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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
Earlier Issues: Last 50 | Full Archive
January 13, 2020 Russia/Africa: Upping Its Stake in Multi-Player Field
The Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia in late October 2019 prompted a flurry of news coverage, highlighting such headline figures as sales agreements amounting to more than $12 billion. But it was not clear how much this was a real sign of significant expansion of Russian influence or primarily a public relations gloss on more limited involvement. Among the more analytical articles covering the summit was a well-informed article by Joe Penney in Passblue on October 28, which noted that ”While many memorandums were signed, actual contracts were few and far between, inviting speculation as to whether the summit was more about power projection than real business.”
December 16, 2019 Africa/Global: Editor´s Commentaries, 2019
Just before this year’s global climate summit opened in Madrid recently, researchers announced that emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will hit a record high in 2019. Deeper and faster cuts are needed, beginning immediately and continuing over the next 10 years. The primary responsibility for cutting fossil fuel emissions falls to the developed countries that are historically the greatest contributors to the problem, as well as to countries with large populations such as China and India that are also now among the top in global emissions. Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change, which are already being felt. But with a thriving off-grid solar market and hundreds of millions of people waiting for electricity, Africa also offers huge potential for contributing to solutions.
December 9, 2019 Africa: Continental Unity and Industrialization?
“If it unfolds appropriately, the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) could facilitate the emergence of regional value chains that allow the continent as a whole to move to a higher level of value-added production. These would arise if its preferences facilitate the emergence of higher value-added productive activities in a number of countries producing components for an increasing range of “products of the African continent” supplied to consumers on the continent, as well as eventually also exported. ... This would of course depend not just on a tariff regime but on programmes addressing the other barriers identified in the development integration paradigm – inadequate infrastructure and more effective cooperation to promote industrial development.” – Rob Davies, former South African Minister of Trade and Industry, 2009-2019
November 25, 2019 USA/Africa: At Home in Maine
“Safiya overcame so many obstacles, I can’t find the words to describe how much we’re proud of her. Internet trolls could not stop her, threats could not stop her. She’s the perspective the city needs. It’s a really big deal, a tremendous transformation for this city.” - Mo Khalid, speaking of his sister Safiya Khalid on her election to the Lewiston, Maine City Council on November 6, 2019
November 11, 2019 Tanzania: Human Rights Restrictions Mounting
In a joint press release in late October, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch announced two separately researched reports concluding that “Tanzania’s repression of the media, human rights defenders, and opposition parties has intensified since 2015. … Both reports found that President John Magufuli’s government has adopted or enforced a raft of repressive laws that stifle independent journalism and severely restrict the activities of nongovernmental organizations and the political opposition.”
October 28, 2019 Africa/Global: Untapped Potential for Africa Climate Actions
From off-grid solar home systems (SHS) to utility-scale solar and wind installations, the potential for major advances in use of renewable energy is growing rapidly on the African continent. If this potential is materialized at a faster pace, Africa countries could contribute significantly to mitigating the global climate crisis. This would also reduce the ongoing damage to the environmental health of their citizens, whether from kerosene lamps in rural areas or massive coal pollution in South Africa.