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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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July 18, 2018 Africa/Global: 10 Ways to Misunderstand the Trump Election, and Why They Still Matter
The weeks following the November 2016 election were rife with competing theories about how the unthinkable, in fact, happened. Pundits and analysts, not to mention ordinary people on social media, were quick to reduce the election results to some single factor that they insisted was to blame for handing the presidency to Trump. As the November 2018 midterm elections approach, the debate is both muted and more nuanced. But simplistic explanations still circulate and have their consequences. Deepening the analysis is as critical as ever, not for deciding whom to blame, but rather for debating the implications for action now.
June 20, 2018 Congo (Kinshasa): Ebola Response Shows Lessons Learned
The Democratic Republic of Congo has extensive experience in successfully containing Ebola outbreaks (the one which was reported in May is the ninth since the first in 1976). But this one, with cases in Mbandaka, a river-port city of over one million people on the country's western border, raised the nightmare scenario of spreading to other river-port cities such as the capital Kinshasa (over 11 million people), as well as Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, and Bangui in the Central African Republic. But, although victory is not assured, so far the response by national and international health agencies has been a model of applying lessons learned.
June 4, 2018 West Africa/Global: Tax Evasion without Borders
"On paper, the company that engineered and built the [$50 million mineral sands] processing plant [in Senegal] was SNC Lavalin-Mauritius Ltd, a local division of SNC Lavalin [Canada]. In reality, SNC Lavalin-Mauritius wasnít involved. It was a shell, created for the specific purpose of helping the engineering giant avoid tax payments. The company had no construction equipment and no office of its own. It operated from inside the Mauritius office of the offshoring law firm Appleby, which helped SNCLavalin create the shell company." - West Africa Leaks
May 21, 2018 Namibia/Africa: Afrobarometer Insights
In Namibia in 2014, the ruling SWAPO party decided to adopt a 50-50 gender quota for its representatives in the National Assembly. This brought the representation of women in the National Assembly to 41% in the election that year (more than twice the current 19% of women in the U.S. House of Representatives). Recent survey results show that the move has proved highly popular in Namibia, with 71% of women and 68% of men saying that such a quota should be mandated for all political parties.
May 7, 2018 USA/Africa: Achieving 100% Renewable Energy
"We canít have a working nation or a world if we donít stop the climate from careening out of control. Thatís been clear for decades now, but whatís been less clear is precisely what we should do about it. Happily, thatís no longer the case. We now know exactly what to do, and weíre increasingly certain it can be done. We have to switch off of coal, oil, and gas, and on to 100% wind, water, and sun energy sources." - Bill McKibben
May 7, 2018 USA/Africa: Renewable Energy Advances on Many Fronts
Resistance to rapid renewable energy expansion is still high, despite the acknowledged costs in climate change. The U.S. Power Africa initiative still funds predominately natural gas, although its investment in renewables is growing. In Kenya, the Kenyan and Chinese governments are pushing ahead with a coal-fired generation plant in Lamu, despite strong resistance from local environmentalists and the fact that China is rapidly abandoning coal at home. Nevertheless, technological changes and rising awareness of the damage done by fossil fuels are propelling new advances on many fronts.