Over the last few months, there’s been a dramatic flare-up of fighting in Somaliland. Long regarded as one of the most stable and peaceful parts of the Horn of Africa, the conflict has left hundreds dead and seen over 200,000 flee. So, what exactly lies behind the violence?
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is on a nine-day tour of Africa that includes stops in Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia. But while Harris has strenuously avoided making references to Washington’s rivals, the growing competition for influence in Africa between the U.S. and China nonetheless loomed large during Harris’ tour.
Over the course of the past decade, Somaliland’s fortunes have drastically and irrevocably changed, raising hopes that engagement with foreign powers will translate into formal recognition. Unfortunately, recent violence between security forces and a local clan in the southeast show that things are never so straightforward.
Citizens in Kenya and South Africa took to the streets this week to protest the skyrocketing cost of living and the decline in the quality of public goods and services. But the protests also raise vital questions about the limits of elections and their ability to engender broader democratic accountability.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ethiopia and Niger this week, as part of Washington’s efforts to step up bilateral engagement with countries on the continent. Still, Washington’s framing of the visit is unlikely to convince skeptical African governments that the U.S. is sincere about treating them as equal partners.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa named a new minister this week to tackle the country’s electricity crisis as part of a Cabinet shakeup ahead of general elections next year. But many regard it as a half-hearted measure that is unlikely to produce the tangible policy reforms they argue South Africa desperately needs.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, signed a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership” between the two countries late last year. But the display of diplomatic pomp at the announcement obscured the complex and often fractious partnership between the two countries.