A billboard is installed on an apartment building in Cape Town, South Africa, March 25, 2020 (AP photo by Nardus Engelbrecht).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. With more than 3,200 cases and 83 deaths now reported across Africa, in 46 different countries, experts are warning the continent’s leaders that they are rapidly running out of time to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. Governments are under pressure to take radical steps to contain the pandemic. South Africa, the continent’s second-largest economy, entered a strict, 21-day lockdown Thursday. Governments across the continent appear poised to follow suit. While these measures are seen as critical to slowing the spread […]

Outside the Yaba Mainland hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, Feb. 28, 2020 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. After a delayed arrival of the novel coronavirus, there are now more than 720 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 20 related deaths across Africa. With the head of the World Health Organization warning the continent to “prepare for the worst,” African leaders are turning to extraordinary measures to try and slow the pandemic’s spread before it can overwhelm their fragile health systems. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 on the continent came only in mid-February, weeks after the outbreak had spread […]

Vigilantes and local hunters armed with locally made guns patrol on the street in Yola, Nigeria, Feb. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Africa’s Sahel region, the long stretch of scrubland that extends from Mauritania to Sudan, has emerged as a critical global hotspot in recent years, as national governments struggle to contain growing insecurity, rampant criminality and waves of violent extremism. But efforts to stabilize this transcontinental belt just south of the Sahara have largely overlooked one critical driver of tensions: the centuries-old but increasingly violent disputes between nomadic herding and sedentary farming communities. A recent influx of weapons has given these conflicts new and deadly force, with grave implications for international security. The scale of the recent violence stemming from herder-farmer […]

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, at a press conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, March 9, 2020 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. The European Union unveiled a new strategy this week for building a closer relationship with Africa that looks to move beyond the focus on migration that has dominated Europe’s engagement with the continent since 2015. Observers cautioned that despite new rhetoric from Brussels about adopting a shared response to climate change and improving trade relations, migration was likely to continue to dictate the EU’s relationship with African countries, and its spending across the continent. “Our growth and security depend on what happens […]

Gambian President Adama Barrow, right, drives with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Banjul, Gambia, Jan. 21, 2019 (AP photo).

BANJUL, Gambia—In late February, eight political activists were released on bail from the Mile 2 maximum security prison outside Banjul, the capital of this small West African country. They had been arrested along with more than a hundred others for participating in a demonstration in January calling on Adama Barrow to follow through on his earlier promise to step down as Gambia’s president this year. The protest’s organizers had received authorization from the government. But as a crowd gathered on the outskirts of Banjul to start the march, police fired teargas and charged the would-be protesters with batons. Dozens were […]

Election posters of Togo’s president, Faure Gnassingbe.

Faure Gnassingbe was reelected late last month for a fourth term as president of the small West African country of Togo. The result was no surprise. Faure, as he is known locally, and his father before him, Gnassingbe Eyadema, have ruled Togo and its 8 million inhabitants for over five decades combined. Despite a lighter touch than his notoriously brutal father, Faure has effectively hollowed out ostensibly democratic processes like elections to perpetuate his family’s long reign. Togo’s Constitutional Court this week certified that Faure won the Feb. 22 election with more than 70 percent of the vote to former […]

Shoppers and vendors at Bandim Market in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, May 27, 2012 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. As a political crisis escalates in Guinea-Bissau over its disputed December presidential vote, a West African regional bloc is warning the country’s military against intervening in the standoff. The roots of the crisis trace back to New Year’s Day, after the National Electoral Commission declared opposition leader Umaro Sissoco Embalo the winner of the second-round run-off election with nearly 54 percent of the vote. Embalo defeated Domingos Simoes Pereira, the candidate of the long-ruling PAIGC party. A clean election with a clear […]