African Union Publications
U.S. policy toward Africa has been on autopilot for much of the past four years, following a laundry list of good intentions that established priorities for Africa’s well-being and U.S. security interests. However, a truly sustainable and forward-looking U.S. policy toward Africa should refocus attention on Africa’s opportunity as an economic powerhouse of the future, a strategy that combines both domestic self-interest and an opportunity to help Africa move forward.
Long before it came to the Arab world, spring swept through sub-Saharan Africa. In 1990, Mozambique drafted its first multiparty, democratic constitution. The next year saw multiparty elections in what had been one-party states in Benin, Gabon, and Zambia, as well as the overthrow of Mali’s dictator and, subsequently, the election of new leaders. Every succeeding year brought new steps forward for democracy—in Ghana, Kenya, and the Republic of the Congo in 1992, and elsewhere on the continent in subsequent years. The world only paid attention when South Africa joined the ranks of democratic nations in 1994.
On December 20, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution “Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations.” This resolution is a very important step in the history of the women’s movement in the MENA region, especially at a time when women’s role and rights are being marginalized in a number of Arab countries.
Unprecedented numbers of young people in weak and war-torn African nations, in short, tend to be characterized by the gap between what most youth need and what governments and international donors think they need, not to mention what they actually get.
The paper gives a valuable update on current events, including the ongoing conflicts in Abyei, South Kordofan, and the Nuba Mountains, the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), North and South conflicts on oil revenue, and internal political rivalry and governance issues.
The conflict minerals movement is gaining traction. The movement is a pragmatic effort to address one of the principal drivers of atrocities and conflict throughout Congo’s tortured history: the scramble for control of Congo's vast mineral resources. In eastern Congo today, these mineral resources are financing multiple armed groups, many of whom use mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations. Armed groups and military units earn hundreds of millions of dollars per year by trading four main minerals: the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. This money enables the militias to self-finance their campaign of brutal violence against civilians, with some of the worst abuses occurring in mining areas.
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration?
International election observation is a work in progress, much like the international democratic system it aims to promote and develop. Today election observation is disproportionately focused on the pre-election and election periods at the expense of the post-election period. International organizations, national governments, and civil society are familiar with what is expected both before and during an election. Election “practices” exist and an international set of principles is now emerging to guide international elections observers both before and during elections.
The advent of democracy in 1994 came with the promise of a society whose race, political, economic and social relations would be the antithesis of what they had been under apartheid. The post-apartheid order would deliver what the ANC calls “a better life for all.” What has happened since the ANC came to power can best be summarized in three ways: First, there has been some improvement in the political, social and economic conditions of the majority. Second, democratic, policy and delivery deficits have emerged.
This paper is intended to promote discussion as to the role that trade can play in speeding development in Africa and the possible steps that can be taken to enable Africa to participate more fully in the global market. It does not cover all the barriers to expanding trade by African countries. Other important topics – notably infrastructure, especially ports and roads, and corruption – are discussed in other conference papers. It also does not include issues that are not directly related to trade and which can only be dealt with in the longer term, such as improved health and education, which were critical components of the success of the Asian “tigers”.