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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.

July 29, 2021

China
China’s Port Expansion in Africa

The Cases of the Beira Fishing Port and LAPSSET Port Project

June 30, 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state. Pro-democracy advocates have at times successfully stopped presidents from extending their mandates, but the authorita…

A worker throws away campaign posters of President Yoweri Museveni after Uganda’s 2021 election.

July 13, 2021

Nigeria
T.B. Joshua: A Preacher Who Held Outsized Influence in Nigeria and Africa

Policy makers, diplomats, and commentators in the secular West often fail to take into account the profound influence of religious leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, whether among Christians, Muslims, or adherents of traditional religions. Heaven, hell, and what secularists regard as magic are literal realities, more immediate than government policy or the pronouncements of political leaders. What the preacher says is more credible than the utterances of politicians.

T.B. Joshua, a now-deceased Nigerian pastor, holds his hand on a woman's face. The woman holds her hands raised with her palms upward.

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.

July 28, 2021

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
The COVID-19 Vaccination Challenge: Lessons From History

Vaccines are a major public health success story, but the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the many challenges involved in getting a vaccine to everyone who needs it.

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.

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.