Over the past year, I have fielded several requests from readers and interlocutors who sought out my thoughts and recommendations on literature, poetry and plays by African writers. To that end, I decided to create a list of some of my favorite literary works by African authors that were published in 2022.
This year’s most underreported event is the renewed fighting in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The violence is especially dangerous as it is essentially a proxy conflict between Congo and its neighbor Rwanda, with the potential to become a direct military confrontation—and a regional war.
In late November, the leaders of the Accra Initiative, a collaborative security mechanism designed to target the region’s common security challenges, launched a multilateral task force to counter terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crime. But the new force and others like it largely mistake symptoms for causes.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted 49 African leaders during this week’s U.S.-Africa Summit in an effort to improve ties damaged by the four tumultuous years of the Trump administration. Biden administration officials announced a raft of initiatives as a signal of Washington’s intent. But it is unlikely the summit alone will overcome lukewarm attitudes in African capitals toward Washington.
On Dec. 12, Sam Bankman-Fried, once described as the J.P. Morgan of the crypto industry, was arrested and charged with defrauding investors, just a month after his $32 billion cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, filed for bankruptcy. FTX’s collapse sent shockwaves through the crypto world, perhaps felt nowhere more acutely than in Africa.
Even as both sides in Ethiopia implement the first steps of a peace accord, the impact of its civil war can be seen in regional and international responses to other conflicts in Africa. That could presage deep changes in how the West engages with African security issues, and the distribution of roles in addressing them.
Despite a third round of peace talks between the government of Congo and representatives of major rebel groups this week, ongoing tensions in eastern Congo are raising fears of the conflict potentially escalating into an interstate war. It would be a dismal end to a year that has already proven to be a bloody one across the continent.
The peace deal ending the war between Ethiopian federal government and the TPLF is a breakthrough, not because it handed victory to one side, but because it reestablished the federal constitutional framework, however contested, as the blueprint for resolving the political and constitutional disputes at the heart of the conflict.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s political future hangs in the balance after an independent panel found evidence that he had violated the country’s constitution and breached the country’s anti-corruption laws in an incident involving large sums of cash stolen from one of his properties two years ago.