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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

Winning the Battle Against Malaria

Although the U. S. Navy and the William and Melinda Gates Foundation are seeking vaccines to eliminate the scourge of malaria, China has this month experimentally managed to cure malaria in one relatively large African population cluster. Malaria has long been endemic in the Comoros, a very poor, three-island nation off Africa’s east coast. About … Continue reading

After Mandela, South Africa has fallen into a leadership vacuum

  In the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s demise, South Africa is more profoundly adrift than it has been at any time since he retired from the country’s presidency in 1999. Lacking a moral compass, the country suffers from a widespread sense of malaise and underwhelming accomplishment. Much of this despondency results from a nationwide distrust … Continue reading

Zimbabwe: What Next?

ZIMBABWE: WHAT NEXT? Robert I. Rotberg What next? Following another marred election, what is to become of Zimbabwe? With alleged assistance from Israel and China, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe was re-anointed president after a July election for another five-year term. He has been misruling Zimbabwe with an increasingly iron fist since 1980, governing since 1999 … Continue reading

Worst Crisis You’ve Never Heard of: CAR Non-State About to Explode

Only urgent outside intervention from France, the former colonial power, or from the African Union and a broad-based coalition of African military forces, can save the Central African Republic (CAR) from itself. What is left of one of Africa’s poorest and most desperate countries will soon vanish unless French legions, African troops, or United Nations … Continue reading

Obama in Africa

President Obama visited three countries in Africa in June and July, following in the footsteps of President Xi Jinping, who had visited three African nations in March. China’s trade with Africa in 2012 was more than double that of US trade with Africa over the same period. China buys Africa’s oil, gas, and minerals; some … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Countries: Democratic and Stable Senegal and Coup-Torn Mali

Cape Times (Cape Town), April 2 President Abdoulaye Wade finally acknowledged that his long years of political relevance were concluded, and chose wisely not to contest his overwhelming defeat in Sunday’s run off election for Senegal’s presidency. Macky Sall is a worthy winner whose patient victory (without too many threatening histrionics beforehand) maintains Senegal’s democratic … Continue reading

Burma Democratizing? Is it Real?

“THE democratic process is on the right track,” U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) concluded after a visit to Burma earlier this week. Obviously, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks so, too. With President Obama’s approval, she has renewed diplomatic ties to Burma (Myanmar). An exchange of ambassadors will occur soon, the first since 1990. Skeptics … Continue reading

Charisma, Leadership, and Historiography

CHARISMA IS a social phenomenon, not an individual trait, but using the concept loosely (as we all do) as a catch-all analytical description for magnetism, fame, heroism, or celebrity status is both misleading and confusing. Loose usage obscures the significance of the interactions between genuinely charismatic men or women – usually political and organizational leaders … Continue reading