South African President Cyril Ramaphosa looks on during the presentation of the final report of the Zondo Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, June 22, 2022 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa rose to power five years ago pledging to pursue a policy of “radical economic transformation” and to stamp out corruption in the country’s politics. In his first speech after becoming the leader of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress in 2017, which preceded his accession to South Africa’s presidency the following year, he said that “corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality.” He further vowed to initiate his war on graft within the ANC’s ranks. But after more than four years in office as president of South […]

A supporter of the Polisario Front and Western Sahara waves a flag reading “Free Sahara,” Logrono, Spain, June 8, 2021 (AP photo by Alvaro Barrientos).

On June 8, Algeria suspended its Friendship and Neighborliness Treaty with Spain, in response to Madrid’s recent alignment with Morocco on the Western Sahara conflict. While the suspension of the treaty so far excludes contracts for gas, of which Algeria is Spain’s biggest supplier, it could jeopardize relations with the European Union. But with the change in Madrid’s position, Algeria felt it had to act to send a message, even if it comes at considerable cost. At first glance, the tensions might come as a surprise. Algeria should be riding high from the recent increase in global gas prices that […]

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greet each other at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, in Kigali, Rwanda, June 24, 2022 (AP photo by Muhizi Olivier).

After having been twice postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, or CHOGM, opened today in Kigali, Rwanda. The gathering will feature high-level meetings of government leaders from the Commonwealth of Nations, a 54-member association of countries, most of which are former territories of the British Empire. In addition to more than 35 heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Americas and the Caribbean, this year’s meeting—the first in Africa since 2007—will be attended by an estimated 8,000 guests, including official delegations and top business executives. The leaders’ summit was also preceded by […]

President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone speaks during the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 2, 2021 (Reuters pool photo by Hannah McKay via AP).

When Sierra Leone released the provisional figures of its population and housing census on May 31, the numbers suggested a population increase of 6.3 percent since the last count in 2015. That’s not an unexpected rise over a six-year period, given that the country’s estimated annual growth rate was 3.2 percent during the 10 years prior. Nevertheless, the way population growth was distributed across the country has sparked ongoing debate about the credibility of the census, particularly in anticipation of general elections next year. The country’s southern and eastern districts saw significant population jumps, with the biggest increases in Kenema, with […]

Members of the Ethiopian military parade with national flags attached to their rifles at a rally to show support for the Ethiopian National Defense Force, in Meskel square in downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov. 7, 2021 (AP photo).

During an African Union summit on humanitarian work in late May, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed affirmed his government’s “commitment to ensuring assistance reaches those afflicted by natural and manmade disasters,” and called on international partners to “scale up their support for humanitarian services across the continent.” The statement drew the ire of some commentators, who regarded it as an empty promise at a time when Ethiopia itself is enduring a dire humanitarian crisis, particularly in the war-ravaged northern region of Tigray and the neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar, to which forces under Abiy’s command have contributed. Nevertheless, Abiy’s statement […]

King Philippe of Belgium greets 100-year-old Albert Kunyuku, the last surviving Congolese veteran of World War II, during a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, June 8, 2022 (AP photo by Samy Ntumba Shambuyi).

King Philippe of Belgium completed a “landmark” six-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday that was characterized by Brussels as an attempt to grapple with its brutal colonial past in Congo. The “historic” trip, which marks Philippe’s first visit to Congo since he took the throne in 2013, came two years after the Belgian king wrote a letter to Tshisekedi to express his “deep regret” for the “wounds of the past” on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independence from Belgium. In doing so, Philippe became the first Belgian royal to express remorse for the Belgian […]

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum for a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, Feb. 16, 2022.

Back in February, when French President Emmanuel Macron announced that troops from France’s Barkhane mission as well as the European Union’s Takuba task force  would be withdrawn from Mali, Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum raised eyebrows by declaring that Niger would welcome the French and European troops on its territory. Since then, legislators in Niger passed a bill that authorizes the government to host more European troops in the country as part of the French-led regional counterterrorism operations. But the move has drawn considerable opposition from a wide array of Nigeriens, including figures from the political opposition, civil society groups and […]

William Kamkwamba, inventor known as “the boy who harnessed the wind,” seen at Red Bull Amaphiko Academy in Durban, South Africa on June 18, 2019.

