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Africa Covid-19 Politics

Heightened Human Security Concerns in South Sudan May Lay the Foundations of Great Power Competition in North Africa

A South Sudanese famine, exacerbated by recent large-scale flooding, is threatening to deal a shattering blow to the world’s youngest state. Wracked by domestic instability and with a government refusing to acknowledge the danger faced by its people, the potential for a humanitarian disaster is enormous. Now is the chance for the UN and the West to reaffirm its commitment to stability in North Africa. 

Africa Natural resources and energy

UK Supreme Court Approval of Shell-Bodo Case: Could This Be a Step Towards a More Equitable Future?

A British Supreme Court ruling has brought to a head a 13-year-old battle to hold Royal Dutch Shell accountable for massive oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2008 and 2009. This creates a precedent for taking multinational corporations to trial in the home countries of their parent companies. This may mark the beginning of a more regulated global environment, in which subsidiary companies responsible for human rights abuses happening abroad could be held more accountable. Whether this will be an effective solution remains to be seen. 

Africa Politics

What does the Duclert Report Mean for French-Rwandan Relations?

Contention over the extent of France’s involvement in the Rwandan genocide (1994) has been straining relations between Paris and Kigali for over 25 years. In order to address this and attempt to regain some credibility both in Rwanda and across Africa French president Emmanuel Macron ordered an investigation to be carried out by a commission of French historians, led by Vincent Duclert (hereafter referred to as the Duclert Report), in 2019. The report concluded that France did not take an active role in carrying out the genocide, but does bear “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” due to its “failure” of policy in supporting the Hutu-led government. The conclusions represent a step in the right direction for French-Rwandan relations, but likely do not go far enough on their own.

Africa Security

Hundreds of Nigerian Students Kidnapped… Again: Is Nigeria a Failed State?

The NY Times reported another kidnapping in northern Nigeria this past Friday. Armed men abducted 317 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state. One police officer was killed during the attack. 

This is the second mass abduction in as many weeks and part of an alarming trend going back to 2014, when the violent extremist organization (VEO) Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from a school in Chibok, Borno state. 

Africa Politics

Elections called in a Contested Ethiopia

The political crisis in the North of Ethiopia is currently one of the most notorious humanitarian disasters in global affairs. The tragedy and ferocity of the conflict has sometimes distracted from it’s trigger: the delay of the 2020 federal & regional elections. Now, one year since their postponement, Ethiopians head to the polls to contest the leading Prosperity Party’s grip on power. Whether this will prove to be an opportunity to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions or a gateway to further crises remains to be seen.

Africa Politics South Africa

South Africa’s Secondary Pandemic: A Crisis of Gender Based Violence

In South Africa, sometimes known as the ‘destination of femicide’, more than 2,700 women have been murdered as result of gender-based violence (GBV) since 2000. Although grassroots organisations have persistently campaigned to end GBV, many women in South Africa continue to suffer abuse. Now, South Africa’s GBV problem is worsening, as lockdown measures have trapped women inside with their abusers.

 

Africa Politics

Somalia’s Election Impasse: History Repeating Itself

Somalia has found itself in a situation that is very familiar – an election impasse. Despite hopes of a smooth transition of power and a new election model being implemented, multiple challenges faced the election, which was scheduled for February 8th, 2021. However, these challenges are not new, and one has to wonder how Somalia has found itself in this situation again. Regardless of the outcome of the election impasse, the impacts thereof will have long lasting effects on Somalia’s democratic hopes.

Africa She Said

Trade over Aid: How Seamstress Training Creates Economic Opportunity for Women in Ghana

TUMI Ghana is a Kumasi-based social enterprise, that aims to create sustainable income opportunities for women in Ghana through training and employment in the seamstress profession. Recognizing that the possession of employable skills can both be a source of personal dignity and of financial independence, Dutch founder Milou Lommelen has dedicated herself to equipping women with economic opportunity. Beyond equipping women with seamstress skills, TUMI Ghana additionally provides training in entrepreneurship and offers resources related to reproductive health thus helping empower women beyond immediate professional training.

Africa Politics

Côte d’Ivoire – Do new EU laws promise sweet success or a bitter aftertaste?

Impending EU legislation seeks to reduce the Côte d’Ivoire cocoa industry’s reliance on minimum wages, child labour, and environmental degradation. Yet these efforts may be hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, and cynical buyers seeking alternative sources. The EU’s efforts also come as the industry in Côte d’Ivoire sits in the midst of several complex political and legal storms.

Africa Politics

East African Federation Looks Set for Further Delay

The creation of an East African Federation (EAF) has been steadily progressing since the latest initiative began at the very end of the 20th century. The proposed ‘super-state’ has received rhetorical support from African leaders and would be an exciting development in sub-Saharan Africa. However, such progress has been repeatedly beset by setbacks and delays and looks certain to be delayed once again, with the 2023 target for confederation almost certain to be missed. Several underlying issues need to be resolved if the project is to avoid the complete collapse that befell previous attempts.