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Africa

This category contains 133 posts

Grace Mugabe May Spark a Deadly Presidential Succession

When the scheming spouse attempts to take power and prominence away from a long-time heir-apparent, victory is rarely guaranteed in family or corporate struggles. Nor is such a triumph certain in politics. In today’s Zimbabwe, however, Grace Mugabe, President Robert Mugabe’s wife, has prevailed upon her husband to oust his veritable presumed successor, vice-president (until … Continue reading

Africa’s Existential Exodus

The Italian navy is tired of plucking Africans from dangerous Mediterranean waters off Libya night after night Thousands of Africans are smuggled weekly across the dunes of the Sahara Desert from the northern outposts of Niger by people smugglers After desperate days in holding camps in northern Libya, another set of people smugglers sends African … Continue reading

Roadblocks and Bribes: Zimbabwe is Africa’s Shakedown State

We had just arrived at Harare International Airport from less troubled and far less corrupt parts of Africa when we came face to face with the daily punishments that Zimbabwe’s government metes out to its own hapless citizens. Our local car was a mere 100 metres beyond the terminal when the vehicle, along with many … Continue reading

Chinese Company Fires HIV-Positive Workers

One of China’s largest and most powerful construction companies, with operations all over Africa, discharges local employees if they test positive for HIV. The firm insists that its workers be tested for HIV and then, obtaining the test results directly from the testing clinic, fires those whose results affirm their HIV status. Aggrieved employees recently … Continue reading

China’s Emerging Soft Power: the African Case

As the Trump administration in the United States largely turns it back on Africa, China has successfully extended its soft power across much of the continent.  For a decade or so, China has seeded critical parts of Africa with Confucius Institutes, where students and citizens alike can learn about China and Chinese culture. China has … Continue reading

How Chinese Traders Out-Compete in Africa

In the high-density suburbs of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, local chicken sellers complain that Chinese traders are stealing their customers by getting up earlier each morning, successfully outcompeting the traditional indigenous vendors.  “They get to the markets too early,” they told me when I asked about Chinese petty merchants in Lusaka. “Their chickens are cheaper, too,” … Continue reading

Africa’s Thirst: The Search for Water

                  Ezirazi wishes she were in school. But, like so many 10-year-old African girls south of the Sahara, she has to trek early every morning and just before sunset every night to fetch water from a well 10 kilometres away. The drinking and washing needs of her family take priority over schooling. … Continue reading

The Killing Fields of Africa

Why do Africans kill each other so easily? Atrocities abound, whether in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan or Zimbabwe. Even South Africans, in fits of xenophobia, attack outsiders. Some of these episodes of murderous mayhem rise to the scale of genocide, as defined and prohibited … Continue reading

Africa’s Famine Should be Canada’s Moment to Lead

At the very moment when acute hunger has made hardscrabble South Sudanese, Somalis and Yemenis the world’s most vulnerable people – in their millions – so the rise of xenophobic populism in Europe and the United States has made the provision of meaningful assistance much less likely. President Donald Trump’s ham-fisted retreat from soft power … Continue reading

Will Africa Keep Rising?

Sub-Saharan Africa has been rising rapidly in this century, growing economically at an unprecedentedly rapid pace from 2005 to 2015, with most of its 49 countries participating in a new post-colonial prosperity. But, with China’s own economic surge slipping, India and Japan weak, Europe lagging and North American demand limited, will sub-Saharan Africa stagnate and … Continue reading

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