- Rebecca Davis
Britain has a grand plan to fix the refugee crisis, alleviate poverty and stabilise east Africa – and, sure enough, it involves more wars in more foreign lands. Prime Minister David Cameron is sending troops to 'advise' in Somalia and South Sudan, believing this will make all the difference. However, even at face value, his logic is flawed. By SIMON ALLISON.
It’s a song that has been sung year after year: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are victimised in the majority of African countries, and human rights activists continue to fight an uphill battle. Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch released two disturbing reports from Kenya and Tunisia respectively, detailing more draconian prison sentences, public violence and even torture. There is no law protecting the rights of LGBTI persons and those who are brutalised or otherwise discriminated against have little recourse. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Violence in the Niger Delta may soon increase unless the Nigerian government acts quickly and decisively to address long-simmering grievances. With the costly Presidential Amnesty Programme for former insurgents due to end in a few months, there are increasingly bitter complaints in the region that chronic poverty and catastrophic oil pollution, which fuelled the earlier rebellion, remain largely unaddressed. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
On the surface, this is a story about food, and Madagascar. But it’s actually about something else entirely. It’s about how generations of Malagasy children have been systematically denied their full mental potential by poor nutrition and worse governance, and how the next generation is suffering the same fate. Even worse: the problem is not confined to Madagascar. By SIMON ALLISON.
If the anti-corruption march goes ahead on Wednesday, it will be remiss if it doesn't address one of the key issues of 2015: illicit financial flows. Institutions around the world are committing to combatting these and Unite Against Corruption needs to push the government to take action locally while lobbying for international change. By GREG NICOLSON.
“Eritrea is Africa’s North Korea.” This glib comparison has defined Eritrea in the minds of the (very) few outsiders who have afforded it any consideration since it became a pariah state in the early zeroes. But Eritrea is defiantly different from anywhere on Earth—a nation apart, certainly, but one still deeply connected to the world is surprising and tragic ways. What will become of the place? A concluding essay in three-part a Daily Maverick series, by RICHARD POPLAK.
If there is a state all human beings understand it is that of hunger. While those of us with the means and access to food often glibly remark “I'm starving”, there are millions in the world who literally are and who find themselves in regions where food security, due to a variety of environmental, political and socio-economic issues, is critical or non existent. This month a food producer accredited by the United Nations Children's Fund, a partnership between Norway and South Africa, officially opened in Cape Town, revealing that while hunger make take from some, it gives to others. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Overall, it is estimated by the UN that Nigeria’s population will expand from 180-million today to more than 400-million by 2050, making it the world’s third most populous country. Properly trained and harnessed, this upsurge in the country's population could offer a demographic dividend. But that will require doing things differently. By GREG MILLS and DICKIE DAVIS.
The roadmap to ending the crisis in the ethnically divided Central African Republic, which includes elections before the end of 2015, is only a short-term answer. To avoid pursuing a strategy that would merely postpone addressing critical challenges until after the polls, the country's transitional authorities and international partners should address them now by implementing a comprehensive disarmament policy, and reaffirming that Muslims belong within the nation. If this does not happen, the elections risk becoming a zero-sum game. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
At least three people have been killed and 60 injured during street clashes in Burkina Faso’s capital as protesters demonstrated against a military coup on 16 September. Crowds gathered in the streets of Ouagadougou to demand the release of the interim president and members of his government, detained by the presidential guard, and the organisation of elections as scheduled for 11 October. Soldiers fired warning shots to disperse the protestors, who responded by throwing stones. Coup leader General Gilbert Diendere told Reuters the trigger for the putsch was a proposal this week by the transitional authorities to dismantle the powerful Presidential Security Guard. By CYNTHIA OHAYON for the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Much has changed in Zambia in the last 25 years. But amid all the change, the country's recent economic travails show just how much has remained the same. The economy is still dependent on copper, accounting for more than 70% of its export income, and thus vulnerable to price swings. As a result of the current commodity downturn, the kwacha has fallen by more than a quarter of its value this year. By GREG MILLS.
Although regional players and the African Union have voiced their opposition to the coup in Burkina Faso, and civil society has mobilised people in several towns across the country, strongman Gilbert Diendere and his Regiment of Presidential Security have proven that they are willing to overturn what was once a hopeful situation in one of the poorest countries in the world to ensure their supremacy. For these reasons, and the potential domino effect a crisis in Burkina Faso would have on the region, Diendere is unlikely to be ousted any time soon. By BAT-EL OHAYON.
