This category contains 114 posts

Brazil Boosts Africa’s New Future

Brazil has much more to offer to a modernizing sub-Saharan Africa than it is now providing. Given its proximity to Africa, its size (a third of the African continent south of the Sahara desert), its wealth, its long association with Africa from the slave-trading era, its political and economic successes after decades of authoritarian military … Continue reading

Giant China Recognizes Tiny Gambia

China’s resumed diplomatic relations with the Gambia could result in positive economic and social outcomes in one of Africa’s tiniest countries. Conceivably, too, China’s influence could reduce repression and autocracy in an African polity that is widely regarded as among its three most arbitrarily ruled. In mid-March, Mainland China and the Gambia agreed to send … Continue reading

Sub-Saharan Africa: 2035 and Beyond

As emerging economies in the Sub-Saharan Africa region continue to develop, what trends should governments across the region, and international donors and the region’s development partners, like Canada, look out for in the medium to long term? The important rise of a significantly-sized middle class in large sections of sub-Saharan Africa now propels, and for … Continue reading

The Little Understood Connection between Terror and Drug Profits

Terrorists are in it as much for the loot as for the ideology. The Islamic State, or ISIS, could hardly exist, whatever its Islamist fervor, without hard cash from sales of pilfered petroleum, taxes on its subject population and kidnappings for ransom. Likewise ISIS- and al-Qaida-linked groups in Africa prosper by trafficking drugs across the … Continue reading

Southern Africa: Drought First, Famine Next

Warming waters in the east Pacific Ocean – the El Nino effect – is causing a massive drought in southern Africa, with famine to follow. Zimbabwe, in the centre of the southern third of the African continent, usually receives about 300 millimetres (12 inches) of rain by the middle of what is now the southern … Continue reading

In the Dark: Africa’s Desperate Energy Shortfall

Pitch blackness is Africa at night. From the space station, from satellites, from high-flying aircraft, even on Google projections, compared to the rest of the globe, much of sub-Saharan Africa is dark from sunset — devoid of those cumulated glowing pinpoints that illuminate the other continents. Students in much of sub-Saharan Africa study using kerosene … Continue reading

China’s New Promises to Africa

China is promising to uplift Africa even more dramatically and powerfully than it is currently doing. That is the strong message delivered by President Xi Jinping to fifty assembled African presidents at December’s fourth summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in Johannesburg. (The first FOCAC was in 2006). As Xi told the … Continue reading

Confronting Drugs, Crime, and Warfare in Africa

Drug smuggling and its profits help significantly to fuel Africa’s wars as criminal enterprises. Terrorists frequently build drug-driven hybrid organizations to finance their operations and to reap illicit rents. In Mali, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, conflict is strongly tied to drug trafficking by syndicates allied to al-Qaeda–associated insurgents. The … Continue reading

Africa’s New Brooms Clean House

A strong new broom is sweeping Africa. In both Nigeria and Tanzania, determined new presidents are challenging the onetime dissolute and largely easygoing ways of their predecessors. As Nigeria and Tanzania go, so conceivably could go the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania – expected to be the fifth-largest country in the world in 50 … Continue reading

Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Crusade Reaches Africa

President Xi Jinping’s crusade against anything and everything corrupt in China recently ensnared the head of the Agricultural Bank of China, the country’s third largest, high-ranking provincial governors, several generals, China’s long-time security chief, and at least 100,000 high-level and mid-level operatives. But nearly all of this anti-corruption activity focused on misdeeds committed in China … Continue reading