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Africa in the News 7/20/15


Photo Courtesy of Nicolas Raymond via Flickr.

  • Inclusive Governance and Leadership


Former Chad dictator's war crimes trial opens in Senegal – The Guardian

July 20, 2015

The former Chadian leader, Hissène Habré, has gone on trial in Senegal accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture committed during his brutal eight-year rule from 1982 to 1990. This case represents a historic case for African Justice. If convicted, the chambers could impose a sentence of up to life in prison, and order him to pay a fine. The trial is expected to last several months.

Burundi President Presses on in Disputed Re-Election Effort – The New York Times

July 17, 2015

President Pierre Nkurunziza struck a defiant tone at a campaign rally despite the violence and opposition that have ravaged his country for the past several months. President Nkurunziza's campaign has also been condemned by the international community, specifically the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which urged the Security Council to take action to prevent further violence. In the lead up to the elections, more than 145,000 people have been forced to flee the country.


  • Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding


Jihafrica – The Economist

July 18, 2015

The biggest threat to African peace and prosperity comes from a dangerous idea. More than a dozen sub-Saharan countries are now dealing with jihadism at home. Weapons are widely available, often left over from secular civil wars. Tens of thousands have died. Many of the conflicts that ravage Africa and the Middle East are connected by an extreme idea that has caused entire countries to fall under siege.

The Plight of Women and Adolescent Girls in Emergencies – The Africa Report

July 10, 2015

The risk of sexual violence and exploitation of women and adolescent girls increases dramatically following disasters. The health of women and girls is also disproportionally compromised following a disaster.


  • Trade, Investment, and Sustainable Development


The New East Africa Campaign – The Economist

July 11, 2015

Two African business giants go head-to-head over mobile telecoms and payments. SAFARICOM is among the most innovative firms in the telecoms industry worldwide, and East Africa's biggest company. Incumbency has now put the Kenya-based mobile-phone operator in the crosshairs of insurgent rivals. The company is at the center of a corporate battle that is being watched intently by the continent's business and government elites. There are parallels with the monopoly in landlines that AT&T created in America a century ago, which helped make the telephone universal.

Starbucks to Enter Sub-Saharan Africa with Taste Coffee Deal – Bloomberg

July 14, 2015

Starbucks Corp. coffee shops will open in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time after the world leader partnered with Taste Holdings Ltd. in a deal that sent shares of the Johannesburg-based franchise soaring to a record high. After starting the new venture in South Africa, Starbucks hopes to expand its business to other African countries across the continent. Starbucks already sources a number of its coffees from countries in Africa, so now it will begin the process of actually selling its products in the countries from which they stem.

Zimbabwe Billionaire Drives Investments into Kenya's Energy Sector - CNBC Africa

July 14, 2015

Zimbabwe's richest man and founder of Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa is spearheading a drive to bring more investment into Kenya. Masiyiwa travelling with Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson said the Briton wants to assist small African companies build big giants in the energy sector. Each is optimistic for their business ventures in countries with some of the highest rates of economic growth around the world.


  • Africa's Strategic Role in the Global Arena


Obama's Chance to Revisit Kenya – The New York Times

July 20, 2015

This weekend, President Obama begins a visit to two pivotal African nations: Ethiopia, a semi-authoritarian state, and Kenya, a fragile democracy. Both have rapidly growing economies. Both are battling the virulent Shabab terrorist insurgency. While the president is assured of an enthusiastic popular welcome in Kenya, he will encounter a prickly and defensive Kenyan government. President Uhuru Kenyatta's supporters bristle when Americans or other Westerners question their government's policies or performance. However, President Obama must tread carefully, but not silently, when addressing fundamental issues of democratic governance.

Glee, Relief and Regret: Addis Ababa outcome receives mixed reception – The Guardian

July 16, 2015

World leaders at the financing for development summit in Addis Ababa have reached agreement on an economic framework to support the sustainable development agenda. The agreement earned a mixed initial reception, with the UN hailing a "bold" and "groundbreaking" outcome even as other delegates complained of "a terrible precedent" and lack of moral leadership.


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The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more