Mozambique's President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, Sept. 28, 2015 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

Dialogue between the government of Mozambique and the Renamo opposition movement continued to advance this week, with the ruling Frelimo party naming its final negotiating team after three rounds of preparatory talks. Renamo had already announced its expanded team of negotiators last week for the talks, which are to take place under international mediation in an effort to bring an end to a surge in attacks by Renamo followers on road and rail cargo. The agreement to begin negotiations, and to allow international observers to mediate them, represented a major concession by the government and follows a significant increase in […]

A shopping area in the Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya, May 7, 2015 (Flickr photo by Ninara, CC by 2.0).

NAIROBI, KENYA—One chilly evening late last month, Nathanial Ndichu wandered the tarmac roads of Githurai, one of the rambling and largely informal neighborhoods on the outskirts of Nairobi, searching for a place to sleep. After eight years of living in Kenya’s frenetic capital city, Ndichu, an 18-year-old unemployed day laborer, thought he had put this kind of precariousness behind him. But as darkness fell, he sounded less frightened than bewildered, genuinely confused as to how he was homeless, once again. “Akuna mtu aliye mleta mwingine uku Nairobi,” he said with resignation in Swahili. The phrase’s literal translation means “no person […]

People crowd around market stalls, Lagos, Nigeria, June 20, 2016 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Nigeria’s currency, the naira, lost 30 percent of its value after the Central Bank of Nigeria abandoned its peg to the dollar on June 20. The bank’s move was a substantial but long-overdue shift after a year of haphazard and detrimental economic policy under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It took 16 months for the bank to abandon its peg, which had exacerbated negative external economic factors, including depressed global oil prices, and helped move the country toward a recession. The lag in policy change is indicative of a slow, centralized and politicized decision-making process under Buhari. The abandoning […]

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee with Cote d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast, June 14, 2016 (AP photo by Diomande Bleblonde).

Earlier this month, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee went on a six-day tour of Africa, visiting Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia, where he announced new grant assistance and lines of credit as well as expanded scholarship opportunities. In an email interview, Amanda Lucey, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, discusses India’s outreach to Africa. WPR: How extensive are India’s political and economic ties with Africa, and what sectors are the main focus of India’s outreach to the continent? Amanda Lucey: India has long-standing ties with Africa, stemming from a shared history of colonization, ancient trade ties […]

Search and rescue team members at the Lily Gold Mine, Barberton, South Africa, Feb. 13, 2016 (AP photo).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries. South Africa announced that its economy had shrunk by 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016, bringing the country even closer to recession. In an email interview, Ross Harvey, a senior researcher at the South African Institution of International Affairs, discusses the role of the mining sector for South Africa’s economy and the effects of the current commodities slump. WPR: How important are commodities for South Africa’s economy, and what impact have falling commodities prices had […]

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi with Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi and Ennahda party vice-president Abdelfattah Mourou, Rades, Tunisia, May 20, 2016 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).

One of the secondary effects of the terrible shooting in Orlando, Florida, has been to relaunch the debate on whether public officials have misidentified the terrorist threat at home by failing to call it “radical Islam” or “Islamic extremism.” At another point along the spectrum of Islamic political activism is Tunisia’s Ennahda party. Often described as a “moderate Islamist” party, its leaders recently decided to separate Ennahda’s political and religious activities, going so far as to ban party leaders from preaching in mosques or holding positions in religious associations. That raises the question of whether a party whose followers would […]

U.N. peacekeepers from China at a U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali camp, Gao, Mali, Jan. 27, 2014 (U.N. photo by Marco Dormino).

China is becoming an important military player in Africa. It has sent combat troops to bolster the United Nations operation in South Sudan, is opening a naval station in Djibouti, and has promised to invest in African Union peace operations. Is this evidence of Beijing’s creeping bid for superpower status, as pessimistic Western observers fear, or a positive sign that it is can contribute more to global stability? As Mathieu Duchatel, Manuel Lafont Rapnouil and I argue in a new report from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), it would be odd if China did not take a greater […]

Migrants and refugees crowd the tracks of a railway station used as a makeshift camp, Idomeni, Greece, May 5, 2016 (AP photo by Gregorio Borgia).

On Friday, the aid group Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym, MSF, announced that it will no longer take money from the European Union or any of its member states, in a denunciation of the union’s “intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores.” In 2015, the group received about $42 million from member states and nearly $21 million from the EU itself. The move is a response to a deal between the EU and Turkey, in which Turkey agreed to take back all migrants, including Syrian refugees, who arrived on Greek islands, in […]

Employees of the Chinese-owned Huajian International Shoe City prepare a shipment of women’s loafers for export to the United States, Dukem, Ethiopia, April, 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Rosen).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss political violence and terrorism in the United States, France and Africa in the wake of the Orlando shooting. For the Report, Jonathan Rosen joins us to talk about Ethiopia’s push toward industrialization. Listen:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Easy Access to Guns, Not Terrorism, Is the Enemy in Orlando Shooting Playing the Long Game: Getting Past Near-Term Thinking on Terrorism France Takes the Gloves Off After Paris Attacks, but Will It Overreach? France’s Overstretched Military Not Enough to Stabilize the Sahel Made […]

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz at the end of an EU-Africa summit, Brussels, April 3, 2014 (AP photo by Yves Logghe).