Three months after his election, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has still to announce his cabinet. The challenge of creating a unified and uncorrupt cabinet, while maintaining the internal support of the composite members of the ruling party, and exerting influence over opposition-held areas, may explain why the man nicknamed Baba Go-Slow has yet to act. By FRANK CHARNAS.
When the much-feared Presidential Guard stormed into a cabinet meeting to arrest Burkina Faso’s interim President and Prime Minister, we should not have been surprised. Until now, the country’s revolution has been – superficially at least – a little too clean, a little too orderly. In hindsight, another setback was always inevitable. By SIMON ALLISON.
The attempt to rally Sufis in the struggle against extremism seems attractive, but the Kenyan government ought to be aware of potential pitfalls. In embracing Sufism it may, inadvertently, be opening itself to charges of creating an 'official' Islam designed to 'correct' a form of Islam deemed 'distorted'. This would invariably deepen sectarian divisions and alienate non-violent Salafis – the single most important constituency whose support is critical to defeating jihadism. By RASHID ABDI for INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
The Tripartite Alliance’s consistently poor performance on job creation coupled with voter alienation cannot inspire confidence in its longer-term electoral prospects. The African National Congress, now increasingly distant from its heroic act of liberating South Africa from apartheid, is called upon to deliver. Today, the growth market in South African politics is apathy. By GREG MILLS and JEFFREY HERBST.
Another judgment has found the state had an obligation to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to face charges at the International Criminal Court. President Jacob Zuma and his executive are unlikely to back down from challenging the international court, but after the courts have once again said the state was wrong, Al-Bashir should not be welcomed back to South Africa in December. By GREG NICOLSON.
On 9 September, it will be six months since the abduction of prominent Zimbabwean activist Itai Dzamara, a prominent critic of Robert Mugabe's government. On 9 March 2015, he was forced into an unmarked vehicle and has not been heard from since. His wife, Sheffra Dzamara, spoke to AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL about his disappearance.
These days, getting bitten by a snake shouldn’t be such a big deal. Scary, sure, and painful, but thanks to increasingly effective anti-venoms, snakebites are rarely life-threatening if you can access drugs in time. So why are 100,000 people dying from snakebites every year, and why is that number set to increase rapidly in Africa in 2016? By SIMON ALLISON.
September is a big month for international justice in Africa. In The Hague, warlord Bosco 'The Terminator' Ntaganda is on trial for war crimes, while in Dakar former Chadian president Hissène Habré is finally being held to account for his brutal regime. These are both encouraging signs for accountability in Africa – but if the African Union has its way, these could be the last high-profile cases to make it to court for quite some time. By SIMON ALLISON.
East Africa is the fastest growing sub-region on the continent, with economic growth expected to expand by 5.6% this year, well above the continental average of 4.5% or Southern Africa’s 3.1%. But in an odd contradiction to regional growth trends, East Africa’s infrastructure is one of the least developed in Africa. Infrastructure development is thus paramount for the sub-region to reach its full potential and many ‘mega’ infrastructure projects are currently under way in the region. By LYAL WHITE and ADRIAN KITIMBO.
The emergence of radical religious groups in Cameroon risks destabilising the country's climate of religious tolerance. Traditional Sufi Islam is increasingly being challenged by the rise of stricter Islamic ideology, mostly Wahhabism. Within Christian communities, the rise of Revivalist Churches has ended the monopoly of the Catholic and Protestant Churches. Yet, the religious changes are not perceived as problematic by Cameroonian political and religious authorities, which underestimate their potential for conflict. By INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Just as he’s struggled to turn around South African Airways and Eskom, Cyril Ramaphosa has made little headway in Lesotho despite more than a year of high-profile involvement under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Lesotho remains dangerously unstable, but South Africa, the SADC and the US should between them have enough leverage to improve the situation. By ALEXANDER NOYES and JEFFREY SMITH.
Since the turn of the century, Africa has been posting growth rates above the average of developing countries. Yet the narrative about the continent seems to be fixated on migration and negative assessments of its performance. It is, therefore, important to understand why Africa is perceived to be generating more migrants today than ever before. By CARLOS LOPES.