Africa in the News, August 31, 2015
[caption id="attachment_7396" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Scene from Ebola Treatment Center in Port Loko, Sierra Leone
United Nations Photo Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr[/caption]
Inclusive Governance and Leadership
Hail to the Chiefs: How Local Leaders Helped to Curb an Epidemic - The Economist
Southeast Sierra Leone received far less attention and foreign aid than the west, yet was able to control the outbreak of Ebola much quicker, thanks to early and aggressive action by doctors to bring religious leaders, chiefs, and local politicians into the fight. Laws and social pressure could be brought to bear through existing power structures to manage the crisis much more quickly.
Nigeria's Poster Boy for Good Governance Caught up in Corruption Allegations - African Arguments
Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos and celebrated example of good governance, has been accused of corruption and misuse of public funds. He and his defenders allege political motivations, including a split with his political benefactor Bola Tinubu, behind the allegations, but they may derail his widely expected move to national office in the near future.
Joseph Kabila positions himself to extend his hold on power as his second and constitutionally-mandated last term comes to an end. He is reportedly investigating measures to delay the election or to open the way for him to take a third term. Given the recent events in Burundi and Burkina Faso, the potential for a third term bid to end in conflict in always-fragile DRC seems great.
Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
The True Price of Nkurunziza's Third Term - Institute for Security Studies
Burundi's embattled president was sworn in to his third term this week, several days early, as protests and violence continued. Southern Voices Network-affiliated ISS Africa examines how longstanding political coalitions have fractured and reformed in entirely different forms in the awake the crisis, and the ongoing costs of Nkurunziza's continuing hold on power.
Nobody's optimistic about the recently-signed South Sudan peace deal. Between President Kiir's reluctance to sign and his stated list of reservations, and the lack of resolution of any of the underling causes, the chance that this ceasefire will hold any longer than past ones seems slim.
To Aid or Not to Aid: US Law Creates Weapons Dilemma - al Jazeera America
The Leahy law, which bans foreign militaries accused of human rights violations from US military aid, plays a crucial role in determining the US's engagement with important actors in troubled regions. Critics say that wildly different treatment of the cases of Egypt and Nigeria, both with militaries accused of humans rights abuses, shows political considerations in enforcement.
Trade, Investment, and Sustainable Development
Regional Integration in Africa: Can the Tripartite FTA Be a Stepping Stone Toward a Continental FTA? - Brookings Africa in Focus
Policymakers are committing to an expansion of the 26-state Tripartite Free Trade Area to eventually including all 54 states of the African Union. Brookings examines some of the key questions that must be answered for actual continent-wide free trade to become a possibility.
Africa Uneasy as China Turmoil Threatens Investment Boom - Agence France Presse (AFP) in Capital FM Kenya
African economies are understandably rattled as China's economic growth skids to a halt, given their heavy reliance on commodity exports to China. Coupled with low global oil prices, many governments are facing the consequences of the lack of economic diversification in their economies.
Angola's Oil-Soaked Kleptocracy is an Empire Built on Inequality - New Security Beat
New Security Beat, a blog of the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program, unpacks some of the recent coverage of Angola and investigates the stunning inequality present throughout the newly-rich country.
Is STEM Education the Key to Africa's Future? - Wilson Center NOW
Southern Voices African Research Scholar Ayodotun Bobadoye discusses with the Wilson Center on video.
Africa's Strategic Role in the Global Arena
Ebola's Lessons: How the WHO Mishandled the Crisis - Foreign Affairs
Since the AIDS crisis, the world health infrastructure for detecting and responding to pandemics has been fragmented, ineffective, and primarily reactive. The Ebola crisis fits into the same pattern, where the poorly-funded Liberian and Sierra Leonean healthcare systems were often more effective than the disjointed global response.
The international peacekeeping system is underfunded and over-extended. The Wilson Center's Paul D. Williams argues the US should lead by example when it comes to UN peacekeeping by contributing troops as well as funding.
Rethinking Political Islam - Brookings
A set of working papers and essays from Brookings discussing the role and continuing importance of different forms of political Islam across North Africa, as well as the Middle East.
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