Africa in Transition

John Campbell and Michelle Gavin track political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, June 20, 2019 REUTERS/Rodger Bosch/Pool via REUTERS

South Africa’s Ramaphosa Highlights Land Reform in State of the Nation Address

In his June 20 state of the nation address to parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa laid out a short-term approach to land reform, including a call for the expropriation of privately owned land without compensation for distribution. Read More

June 20, 2019

Personal Rivalries Overshadow Botswana's Democracy

Political developments in Botswana are attracting unprecedented attention, causing some pundits to fret about the stability of its longstanding democracy. While it is undoubtedly true that Botswana is experiencing more public political turbulence than anyone is accustomed to, moving real political debates out of exclusive meetings of the long ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and into the public sphere need not be a sign of terrible trouble.

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June 19, 2019

Amnesty Sets Agenda to Address Nigeria's Human Rights Violations

On the occasion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second inauguration, Amnesty International has issued a report, Nigeria: Human Rights Agenda [PDF] a twenty-page indictment of human rights violations by "state and non-state actors," but with the emphasis on the state security services. It calls on the Buhari administration to address perennial human rights abuses and makes specific recommendations as to what needs to be done. 

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June 18, 2019

U.S. Should Acknowledge Critical Challenges for Ethiopia’s Transition

Anyone fishing for a good news story out of Africa recently, and rightly, has celebrated Ethiopia, where dynamic young Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has dramatically opened political space, departing from decades of repressive, tightly controlled government.

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