May 6, 2019India
General elections for India’s lower house of parliament began on April 11 and will last through May 19, with all ballots counted on May 23. This is the world’s largest democratic exercise. I had the …
March 21, 2019Democratic Republic of Congo
A case of Ebola, the deadly hemorrhagic fever with terrifying symptoms, has been found in the second-largest city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The city, Bunia, has a population of almost one million. The disease has already been identified in Butembo and Beni, the former with a population slightly larger than Bunia, the latter slightly smaller. The disease is now urban and rural in eastern Congo.
September 12, 2018Mali
Sub-Saharan Africa is urbanizing at the fastest rate in the world.
October 29, 2019Nigeria
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.
July 5, 2018Aging, Youth Bulges, and Population
A rapidly growing population will create a “demographic dividend,” and urbanization will accelerate economic development, or so the “Africa rising” narrative goes. Given Africa’s lack of basic infrastructure, ranging from roads to hospitals to schools, both propositions are dubious.
October 8, 2019Sub-Saharan Africa
New research suggests that African policymakers focused on the future have yet another pressing issue to add to their already full plate: A study released on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting and funded by the European Union indicates that Africa will be the site of the world’s largest increase in illegal drug use over the next few decades.
October 2, 2019Tanzania
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…
October 1, 2019Nigeria
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.