In Case You Missed It: 5/2/16 – 5/8/16

By George Bamu on May 8, 2016

World Economic Forum on Africa

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and about Africa, for those who need help catching up.

In this week’s news, the World Economic Forum on Africa holds in the Rwandan capital, and African push for a European-style integration of the continent.

Who Cares: World Economic Forum on Africa Holds In Rwanda

The 26th World Economic Forum on Africa, a part of the World Economic Forum, a not-for-profit platform which engages leaders and nations around the world for public-private partnerships, is scheduled to hold in the Rwandan capital, Kigali from May 11 to 13.…

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In Case You Missed It: 11/30/15 – 12/6/15

By Raevyn Goates on December 7, 2015

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.

This week, the Africa Pavilion at COP21 kicks off, China gives $60 billion in aid to Africa, and Libya takes steps towards peace.

iisd reporting services

President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin attends the Africa Pavilion at COP21

  1. Africa Pavilion at COP21 Begins

A panel comprised of African heads of state, government officials, and representatives of businesses and institutions officially opened the African Pavilion at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris this week. Among the speakers were President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, who discussed the potential effects of climate change on African economies and development.…

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Is it time for an African Spring? Newsweek: Don’t assume that Africans are powerless

By George Bamu on November 16, 2013

Newsweek_African Spring

The idea of an Arab Spring for sub-Saharan Africa may seem far-fetched, but it appears the idea is something that the region needs, to provide cushion to the economic growth and development that is taking place there today.

During the now famous Arab Spring, which started in Tunisia in December 2010, revolutionaries in the Arab world used both “demonstrations and protests,” some violent and others non-violent, to remove entrenched


A Newsweek portrayal of entrenched leaders in the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa.

regimes from power. In other cases, regimes were destabilized and continue to be destabilized in the Arab world and the Middle East.…

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Obama majority includes many who are yearning for real engagement with Africa

By George Bamu on November 12, 2012

The Denver Post

World Reacts to Obama Victory-

The recriminations are pouring in; Mitt Romney and the GOP lost the elections, big time. What’s the reason for the loss? Let’s take a look at what people are saying in America and beyond.

Many pundits, including those who wrongly predicted the outcome of the elections, attribute the main cause to changing U.S. demographics.  Ross Douthat, a conservative voice for the New York Times editorial pages calls this change, “The Obama Realignment.”

Douthat wrote, rather candidly on November 7, a day after the elections, “The age of Reagan is officially over, and the Obama majority is the only majority we have.” What a statement!…

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Opinion: U.S. Politics, Leave Mali Alone!

By George Bamu on October 27, 2012

BBC News/Getty Images

Mali’s civilian leader; President Dioncounda Traore (left) with Prime Minister Diarra

The idea that Mali is a snap shot of what goes on in Africa is a crazy one.  It’s a crazy idea because Mali is the newest impression when talk of Africa comes up at any moment. At least that’s what happens when Americans continue to see Africa from the lens of one fractured African nation.

Problem is, there are not many fractured or disintegrated African nations left in 2012.

By contract, most African nations today, two-thirds of which lie below the Sahara, are fully functional entities, with legitimate and stable governments and institutions in place.…

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If anything, what will the candidates say about sub-Saharan Africa?

By George Bamu on October 21, 2012

Freedom House

The last presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 will be heavy on foreign policy, we are told.  As Election Day in America draws closer and closer, “everyone” closely following the race, has their own questions for the presidential candidates.

On October 16, Freedom House, ‘an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world,” posed 16 sharp questions for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to answer. Freedom House did so in anticipation of what it thinks would be a much heated debate on Monday October 22 between the two candidates for the U.S. presidency.…

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Suddenly, Northern Africa thrusted into U.S. presidential politics

By George Bamu on September 16, 2012

Wall Street Journal

Middle East Unrest

If you thought foreign policy would remain a non-issue in the current race for the U.S presidency, think again. While the pundits were “talking a good game” about the economy and jobs, abortion, immigration, few had given thought to the obscure movie trailer posted on YouTube, bashing Islam,  and the potential consequences it could bring to the race for the White House.

Point is, no one saw this coming. Not even the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency(CIA.) What exactly went wrong is the subject of this interesting Washington Post opinion piece.

Here we are with a heated talk of foreign policy, a few weeks before November 6.…

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Gaddafi U.N. speech puts ordinary Africans in a bind

By George Bamu on September 30, 2009

Good speech–Bad speech

At a time when Africa badly needs good PR, the speech delivered by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at the U.N General Assembly may have done more harm than good for the continent.

For one thing, Gaddafi represents not just his country Libya–he is also chairman of the African Union.

Not only was it a controversial speech, marked by outbursts of anger, his presentation spoke volumes about the influential role that Gaddafi now exerts on the nations he represents.

For many ordinary Africans that I have spoken with, the reactions remain mixed. The questions raised have many split along lines of liberation for the continent as well as questions about progress far removed and separate from African history and the realities of the 21st century.…

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Is Gaddafi right man to lead AU?

By George Bamu on February 12, 2009


Muammar Gaddafi

At a meeting of the 12th ordinary session of the assembly of the heads of state and governments of the African Union (AU) on February 2, representatives elected Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi as the new AU chair.

Gaddafi’s role as chair would be to help set and implement the AU’s agenda during the period for which he is elected to serve. The leadership position of the AU is a rotating position similar to the chair of the European Union. Gaddafi takes over from Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete.

Already, Gaddafi is stirring up controversy by saying that democracy is not good for Africa and is calling for African nations to emulate the system that now exists in socialist Libya, where multi-party elections are outlawed.…

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