U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen completed a three-country trip across Africa this week that saw stops in the continent’s west and south. The visit sought to expand economic ties between the United States and Africa, in line with Washington’s much-touted desire to “reset” relations with the continent.
A diplomatic row between Sweden and Turkey escalated this week. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden that it should not expect Ankara’s backing to join NATO, after protesters burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm last week. Now, NATO officials are scrambling to defuse the tensions.
Saudi Arabia was a particularly prominent presence at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, but contrary to expectations, their focus was not on energy but rather geopolitics. The country’s finance and foreign ministers each made announcements with significant consequences for the region.
For over five years, she has been the global face of a different kind of leadership. But when she resigned as New Zealand’s prime minister Thursday, Jacinda Ardern’s face looked gaunter and more drawn than usual, revealing the strain of having governed the country through the Christchurch shooting and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ADF, regarded as an Islamic State affiliate, claimed responsibility for a bomb attack at a church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Jan. 15 that killed at least 17 people and wounded 39 more. It’s the latest high-profile incident in Congo’s eastern region, where a complex security challenge threatens regional stability.
European Commission officials are crafting a response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, as it becomes more apparent that Washington is unlikely to adopt changes to assuage European concerns. This week in Davos, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out some of the steps the union will take to keep Europe’s industry competitive.
Libya remains stuck in an intractable crisis, as efforts by the United Nations Support Mission there have so far failed to bridge the divide between the internationally recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, or GNU, and its rival, the Sirte-based Government of National Stability, or GNS.
It was all supposed to be behind Brazil—the fears of a post-election crisis that would undermine the country’s democracy. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had defeated Jair Bolsonaro in October’s election and been sworn into office. Brazil and the world breathed a sigh of relief for the country’s democracy. And then came Sunday.
Forty-six Ivorian soldiers who were detained in Mali since July 2022 returned to Cote d’Ivoire last week after they were pardoned by Mali’s interim military ruler, Col. Assimi Goita. But although resolution of the dispute could present both sides with the opportunity to reset relations, that will likely prove a tall order.
The war in Ukraine took a significant turn this week with the announcement that France is sending tanks to Ukraine, something that NATO members, including the U.S. and U.K., had long resisted. The move comes amid concerns that a Republican-controlled Congress in the U.S. may significantly cut aid to Ukraine.
One of the dangers of a U.S. foreign policy consensus is that once it’s formed, there are enormous market incentives for analysts in Washington to formulate smart-sounding ways to operationalize it, rather than to question it. We see all of these dynamics on display now when it comes to U.S. policy on China.
2022 was a year of significant events and developments across Africa, from coups and elections to climate change crises and breakthroughs. The year ahead is likely to see more of the same, even as the tectonic plates in global politics continue to shift, underlining Africa’s growing prominence in international affairs.
The EU failed to agree to a bloc-wide policy to require pre-departure coronavirus testing for travelers entering from China, amid a new wave of COVID-19 infections there. France, Italy and Spain already require a negative test result for travelers from China, but the EU was unable to agree on a similar requirement.
The beginning of a new year always provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of the previous year. While 2022 doesn’t have a flagship event that resonates quite like some years in the recent past, it nonetheless featured or foreshadowed a number of trends and developments that will likely have an impact in 2023 and beyond.