Africa in the News: September 28, 2015
[caption id="attachment_7761" align="aligncenter" width="640"] One of Burkina Faso's famous mud-brick mosques in Bobo-Dioulasso. Photo by qlv on Flickr. Creative Commons.[/caption]
Inclusive Governance and Leadership
The big story of the last week has been, of course, the whirlwind coup in Burkina Faso. As it stands, interim president Michel Kafando has been returned to power and General Diendere and others look to be facing prosecution for their role in the week-long coup that upended the transitional government.
The situation is still unsettled, though: the army is moving to disarm the RSP in accordance with the government's orders, and the RSP is accused of resisting. Reports of gunshots in the capital and a general sense of tension suggests Burkina Faso is not out of the woods yet.
A string of high-profile assassinations and attempted assassinations in Burundi underscores the tense situation. Several prominent regime supporters have had attempts on their life, and opponents of the regime keep turning up dead. The risk of mass violence and atrocities continues to climb as the country dances on the brink of full out civil war.
WhatsApp is Now the Primary Platform for Political Trash Talk in Tanzania's Election Campaign - Quartz Africa
Whatsapp is now filling the role in Tanzania that social media plays in Western elections, becoming a conduit for political messaging, memes, and mudslinging. Little of what's going out over the chat app appears to be raising the quality of discourse, but it's still connecting regular people to the political process, especially young people.
Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
Central Africa Republic: The Roots of Violence - International Crisis Group
ICG has a major report out on the crisis in CAR, calling for a new approach to the peace process that emphasizes the extent to which violence has now become communal and extends the timeline for the presence of peacekeeping forces in the country.
What's the Best Way to Make a Bunch of Elite Soldiers Really Angry? Threaten to Disband Their Unit - War is Boring
February 12, 2015
Some very prescient analysis from War is Boring back in February about the role of the presidential guard (RSP) in Burkina Faso, and why they've been such a threat to democratic consolidation.
Trade, Investment, and Sustainable Development
Africa's Oil Boom Goes Bust - African Arguments
A few oil importers like South Africa and Kenya are riding high as the price of oil reaches new lows, but most of the continent is suffering. Beyond the obvious suspects like Nigeria and Angola, long dependent on the black stuff, recent discoverers like Ghana and Uganda have barely started pumping but are already relying on oil revenues to fill out their budgets.
Photos: Ivory Coast Bounces Back - Reuters Photo
Some excellent photos of Abidjan's post-conflict boom from Reuters. Ivory Coast hasn't stopped to pause for breath since the 2010 crisis was resolved, and seems capable of avoiding a bump in the road from elections this year.
Sub-Saharan Africa Gets Its First Metro - The Economist
Addis Ababa opened the first leg of an urban light rail system, another grand infrastructure program with help from the Chinese.
Africa's Strategic Role in the Global Arena
Europe's Grudging But Welcome Return to UN Peacekeeping - World Politics Review
At the UN peacekeeping summit, European countries committed to substantial commitment increases. This may signal a re engagement with the idea of peacekeeping after the bad experiences of Somalia and Bosnia in the 90s, and European technical sophistication is sorely needed for peacekeeping forces.
Why al Shabaab is Still a Formidable Threat to the Region - The Star (Kenya)
The Kenyan government has failed to adjust to the ever-mutating threat of al-Shabaab. AMISOM, which Kenyan forces are nominally integrated into, is not in full command of the situation. It's fragmented by country, with a lack of unified decision-making, intelligence gathering, and air power, and still fighting a conventional war against an opponent that now operates like a rural insurgent.
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