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rrotberg

rrotberg has written 159 posts for Africa and Asia: The Key Issues

The End of Impunity: What Lula’s Jailing Means

Brazil’s jailing of its beloved former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday sent a strong signal to all of Latin America that the era of political impunity was over. Some presidents in Brazil and other South American countries have been impeached, but very few politicians have previously been sent to prison, and none … Continue reading

Beating Back Terror in Africa

Africans are containing terror and terrorists, but declaring victory against the forces of revolution and insurrection in 2018 is premature It is still a massive work in progress In addition to the swirl of repetitive civil conflict in such disparate African countries as Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South … Continue reading

Dividing Waters: Africa’s New Disharmony Flows from the NIle

The cradle of human civilization developed in northeastern Africa largely because of abundant supplies of flowing water and the annual floods that submerged fertile soils along the Nile River. But ambitious modern economic-development initiatives threaten the liquid promises of millennia past and urban lives ahead. Ethiopia is now building a massive dam that will slow, … Continue reading

Zuma Goes, Ramaphosa Comes: A Move that Should Save South Africa

  President Jacob Zuma’s ouster and the ANC’s Leader Cyril Ramaphosa’s assumption of power should save South Africa. Mr. Zuma announced he was resigning Wednesday evening. However, what matters more is the fact that South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) dismissed him Sunday as a corrupt embarrassment. The ANC traded Mr. Ramaphosa for Mr. … Continue reading

Africa’s Critical Challenges in 2018

Terrorism, civil conflict, global warming, population growth, urb- anization, education, economic sustainability, managing China, strengthening leadership and improving governance are Africa’s 10 most pressing problems as 2018 unfolds None of these acute challenges is new, but 2018 will see each of them become more central to Africa’s ability to improve the standards of living and … Continue reading

New ANC Leader Could Signal A Return to South Africa’s Glory Days

By choosing Cyril Ramaphosa, 65, as the new head of the African National Congress, South Africa’s dominant political party has its last best chance to return the nation to the glory last experienced under the late president Nelson Mandela. The party congress Monday rejected the current, beleaguered and court-challenged reign of President Jacob Zuma and … Continue reading

Bribing to Get Oil Rights

  Gaining preferential access to potentially lucrative petroleum deposits always attracts ambitious prospectors, in Africa as in Asia and Latin America. Often procuring such preferences can only be accomplished by knowing the politically prominent right persons, or by purchasing the necessary influence and permits. That is precisely what apparently occurred when a former Hong Kong … Continue reading

Mnangagwa Has the Capacity to Focus on the New Zimbabwe. But Will He?

Emmerson “Crocodile” Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s crafty new interim president, is known as a ruthless, deeply unprincipled and a political infighter. He has lost several recent parliamentary elections but retained his party positions over four decades largely because he was ex-President Robert Mugabe’s chief enforcer and tribute collector. But now President Mnangagwa has a golden opportunity to leave that … Continue reading

Could Zimbabwe Break a Recurring Pattern of Corruption?

Even as Zimbabweans took to the streets to celebrate Robert Mugabe’s ouster after 37 years, experienced politicians in the country were wary of what might come next. “We have removed a tyrant,” former minister of education David Coltart said, “but not yet a tyranny.” Mugabe, 93, was recently forced out as president by military commanders … Continue reading

South Africa’s Corruption Embroils China

  South Africa’s massive corruption scandals are now enmeshing China and Chinese corporations. In the latest iteration, an especially created subsidiary of China South Rail is accused of facilitating a multi-million dollar scheme to enrich cabinet ministers and the heads of South African state-owned enterprises. Also benefiting from the arrangement is the shady Gupta family … Continue reading

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