After an already dramatic week, West Africa’s governance crisis reached a fever pitch earlier today amid conflicting reports from Burkina Faso that raised fears of yet another military coup attempt in the region. It is now difficult to see a scenario that would bring an improvement in West Africa’s security and political landscape.
Gambia has made indisputable progress since the ouster of longtime dictator Yahya Jammeh in 2016, but its transition to democracy remains far from complete. This is particularly the case regarding critical reform and transitional justice efforts needed to institutionalize Gambia’s democracy and safeguard it from backsliding.
The EU’s militarized security engagement in Africa is not new. What is new, however, is the institutional mechanisms by which the EU is providing security support to partner states in Africa. Often ignored is the question of whether increased EU support for militarized approaches actually increases security for Africans.
This past July, the International AIDS Conference was held in Montreal, Canada. But what was meant to be an opportunity to galvanize international cooperation against a disease that has killed millions devolved into a debate about the inequitable nature of visa regimes and their impact on attendance at global conferences.
In their speeches to the U.N. General Assembly this week, African leaders reflected on the common theme of the continent’s place in the world, while emphasizing a message of equity and inclusivity in global governance. This was underlined by their now-familiar demands for reform of the Security Council.
October will mark the one-year anniversary of the Sudanese military takeover from a transitional government created in 2019 after the overthrow of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir. But nearly 12 months later, the country faces a stalemated transition, economic malaise and political paralysis that could cause state failure.
Earlier this month, Zambia agreed to a $1.3 billion loan with the IMF that comes with stringent conditions. That development has sparked conversations elsewhere in Africa about a return to the kinds of IMF-imposed austerity programs seen in the 1980s and 1990s, and what the ramifications of those policies could be for Africans today.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is in Washington for a working visit to the U.S. at the invitation of President Joe Biden, a little over a month after the release of Washington’s “Africa Strategy” document. But Ramaphosa’s visit alone is unlikely to resolve the significant differences between Pretoria and Washington.
Since Queen Elizabeth II died last week at the age of 96, tributes to her have poured in from the U.K. and across the world. But many Africans regard the late queen as the symbol of a cruel institution that subjugated millions, plundered wealth from their lands and imposed conditions that continue to haunt them to this day.
Zambia has agreed to a $1.3 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund that is intended to bolster the debt-laden country’s macroeconomic stability. But the agreement’s conditions are evoking fears in Zambia and elsewhere across Africa of the debt crises of the 1980s and 1990s, and are likely to be unpopular with Zambians.
The Tokyo International Conference on African Development was held last weekend in Tunis, amid major transformations in international politics since the last conference in 2019. Japan’s efforts to expand its influence in Africa are regarded by many Africans and other observers as a model of international cooperation to be emulated.