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May 21, 2019

South Africa
South Africa’s Blackouts Demonstrate Need for Distributed Energy Resources

This is a guest post by Benjamin Silliman, research associate for Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations and Payce Madden, researcher in African development. South …

A shopper looks for goods during an electricity load-shedding blackout in Johannesburg, South Africa, February 12, 2019.

May 31, 2019

Technology and Innovation
What 5G Means for Energy

This is a guest post by Chris Bronk, assistant professor of computer and information systems and associate director of the Center for Information Security Research and Education at the University of …

China Telecom technicians test an equipment at the 5G network base station near Yellow River in Lanzhou, Gansu province, China May 16, 2019. Picture taken May 16, 2019.

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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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 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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March 4, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Election, With John Campbell

John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the recent election in Nigeria.

Podcast Supporters of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari celebrate in Kano.

March 4, 2019

India
Bright Future? Fourth Annual Review of Solar Scale-Up in India

This guest post is co-authored by Sarang Shidore, a visiting scholar at the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin, and Joshua Busby, associate professor of public affairs at the Robert S. S…

An employee works at a solar cell production line at Jupiter Solar Power Limited (JSPL) plant in Baddi, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India May 29, 2017.

June 13, 2019

Boko Haram
New Audio Offers Potential Window Into ISWA Decision-Making

Abdulbasit Kassim, leading Boko Haram scholar, recently discovered a thirty-eight-minute recording of a purported Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) communique. I translated it from the original Kanuri. It provides a particular version and explanation of ISWA's immediate history, and sheds light on why the group executed Mamman Nur, one of the Boko Haram’s founding fathers and an influential ideologue, its internal decision-making, and ISWA’s relationship with the Islamic State (IS). It is not clear, however, the extent to which what is described in the audio is true to what actually happened. 

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June 5, 2019

Diplomacy and International Institutions
The NBA's New Africa League Builds on Strong Foundation

In February, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it would set up a twelve-team-league, Basketball Africa. Slated to begin in 2020, it would be the first time that the NBA helped operate a league outside of the United States and Canada. The league would be in partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and would build on FIBA’s Africa League.

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March 7, 2019

Energy and Climate Policy
How Congressional Appropriations Can Be Leveraged as First Step Toward the Green New Deal

This is a guest post by Benjamin Silliman, research associate for Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Amid controversy whether the Green New Deal manifesto is …

U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) arrives for a news conference after a Senate vote on whether to overturn a presidential veto of the Keystone XL pipeline, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 4, 2015.