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Africa in the News, September 14, 2015: Guinea Bissau in Crisis, Turkey in Africa, Kenyans in Matatus

A fully-loaded share taxi speeds down a road. In Kenya these taxis, called Matatus, are crucial parts of Nairobi's transportation network. Photo by crosby_cj on Flickr. Creative Commons.

[caption id="attachment_7571" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A fully-loaded share taxi speeds down a road. In Kenya these taxis, called matatus, are crucial parts of Nairobi's transportation network. Photo by crosby_cj on Flickr. Creative Commons.[/caption]

Inclusive Governance and Leadership

Grounds for Cautious Optimism in Guinea Bissau's Latest Crisis – Daily Maverick (South Africa) September 14

Guinea Bissau has been hurtling from one crisis to another for the last several decades, and with the news that the president has fired his prime minister, it enters another. That said, there are signs for optimism: the judiciary is showing its teeth, the international community has been able to combat the flow of drug trafficking, and most importantly, the military seems committed to staying out of the crisis, for the moment.

Algeria's Bouteflika Sacks Generals to Curb Power of Military Intelligence – Reuters Africa September 10

Algerian President Bouteflika, who has had to deal with remarkably little of the public unrest that characterized the Arab Spring in other nations, is not resting easy. He purged generals and restructured agencies to curb the power of military intelligence last week, clearly fearing threats from the inside.

Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

Cameroon: The Threat of Religious Radicalism – International Crisis Group September 3

The rise of Christian and Muslim fundamentalism is polarizing the country along religious lines and raising inter-communal tensions. Focused on Boko Haram and the violence in neighboring CAR, Cameroonian authorities haven't made major attempts to smooth the divisions in their own country.

Corruption: A Major Threat to Military Effectiveness – Africa Center for Strategic Studies September 8

Corruption in African military procurement, mismanagement and misallocation of resources, and poor planning do more than just waste money, they also have serious detrimental effects on African military readiness. The poster child for this problem is Nigeria, which spend more than $6 billion on its military yet until recently routinely sent troops to battle Boko Haram without enough bullets.

Trade, Investment, and Sustainable Development

In Praise of Matatus – The Economist September 12

Share taxis like Kenya's matatus are a cheap and efficient private sector solution to the terrible gridlock and lack of public transit present in most African cities. As Kenyans grow richer, it would be a shame if they were abandoned rather than updated for a more affluent population.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit One Year On: Progress, Challenges, and the Way Forward for Economic Relations (video) – Wilson Center Africa Program September 10

The Africa Program at the Wilson Center looks back at the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit one year on, examining the status of the commitments from the Summit, as well as the next step for economic relations. Panelists including Solomon Asamoah of the AfDB, Secretary General Richard Sezibera of the EAC, Dr. Witney Schneidman of Covington & Burling LLP, Jay Ireland of GE Africa, and former ambassador to South Africa Donald Gips discussed the future of U.S.-African trade and emphasized the importance of a coordinated U.S. trade promotion strategy in Africa.

Africa's Strategic Role in the Global Arena

Turkey's Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa: Shifting Alliances and Strategic Diversification – Chatham House September 9

Turkey's engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa is small but growing rapidly, as the country seeks to diversify its interests away from the Middle East, given its tumultuous relationship with its neighbors. In particular, it seems to be focusing on countries with large Muslim populations, especially Somalia.

How Many Fatalities has the African Union Mission in Somalia Suffered? – IPI Global Observatory September 10

Paul D. Williams, a Wilson Center Africa Program Global Fellow, takes on the startling opacity around the deaths suffered in the African Union Mission to Somalia. The Ugandan government and the A.U. mission in general have worked hard to obfuscate the numbers of both the most recent attack as well as the overall numbers.

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