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October 5, 2018

Ethiopia
Ethiopia: East Africa’s Emerging Giant

Ethiopia’s new leader, Abiy Ahmed, is seeking aggressive reforms to put an end to discord and build on the country’s progress in recent decades, but a towering set of challenges threatens his agenda.

Children play within the Balderas condominium in Addis Ababa.

April 29, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state, but civil society and regional blocs may be slowing the trend of extending presidential terms in some areas.

A taxi passes an electoral poster for Cameroonian President Paul Biya in a market in Yaounde.

January 11, 2019

Middle East and North Africa
Middle East Burden Sharing

The central takeaway from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Cairo speech is that the United States needs to rely more on allies to stabilize the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo.

April 23, 2019

South Africa
Despite Challenges, South Africa’s ANC Likely to Remain in Power

The African National Congress (ANC) has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid and the transition to “non-racial” democracy in 1994. It has won more than 60 percent of vote in every national election since, though its share of the vote has been steadily declining. In a country fractured by race in which blacks—about 80 percent of the population—are much poorer than whites—about 9 percent—race is the largest factor in voting behavior.

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May 30, 2019

South Africa
Ramaphosa Inaugurated in South Africa, U.S. Sends Delegation

At a rugby stadium in Pretoria on May 25, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president since 1994. The U.S. presidential delegation to the inauguration was headed by Kimberly A. Reed, the president of the Export-Import Bank.

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March 5, 2019

Technology and Innovation
Innovating Africa Out of Poverty

Known for his ground-breaking business theories on “jobs to be done,” Professor Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School has a new book on disruptive innovation, The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out Of Poverty. I sat down with the book’s co-author, Efosa Ojomo, who leads the global prosperity research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, to learn how policymakers can apply the book’s findings in Africa.

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June 4, 2019

South Africa
Ramaphosa’s Bold Pick for Public Works Minister of South Africa

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on national television the selection of South Africa’s new cabinet. Although there was no surprise to see the names of such competent officials as Pravan Gordhan, Ephraim Patel, Naledi Pandor, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Tito Mboweni, Ramaphosa’s selection of Patricia de Lille as minister of public works and enterprises really “put the cat among the pigeons.”

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May 24, 2019

Islamic State
Where Exactly is the Islamic State in West Africa?

The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks. 

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June 10, 2019

Trade
African Continental Free Trade Area: A New Horizon For Trade in Africa

Kanzanira Thorington is a research associate with the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. On May 30, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) of…

A worker is seen at a Highveld Steel plant in Middleburg, South Africa June 6, 2017.

May 10, 2019

United Kingdom
Archie, Africa, and the Commonwealth

The birth of Archie, the first son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has led to British media speculation, picked-up by the New York Times, that the Queen (actually, in conjunction with the Theresa May government) may dispatch them to Africa for a undetermined period. Their role, beyond lubricating the UK’s ties with its former African colonies, would be to build support for the Commonwealth of Nations. It would also get the Royal couple out of the media circus surrounding Archie’s birth. There is further speculation that Archie’s mixed race would make the family particularly attractive to Africans.

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