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Africa in the News 7/27/15


Photo Courtesy of Pete Souza via the White House Flickr.

  • Inclusive Governance and Leadership

President Obama's Africa Record: The Hard Road to a Genuine Partnership – Center for American Progress

July 21, 2015

With President Barack Obama about to embark on a trip to Africa that will include stops in Kenya and Ethiopia, it is a good time to review his administration's track record of engagement with the continent since he took office, a record that is ending up in a far better place than it started.

Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror – The Washington Post

July 20, 2015

Article written by President Buhari: "This month, the world moved a step closer to the defeat of Boko Haram, the jihadist group that has terrorized hundreds of thousands in the northern states of Nigeria. In one of my first acts since taking office as president six weeks ago, I have replaced the heads of Nigeria's army, navy, and air force. Our new military leadership has not been chosen because of their familiarity with those in government, as was too often the case in the past, but on their records of accomplishment and qualifications alone…"

War Crimes and Rwandan Realities – New York Times

July 19, 2015

General Karake was arrested on June 20 at Heathrow airport on charges brought by a Spanish investigative judge, who accuses him of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed between 1990 and 2002 in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In particular, he is suspected of ordering the killing, in 1997, of three Spanish nationals working for the relief organization Medicos del mundo. Yet, General Karake is not the only Rwandan government official who is under question. President Kagame himself, who is seeking a third-term for office, has his own demons.


  • Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

ETHIOPIA: Obama, in Ethiopia, Plans to Address South Sudan Conflict – The NYTimes

July 27, 2015

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — For President Obama, the birth of South Sudan four years ago was the capstone of his Africa policy. He sent his United Nations ambassador, Susan E. Rice, for the independence celebration, and she took her 13-year-old son to stand in the joyous crowds of the new capital, Juba. Yet today, after the new country has been consumed by civil war. The fighting does not appear to be coming to a halt with the rainy season, as it has in the past…

KENYA: Obama finds Kenya at 'crossroads' – Al Jazeera

July 26, 2015

Declaring Kenya at a "crossroads" between promise and peril, President Barack Obama on Sunday pressed the nation of his father's birth to root out corruption, treat women and minorities as equal citizens, and take responsibility for its future.

Nigeria: New defense chief unveil mission against Boko Haram – The Africa Report

July 22, 2015

Nigeria's newly appointed service chiefs are planning to work with a multinational African force to take the fight to the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. Top of the agenda for Buhari's administration is to check the Boko Haram insurgency, the wave of armed banditry, militancy, and kidnappings that threaten Nigeria's security and impact negatively on the economy.

As Burundians Vote in Presidential Election, Many Are Afraid to Pick a Side – NYTimes

July 21, 2015

After months of unrest and a night of explosions and gunfire, Burundians went to the polls on Tuesday in a presidential election whose results are not in doubt but whose consequences could prove deeply destabilizing. President Nkurunziza has since won the election however many international powers say the results are illegitimate.


  • Trade, Investment, and Sustainable Development

Obama to Push U.S. Trade in Kenya as China's Role Grows – NY Times

July 24, 2015

Trade between China and Africa, valued at $222 billion in 2014, has been rising swiftly, and is now about three times the amount of trade between the United States and the African continent, according to figures from the World Bank and the American government.

How Kenya will benefit from hosting entrepreneurship summit – The East African

July 18, 2015

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit has in the past six years pledged billions of dollars to upcoming young entrepreneurs around the world. Already, Kenya has prepared a list of expectations that includes bilateral trade agreements that it expects will be addressed by the US. President Barack Obama's visit to Kenya is expected to open the floodgates to American investments to the East African region.

Move Over Starbucks! Here are Africa's Leading Coffee Shops – Ventures Africa

July 16, 2015

United States based coffee giant, Starbucks Coffee is set to open its first branch in sub-Saharan Africa (in South Africa) next year, marking a significant moment for the African coffee market. This is a development, which illuminates the extent to which global brands have taken interest in the continent's growing middle class population.


  • Africa's Strategic Role in the Global Arena

Calling Obama 'Our Son,' Kenyans Nod Knowingly at His Critique – NY Times

July 26, 2015

During Mr. Obama's whirlwind visit to his father's homeland, people around Kenya often referred to him as "our son." But what they heard Sunday was more like a lecture from a stern but loving father. The crowd was largely quiet as it listened to what at times felt like a sermon. One young man leaned over to a friend as Mr. Obama discussed his own journey and whispered, "Obama is really telling the whole story of all Kenyans." This article demosntrates the reactions of many Kenyans as Obama addresses issues from his ancestral roots to corruption.

For Hissène Habré, a Trial by Refusal – NY Times

July 27, 2015

Mr. Habré, the 72-year-old former president of Chad, is accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture regarding the deaths of an alleged 40,000 people during his rule between 1982 and 1990. July 20 was the first day of his trial before the Extraordinary African Chambers, a special court he has repeatedly denounced as "illegitimate and illegal." And almost as soon as it started, it stopped: Mr. Habré, and his lawyers, refused to participate, and on the next day the proceedings were suspended.


From the Wilson Center Africa Program – Director Dr. Monde Muyangwa

Obama visits a rising Africa, but one still plagued by economic problems – The Washington Post

July 24, 2015

The Obama administration has made economic growth a central tenet of its Africa strategy. It was the primary theme of last year's U.S.-African Leaders Summit, and the administration has rewarded countries with sound economic policies through its aid programs. "He's the first U.S. president to really view Africa not just through a humanitarian lens," said Monde Muyangwa, director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, "but through the lens of economic opportunity."

A Very Different Barack Obama Returns to Kenya – The National Journal

July 23, 2015

This is not Obama's first return to Kenya since that 1987 visit. He has been back both as a private citizen and as a newly elected U.S. senator. However, it is his first trip there as president. With that in mind, both the president and the White House have gone to great lengths to emphasize the official nature of his agenda and to de-emphasize the personal aspects of the trip.

Obama Targets Africa's Youth as Key to Continent's Future –Bloomberg

July 24, 2015

Despite its challenges, Africa "has the potential to be the next center of global economic growth," Obama said Wednesday before signing a renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which gives trade preferences to countries that move toward more free-market economies. "The opportunities are extraordinary." Obama will focus on themes meant to address the economic and security challenges Africa faces.

Interview with Dr. Monde Muyangwa – VOA Press Conference USA

July 17, 2015

Host Carol Castiel previews US President Barack Obama's Trip to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit as well as his visit to Ethiopia, the first-ever for a sitting US president, with Monde Muyangwa, Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center. They also discuss Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's upcoming meeting at the White House, the Controversy over elections in Burundi, and President Obama's legacy in Africa.



Related Program

Africa Program

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