German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hands over an invitation to the G-7 Summit in Elmau to Senegalese President Macky Sall, before a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, May 22, 2022 (DPA photo by Michael Kappeler via AP Images).

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made his inaugural visit to Africa with a three-nation tour that began in Senegal and concluded in South Africa. His trip came a little over three months after a visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was abruptly cut short by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The ongoing crisis there and its geopolitical ramifications—including for food and energy security, international security and the future of the international system more broadly—were prominent features of Scholz’s visit.  The salience of those issues is reflected in the countries on Scholz’s itinerary. Senegal is regarded as a regional pillar of stability and […]

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni attends the state funeral of former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi, Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 11, 2020 (AP photo by John Muchucha).

Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, celebrated his 48th birthday with a series of public parties. The events were widely viewed as the thinly veiled launch of a political project that would see Muhoozi succeed his father. The move follows years of similar, albeit more subtle, maneuvers—particularly Muhoozi’s rapid rise through the ranks of the country’s military; the apparent purge of potential contenders within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party; increased public appearances; and, more recently, his flurry of meetings with various diplomats and heads of state. It is not yet clear what is prompting the apparent acceleration of the […]

Chad’s interim president, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron for a meeting on the Sahel crisis at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Nov. 12, 2021 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

The spate of military takeovers and attempted coups across Africa over the past two years has led to speculation in some quarters about a generalized “return to military rule” or “coup contagion” on the continent. In August 2020, a group of Malian officers led by Col. Assimi Goita overthrew the government of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. A little over nine months later, Goita also deposed the transitional government the interim junta had selected to steer the country back toward a democratically elected civilian government. In Guinea and Sudan, the army toppled civilian leaders last year, while Chad’s armed forces […]

French President Emmanuel Macron looks at Beninese art during a ceremony for the return of 26 works to Benin, with Benin Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, at the Quai Branly Museum-Jacques Chirac, Paris, October 27, 2021 (Sipa via AP Images).

COTONOU, Benin—During a February press conference announcing a new exhibition of newly repatriated treasures, Jean-Michel Abimbola, Benin’s minister of culture, was asked by a British journalist to address the common claim that European museums are better able to care for African artifacts than African ones. He responded curtly. “I'm not sure we can continue to support this argument vis-à-vis Benin,” Abimbola said. “This will amount to asking whether Black people have souls, and I would not like to answer this question.” His statement was a strong one and underscored the importance of the new exhibition, titled “Benin Art from Yesterday […]