- Kevin Bloom & Richard Poplak
South Africa has a youth unemployment crisis. Statistics suggest the problem has worsened since 2008, leaving more than 5-million people between the ages of 15 and 34 neither employed nor receiving education or training. In the first of a two-part series, SIBONISO MNCUBE puts a face and a voice to their struggle.
In Addis Ababa, a grinning President Salva Kiir finally put pen to paper on a peace deal for South Sudan. Better 10 days late than never. While sceptics are right to wonder if his signature is anything more than a PR stunt, the truth is that peace doesn’t come easy – and this is as good a place to start as any. By SIMON ALLISON.
It will take a concerted effort to unseat the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi in the upcoming elections in Tanzania, but momentum appears to be behind the Ukawa opposition coalition, led by former prime minister Edward Lowassa. The outcome of what are expected to be the closest elections in the country’s history is sure to affect not just Tanzania, but the region and the African continent as a whole. By FRANK CHARNAS.
Rafael Marques de Morais is famous for his journalism and activism in Angola, standing up to the ruling Movement for the Liberation of Angola despite intimidation and imprisonment. Recently, he spoke to the Daily Maverick Show on CliffCentral's Kingsley Kipury about his fight for freedom of expression, corruption investigations, and the stories he'll tell his grandchildren. By GREG NICOLSON.
While the cost of sending money across borders is plummeting, sending money from South Africa to neighbouring countries appears to incur the highest costs. One of the most popular remittance corridors in the region is from South Africa to Zimbabwe, and new money-sending agents are making this corridor cheaper and easier. GROUNDUP tested three of these services. By BEN STANWIX and TARIRO WASHINYIR.
A particularly unlikely duo highlights the contradictions and challenges of 168 years of Liberian nation-building in the wake of recent instability over moves to have the country declared a Christian state. Reverend Emmanuel Bowier and Ali Sylla, a Muslim several decades Bowier’s junior, are collaborating under the banner of the non-governmental organisation the Centre for Counselling and Restorative Dialogue to encourage religious unity among Monrovia’s youth. For both men, the mission is deeply personal. By BROOKS MARMON.
Despite some notable counterinsurgency successes, Mali remains highly unstable, with jihadist attacks taking place since the beginning of the year beyond the usual theatre of operations in the country’s northern areas, threatening its neighbours. While security forces have qualified these as small pockets of leftover jihadists, attacks have increased with local gangs, notably the Massina Liberation Front, joining the larger organisations, providing them with geographical depth. The evolution of the threat, and signs that the competing jihadist groups may not be opposed to working together are increasingly complicating counterinsurgency efforts. By BAT-EL OHAYON.
Throughout history, human beings have killed wild animals to defend, avenge, profit or feed themselves. They still do. But there are a few who kill for another reason: pleasure. Why the pain and death of a beautiful creature gives them gratification is puzzling – perhaps they had father issues as teenagers – but there are more important questions that need answers. DON PINNOCK tries to sort out the truth from the rhetoric.
South Africa met Chaeli Mycroft as a determined little girl with cerebral palsy, desperate to raise enough money for a motorised wheelchair. Just over a decade later, she’s gearing up for her 21st birthday, which she plans to celebrate as the first female quadriplegic to scale Kilimanjaro. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
The economic circumstances of women in Southern African Development Community (SADC) states have been especially slow to change as women and girls continue to experience gender discrimination that limits their access to services, education, employment opportunities and justice. Now is a time for strong leadership. A good place for new SADC chairman Ian Khama to start his work would be to send a clear message in support of human rights and gender equality by signing the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. By LOUISE CARMODY.
We weren’t sure if he was dead. We’re not entirely sure he ever existed in the first place. And we can’t tell, beyond reasonable doubt, if that is really him speaking in another bombastic audio message released this week. All we know is that after months of silence, Abubakar Shekau is back, and that the reappearance of the enigmatic Boko Haram leader raises more questions than answers. By SIMON ALLISON.