Against a broader backdrop of regional turmoil, Mauritania has remained surprisingly, if delicately stable. This feat is especially noteworthy given that just a few years ago the country was considered at significant risk of destabilization. Its politics and society have been perennially buffeted by the storms of racial tensions, ethnic cleavages and political volatility. Since its independence from France in 1960, Mauritania has wavered precariously between this state of fragile stability and state collapse. Its record of successive coups and attempted coups between 1978 and 2008; major ethnic clashes in 1989 and 1990; and terrorist attacks between 2005 and 2011 […]

Women stitch pieces of a cotton dress at the Ayka-Addis textile and garment factory, Oromia, Ethiopia, April, 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Rosen).

ALEM GENA, Ethiopia—As she shuffles about the factory floor, watching over the machines that weave spools of thread into fabric, Asrat Yimam personifies the future of the Ethiopian workforce. A 27-year-old mother of one from the nearby capital, Addis Ababa, Yimam has spent the past six years toiling for Ayka-Addis, a Turkish-owned textile and garment factory and the largest firm in Ethiopia’s emerging apparel industry. Six days a week, for 1,500 birr ($68) a month after taxes, she rises early for her eight-hour shift, dons her spotted blue and white Ayka uniform, and spends her day churning out cotton for […]

Benin's president, Patrice Talon, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, April 26, 2016 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

Benin’s two-round elections, held earlier this year on March 6 and March 20, delivered a decisive victory for opposition candidate and cotton magnate Patrice Talon. As in some other Francophone West African countries, the two-round system facilitated a political upset. Talon finished in second place in the first round, with just 23.5 percent of the vote. In the second round, however, he defeated outgoing President Thomas Boni Yayi’s handpicked candidate, then-Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, with more than 65 percent of the vote. Zinsou quickly conceded, and Benin won international acclaim for the latest milestone in its 25-year-old democracy. Talon has […]

A Congolese soldier casting his ballot at a polling station, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, March 20, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

The Republic of Congo rarely captures global attention, but the government’s military attacks on civilians, which have raged since early April, have become impossible to ignore. On April 4, amid a five-day media blackout, the results of the March 20 presidential elections were announced. To nobody’s surprise, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso secured yet another term. Sassou, as he’s known in Congo, has held nearly uninterrupted power since 1979, through elections that are routinely marred by fraud and closed to international observers. The March vote was no different. After the results were announced, young protesters set fire to the government’s administrative headquarters […]

Chad's former dictator, Hissene Habre, during the proceedings of the Extraordinary African Chambers, Dakar, Senegal, May 30, 2016 (AP photo by Carley Petesch).

The conviction last week of Chad’s former president, Hissene Habre, for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture is a significant victory for the civil society campaign that has fought tirelessly for more than 20 years to bring him to justice. In a Senegalese courtroom last Monday, Habre was sentenced to life in prison for his ultimate responsibility, as Chad’s head of state from 1982 to 1990, for thousands of cases of torture in secret prisons, along with killings, rapes and waves of repression against communities that opposed his rule. Delivering his verdict, the head of the specially created Extraordinary […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ugandan President Yowri Museveni arrive at the State House, Entebbe, Uganda, June 1, 2016 (AP photo by Stephen Wandera).

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went on a four-day visit of East Africa, stopping in Uganda, Kenya and Somalia to promote trade, tourism and security ties. In an email interview, David Shinn, an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and former U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, discussed Turkey’s outreach to East Africa. WPR: Who are Turkey’s main partners in East Africa, and what are the key areas of cooperation? David Shinn: Turkey has an embassy in every country in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, but has made […]

The scene of clashes between protesters and police armed with tear gas, in the Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya, May 23, 2016 (AP photo by Ben Curtis)

Kenya’s national elections are more than a year away, but political tensions are already rising. Starting in late April, the main political opposition group began organizing a near-weekly protest against the commission charged with organizing the vote. Known as the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) and led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, it has accused the commission’s members of being in the pocket of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is set to stand for a second term. The recent demonstrations have consistently been met with widespread police brutality; at least three protesters were killed during the latest incident late […]

South Korean President Park Geun-hye gives a speech to the African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 27, 2016 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

Last week, South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in Ethiopia, the first stop on her week-long Africa tour that also includes visits to Kenya and Uganda. In an email interview, J. Berkshire Miller, a fellow on Japan for the Pacific Forum CSIS, discussed South Korea’s ties in Africa. WPR: How extensive are South Korea’s political and economic ties in Africa, and what countries are its main partners? J. Berkshire Miller: South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s visit to Africa is meant to underscore her administration’s desire to have a more comprehensive and robust relationship with key states on the continent. As […]