Virginia coincides with questions about guilt and responsibility and a debate in the United States about reparations to the descendants of slaves.

A gate stands open on the beach.