Just over a week ago, Forbes published its highly anticipated “30 Under 30” list for the African continent. As the publication’s editors put it, this list showcases the “best and brightest” young “trailblazers” in Africa working on everything from medicine to fashion. The annual publication of “Africa 30 Under 30” is just one part of Forbes’ larger effort to highlight and encourage entrepreneurship in Africa. It comes shortly after the company’s first ever Under 30 Summit in Botswana in April, which brought together the world’s “most elite young entrepreneurs” to hear from and network with leaders in government and business. […]

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump upended what was once a relatively staid global economic and trade system. For all of the upheaval he created, though, Trump left office with only one clear-cut accomplishment: an updated NAFTA deal. And even as Trump sowed chaos in America’s trade relationships, most of the world reinforced its commitment to trade liberalization.

Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, center, waves to the crowd after declaring he will run for next year’s presidential election, Abuja, Nigeria, March 23, 2022 (AP photo by Gbemiga Olamikan).

Though the election isn’t until next year, the race to determine the next president of Nigeria is officially underway, as the country’s two main parties have nominated their flagbearers for the contest to succeed outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari. The ruling All Progressives Congress, or APC, has selected Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and a key player behind a 2013 merger of what were then Nigeria’s three biggest opposition parties, as its presidential candidate in the election scheduled for February 2023. Tinubu’s main challengers will be former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, or PDP, and Peter […]

Ghanaian special force soldiers taking part in the annual US.-led counterterrorism training known as Flintlock, patrol near base camp Loumbila, Jacqueville, Cote d’Ivoire, Feb. 16, 2022 (AP photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui).

Last month, Islamist fighters attacked a military post in Togo, killing eight soldiers and wounding 13 others. Benin has experienced at least nine recorded attacks attributed to Islamist militant groups in its borderlands since December 2021. And in a February incident in Benin’s northern tripoint area bordering Niger and Burkina Faso, a patrol team struck several improvised explosive devices, killing eight people, including four Beninese park rangers. The attacks point to a trend in recent years in which militant Islamist groups in the Sahel subregion of West Africa have increasingly targeted littoral countries to the south. That wasn’t supposed to happen. At the outset of the insurgencies that have undermined security in the Sahel […]

Angolan President Joao Lourenco during a news conference at the Belem presidential palace in Lisbon, Nov. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Armando Franca).

In August 2022, Angolans will go to the polls for parliamentary elections that—under the country’s electoral system, in which the leader of the party with most votes becomes president—also serve as a presidential election. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, which has been in power for half a century, has confirmed that its leader and incumbent President Joao Lourenco will stand for reelection. Lourenco’s first term has been characterized by a failure to make good on a number of his initial promises, resulting in protests that have in turn been met with a crackdown on […]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is greeted at the opening session of the 33rd AU Summit, where he handed over chairmanship of the bloc to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 9, 2020 (AP photo).

Last weekend, the African Union hosted two summits in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, aimed at tackling Africa’s humanitarian and political crises. The events were scheduled ahead of the 20th anniversary of the continental bloc’s establishment in July. The first, held on Friday, May 27, was a humanitarian summit and pledging conference examining the root causes of the continent’s humanitarian crises, while the other, on May 28, was centered on terrorism and unconstitutional changes of government as drivers of instability. The gatherings sought to identify long-lasting solutions to the many humanitarian and political challenges across the continent, with special emphasis on financing, post-conflict recovery, […]

A man holds a banner as Gambians cheers in Serrekunda, Gambia, Jan. 19, 2017 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

BANJUL, Gambia—The Gambian government’s announcement last week that it will prosecute exiled former President Yahya Jammeh for a wide range of atrocities committed under his rule offers new hope to his victims for justice and closure. The announcement, made in a white paper, was the government’s formal response to the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, or TRRC, which were delivered in November 2021. The TRRC was launched in 2018 to hear cases and compile an impartial record of alleged human rights violations and abuses between 1994 and 2017, when Jammeh had ruled Gambia with an iron fist. From January 2019 […]

Forces loyal to Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, one of Libya’s two rival prime ministers, secure the streets of the capital, Tripoli, May, 17, 2022 (AP photo by Yousef Murad).

Libyans could be forgiven for feeling an uneasy sense of déjà vu in recent months. Last year many had hoped the country was finally moving on from a long struggle between rival authorities. But the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, or GNU, that was established in 2021 as part of the United Nations-led political process has been challenged since March by a rival government appointed through a disputed parliamentary vote. Earlier this month the head of that parallel authority, Fathi Bashaga, sparked militia clashes when he tried to install himself in the capital, before ultimately being forced to leave. The […]