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March 18, 2021

Heads of State and Government
John Magufuli, Tanzania’s COVID-Denying President, Dies

Vice President Samia Suluhu, announcing President John Magufuli’s death yesterday, said the president died from a heart condition, and that he had been treated at two different hospitals in Dar es Salaam.

A copy of the Tanzanian newspaper "The Citizen," with the headline "Nation mourns," shows a picture of recently deceased President John Magufuli after his death was announced yesterday. In the bottom left, a picture of soon-to-be-president Samia Suluhu.

February 26, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Internal Security Problem

The Nigerian minister of defense recently enjoined Nigerians to take up arms to defend themselves against marauding bandits in their communities. Nigeria has experienced devastating attacks from armed bandits for more than two years.

A blanket is seen on the ground of a school stormed by kidnappers in Nigeria.

March 25, 2021

Kenya
Belt and Road in Kenya: COVID-19 Sparks a Reckoning with Debt and Dissatisfaction

The economic impact of COVID-19 has exposed the underlying fragility of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Kenya, already the subject of scrutiny over corruption, pollution, and debt concerns. BRI fueled an ambitious infrastructure push in Kenya.

A train, built as part of Chinese investment in Kenya through the Belt and Road Initiative, arrives at the Mombasa Terminus in Mombasa, Kenya.

March 10, 2021

Grand Strategy
Coup-Proofing: Russia’s Military Blueprint to Securing Resources in Africa

In the Central African Republic (CAR), outside the capital Bangui, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra exerts little to no authority. Armed rebel groups control two-thirds of the country, including access to mining sites.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic walk towards each other, arms outstretched as they prepare to shake hands.

April 1, 2021

Tanzania
Interview: Tundu Lissu on Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the Role of the West in Democratization

Tundu Lissu, in an interview, comments on expectations for President Samia Suluhu Hassan, a Zanzibar native who was sworn in following former President John Magufuli’s death as Tanzania’s sixth—and first female—president.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan inspects a guard of honor after being sworn in as president.

March 30, 2021

Tanzania
Interview: Tundu Lissu Discusses the Need for Constitutional Reform in Tanzania

Tundu Lissu, a member of the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), has spent his political career, which includes a ten-year stint in parliament, fighting for a more accountable polity in sub-Saharan Africa's fourth most populous country

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu prepares to board a helicopter.

March 6, 2019

South Africa
Southern Africa’s Leaders Walking Anti-Corruption Tightrope

Several southern African states are in the news for anti-corruption efforts. In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has established a special tribunal to expedite state efforts to track down ill-gotten gains. In Mozambique, the former chief of the intelligence service and the former president’s son have been arrested in connection with a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal. In Angola, which also witnessed the arrest of a former president’s son last year, two sitting members of National Assembly from the ruling party were recently indicted on charges relating to corruption.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives to deliver his State of the Nation address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa February 7, 2019.

March 4, 2021

Territorial Disputes
Diplomatic Dithering Over Western Sahara Bodes Ill for Other African Disputes

On December 10, 2020, then President Donald Trump tweeted that because “Morocco recognized the United States in 1777,” the U.S. should return the favor by recognizing “[Moroccan] sovereignty over the Western Sahara.”

Then-U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, clutching a baseball cap, arrives in the Western Sahara in an attempt to broker a peace between the Polisario Front and Morocco over the disputed Western Sahara.

June 22, 2021

Women and Economic Growth
Women and E-Commerce: The $300 Billion Opportunity

Closing the gender gap on online platforms means being able to put billions of dollars into the wallets of women entrepreneurs and exponentially grow global e-commerce markets. This blog is authored …

A woman packages e-commerce items.

October 31, 2019

Elections and Voting
Southern Africa’s Tale of Two Elections: Mozambique and Botswana

Southern Africa recently wrapped up two dramatically different elections. In Mozambique, presidential, parliamentary, and regional elections were characterized by irregularities and even violence, but not by suspense. The ruling FRELIMO party had ensured its victory in the pre-election period, in part through the presence of “ghost voters” on the voters’ roll, and through a campaign of intimidation aimed at challengers to its power.

A woman casts her ballot at Moshupa village, in the Southern District of Botswana, October 23, 2019