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West Africa

This category contains 22 posts

Will Africa Keep Rising?

Sub-Saharan Africa has been rising rapidly in this century, growing economically at an unprecedent- edly 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 … 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

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 Plagued by Third Term-itis

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s graceful acceptance of his loss this year to incoming President Muhammadu Buhari was a major advance for African democracy, for setting peaceful transition precedents, and for helping to mature political leadership on the continent. But that easy handover to an opponent was exceptional. Equally often, African rulers cling tenaciously to their … Continue reading

Africa Again Teeters on the Edge of Democracy

African leaders are afflicted with an acute case of third termitis. Although constitutions in 20 sub-Saharan African nations explicitly prohibit presidents serving more than two usually five-year terms, incumbents like their trappings of office, declare themselves absolutely indispensable (on little evidence), and frequently forcibly shred legal provisions to the contrary. Vaunted assertions of “indispensability” occur … Continue reading

What the EU Should Do to Help Fleeing Migrants Stay in their Homelands

Stopping the migrant-smuggler ships from leaving Libya and other parts of Africa for islands in the Mediterranean Sea may arrest the waves of sub-Saharan Africans, Syrians and Iraqis fleeing war-torn and economically harsh lands for freedom and opportunity in Europe. But these new desperate measures, and physical barricades in Hungary and Bulgaria to slow the … Continue reading

Chinese Ships Exploit Weak, Poor and Preoccupied Africa

Outsiders have long exploited African resources. Now China, a prime purchaser of oil, gas, and valuable African underground minerals, is depleting what is left of Africa’s Atlantic Ocean fishery resources and thus depriving Africans of livelihoods and scarce protein. How to persuade or compel China to respect African rights is a central question for African … Continue reading

CHINA’S RESPONSE TO EBOLA

China has now joined the United States and Britain in a long overdue effort to help reduce Ebola fatalities in West Africa. Last week China dispatched 1000 health workers and physicians to Liberia. China has also pledged substantial sums to UN-sponsored efforts to provide food and clothing to Ebola sufferers. Together with Western efforts and … Continue reading

Drugs, Crime, and Terror in Africa

The wars of Africa are fueled by narcotics. That is an exaggerated over-simplification, but what is less well known than it should be is that many of the internal conflicts of today’s Africa are driven in part, sometimes  a substantial part, by profits being made from the trafficking of hard drugs and precursor chemicals. The … Continue reading

Survival of Elephants Depends on Global Action

  The African elephant, iconic, peaceful and innocently grazing, is being killed today in an unsustainable manner. Extinction is unlikely before 2050, but absent concerted global action to save vulnerable herds from Chinese-backed poachers, this century’s massive decline in elephant numbers will continue and could easily threaten the ultimate survival of the species. Of perhaps … Continue reading