This week’s SADC summit is an important test for the organisation’s conflict management credibility as it attempts to deal with the crisis in Lesotho. Previous interventions have failed to address major causal factors or help hold to account those responsible for illegal behaviour, even murder. While only the Basotho can negotiate a genuine solution, the summit is an opportunity for reflection and tangible commitment to support a process that strengthens institutional capacities and whose minimum goals – depoliticisation of the security sector and a measure of accountability – may be difficult to reconcile with Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli remaining in office. By PIERS PIGOU and ILIJA PRACHKOVSKI for the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
The ultimatum was issued, and the deadline is here, but South Sudan’s warring parties seem no closer to reaching an agreement. And even if they do – well, no leader in that troubled country has a good track record of following through on their commitments. The best we can hope for is small steps in the right direction, to lay the groundwork for the inevitable next round of talks. By SIMON ALLISON.
Five suicide bombings conducted within a short time frame in the relatively peaceful Extreme Northern Region of Cameroon have shaken the Central African country, serving as a painful reminder that it is not immune to the threat of radical Islam. Although no group has taken responsibility for these attacks, as well as for several subsequent attempts to dispatch suicide bombers to the same region, Nigeria-based Islamist sect Boko Haram is the likely culprit. By OLGA BOGORAD.
The African and international community may have condemned Pierre Nkurunziza’s successful bid for a third term in Burundi, but no one did anything to stop him. Already, the consequences of this inaction are being felt across the continent, as other leaders pave the way to fiddling with their own constitutions. By SIMON ALLISON.
After months of unrest and violence in Burundi, originally in reaction to the now successful bid of President Pierre Nkurunziza to attain a third term in office, the US and other members of the UN Security Council are considering the responses available to them, including travel and visa bans targeting those responsible for gross human rights violations. In the meantime violence in the small east African country continues unabated. By FRANK CHARNAS.
In March 2013, the widely unloved François Bozizé was violently ousted as president of the Central African Republic. The government that succeeded him issued an international warrant for his arrest for incitement to genocide, but it has fallen in turn. And now Bozizé, without any apparent shame, hopes to return to lead his people to, well, what exactly? Will this poor god-forsaken country ever catch a break? By RICHARD POPLAK.
Another peaceful protest in Luanda, and another brutal response from Angolan police. This time, the target was the mothers of the 15 activists locked up in June for participating in a “revolutionary” book club. Far from a show of strength, the paranoid response shows us that the regime is getting more confused, and more nervous, by the day. By SIMON ALLISON.
On Thursday, the Egyptian president will formally open the 72km extension to the Suez Canal. The fact that it’s a massively impressive infrastructure project, completed in record time, is not in doubt. But is it necessary? Should cash-strapped Egypt be spending its money on more sensible things? And what about those power station-sabotaging jellyfish? By SIMON ALLISON and HELEN BARTSCH.
People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty says the pile of rejections for Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permits is getting bigger daily and the reasons given by the Department of Home Affairs are sometimes obscure. Rejected applicants are given only 10 days to leave South Africa and are not granted the right to appeal. By BERNARD CHIGUVARE.
Two nights in Bujumbura, two assassination attempts on high-profile figures. One succeeded, while the other failed. But together these add up to bad news for the troubled East African nation, as hopes for a peaceful resolution dim further and the international community runs out of ideas. By SIMON ALLISON.
For a long time, Zimbabwe’s unions were also Robert Mugabe’s most vocal opposition. It’s no coincidence that Morgan Tsvangirai emerged from the labour movement, as did the Movement for Democratic Change. But as Mugabe has consolidated power, the unions have become less and less influential. That the Zimbabwean economy is in a never-ending tailspin doesn’t help. By Ray NDLOVU for AFRICA IN FACT.
In the past week Southern Africa’s lucrative trophy hunting industry received two devastating blows: the release of an explosive new documentary detailing the unsavoury practices of canned lion breeders and hunters, and the international condemnation around the killing of Zimbabwe’s most famous lion. Under growing domestic and international pressure, the industry is coming in for scathing criticism, not only from environmentalists but also increasingly from within its own ranks. By ANDREAS WILSON-SPÄTH.
Key differences in the strategies employed by Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria and al-Shabaab in Somalia lead us to believe that while both groups are likely to remain active, al-Shabaab is likely to be the larger international threat due to its relations with the local population, international recruitment, geopolitical strategic importance, and forward planning. By BAT-EL OHAYON and FRANK CHARNAS.
Until now, the fight against Ebola has been an indirect one, akin to joining a battle unarmed and poorly protected. Those at the frontline, healthcare workers and volunteers, treated the symptoms of the infected and coordinated efforts to minimize contagion. But there was no cure, and no means of protecting against contagion. A new vaccine may change all that. By ANDREA TEAGLE.