Southern Africa | Wilson Center

Southern Africa

Underplayed Conflicts of 2014

I have spent my life covering wars, revolutions, and uprisings—more than forty years’ worth of them now. As I looked through annual rundowns of the Big Stories of 2014, I found three types of conflicts that were not on many lists but should be. Each, for different reasons, represents a trend worth paying attention to.

1. The Soft Conflicts.

The White Sun of Angola

As Former USSR Deputy Foreign Minister with responsibility for Africa, Ambassador Anatoly Adamishin’s memoirs offer unique insights into Soviet policy during Gorbachev’s perestroika. Its principal focus is Soviet involvement in the long-running conflict in Southern Africa: the Angolan theater. This account highlights the role of personal diplomacy and the relative autonomy of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs vs the Party.

Advance Warning: Reagan and South Africa's Nuclear Testing Promise

Interview with former South African Foreign Minister R.F. “Pik” Botha, conducted by Or Rabinowitz (PhD), in Pretoria, November 2010, regarding South Africa’s nuclear history

Africa's Stalled Fertility Transition: Causes, Cures, and Consequences?

“Sub-Saharan Africa’s young people are in effect the global labor force of the future,” said Jack Goldstone at the Wilson Center on October 15. “Whether they are productive, how large that cohort turns out to be, whether they find work or not, is going to have a bearing, I think, on all of us.”

Mugabe is Bailed out by Beijing. But too Little too Late for Zimbabwe?

China has agreed to help Zimbabwe avoid a total economic meltdown.

Without the promise of assistance from Beijing that came last month, Zimbabwe could not even begin to pay its civil servants, police, and soldiers their monthly wages. Nor, without China’s support, could Zimbabwe continue to import oil and gas, and crucial foodstuffs with which to feed its people.

What Next for US-Africa Engagement?

From August 4-6, 2014, the Obama Administration hosted the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit that took place in Washington, DC. Over 50 African Heads of State attended with a goal of strengthening US-Africa engagement. The Africa Program and its colleagues provided daily coverage of the event from a variety of perspectives, delving into what the summit means for US-Africa relations going forward. Check out the links below for more:

Reflections on the Summit: Whither US-Africa Relations?

The recently concluded US-Africa Leaders Summit, which was held from August 4-6, 2014 and whose main theme was "Investing in the Next Generation," was an opportunity to discuss key issues and define a way forward for US-Africa relations. The gathering was historic. It was the first-ever US-Africa Summit since most African countries gained their independence some fifty years ago.

Pages