Category: Politics

How Sudan’s uprising is inspiring a generation of Sudanese American teens

By Hana Baba

Nearly two dozen people are gathered for a symposium in Hayward, California, about the recent protests in Sudan. Those who come to these Sudan-related events are usually adults — first-generation Sudanese immigrants to the United States.

But it’s different tonight. The featured speakers are Sudanese American teenagers.

First up is 17-year-old Maazin Ahmed, whose mother is Sudanese and father is African American. Maazin is the president of his college’s Black Students Union in Berkeley, California, a city familiar with protests. He says he grew up seeing pictures of his mom sporting an afro in the 70s in Sudan. She told him stories about better times in her home country.

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4 things discussed during the US land expropriation talks in South Africa

A number of top US officials recently visited South Africa at the request of President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into the country’s land expropriation process.

The delegation, which included US Deputy Foreign Secretary John J. Sullivan, met with AgriSA, Grain SA, and ANC officials on Friday (15 March) to discuss how the land expropriation process may impact property rights in the country.

In a statement released on Monday, AgriSA outlined what was discussed in the meeting and the issues that were raised.

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Escalation in Somalia Is a Foreign Policy Failure in Progress

U.S. intervention quietly escalates in Somalia.

While the Trump administration has very visibly made and modified plans to reduce U.S. military intervention in Syria and Afghanistan, it has quietly escalated the fight in Somalia. U.S. airstrikes in the North African nation are on the rise, The New York Times reported Sunday, and that higher pace of bombardment has contributed to increased civilian displacement and all the turmoil that comes with it.

This is a foreign policy failure in progress. If the last two decades of missteps in the Middle East and North Africa have demonstrated anything, it is that secretive wars of choice are prone to mission creep and rife with unintended consequences. Rather than expand, U.S. military intervention in Somalia should be shut down before it spirals into another needless generational conflict.

The United States has had some military presence in Somalia for the better part of three decades, and the current campaign began in 2007. But U.S. strikes were few—zero to three per year—until 2015, when former President Barack Obama started an upward trend the Trump team has continued. Last year, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) reported 47 strikes. The first two months of this year put us on track to triple that by December.

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US INVESTORS TO HELP BUILD AFRICA

By Bolaji Samuel

The tension between the two economic giants in the world, China and the United States (US), might have a silver lining for Africa. The administration of President Donald Trump is set to increase investment into the continent, in a bid to counter the narrative that China’s influence in Africa is rising, while the US falls off with its “America first” approach.

President Trump signed the legislation, the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act, or the BUILD Act, into law in October 2018. It combines the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and other US agencies focusing on international economic development into a newly consolidated agency called the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

It is anticipated that the DFC will be operational in October 2019 and at that time the DFC will begin deploying US equity capital in African private equity.
The DFC expands OPIC’s budget from USD29 billion to USD60 billion and provides the DFC with the authority to make limited equity investments. Previously, OPIC was limited to debt investments.

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Senegal’s President Macky Sall wins second term

Senegalese President Macky Sall easily won a second term without the need for a runoff, election officials announced Thursday in the West African country.

The four opposition candidates said they would not pursue a legal challenge, ending days of uncertainty in this democracy long known for its peaceful transfers of power. Earlier in the week the opposition had denied unofficial reports that Sall won an outright majority, and they told their supporters to prepare for a second round.

The joint statement released Thursday afternoon by the opposition said that while they firmly rejected the outcome, “we will not be taking any recourse at the constitutional council.”

The incumbent leader received 58.3 percent of the vote, according to Judge Demba Kandji, president of the commission tasked with releasing the election results. Provisional results show that top opposition candidate Idrissa Seck took 20.5 percent of the vote while Ousmane Sonko had 15.7 percent.

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Buhari wins Nigerian Elections

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari has won the presidential elections that held on 23rd February, 2019.

Following the announcement of all the results from 36 states including the federal capital territory, by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, Buhari polled 15,191,847 vote.

The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar polled 11,262,978 votes to come second.

Buhari won in 19 states while Atiku won in 17 states including FCT.

Get more details.

Nigerian President Buhari takes early lead in elections

Nigerian President, Mohammadu Buhari, has taken an early lead in the presidential election which held on 23rd February.

The country’s electoral body started announcing the election results in Abuja today.

Out of 10 states announced so far, the president won seven. His closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, has won in three states. There are 26 more states to be announced

The European Union observer group has commended the election even though there were pockets of violence in some parts of Nigeria when elections held on Saturday.

The chair of the opposition, PDP Secondus has, however, raised queries about the credibility of electoral process.

Announcement of the results of the remaining 26 states is ongoing.

Senegalese vote in Presidential elections

Senegalese voters headed to the polls Sunday for an election President Macky Sall is expected to win after strong economic growth in his first term, although rights groups criticize him for squeezing out rivals.

Senegal’s small fish-exporting economy expanded more than 6 percent last year, one of the highest rates in Africa, driven by an ambitious reform and development plan that included the construction of a new railway.

The 57-year-old told thousands gathered for his final rally in Dakar on Friday that he would deliver universal health care and better access to education in a second term.

Results due next month.

About 6.5 million people are registered to vote at polling stations that opened at 8 a.m. (0800 GMT) and close at 6 p.m. Official results are due Friday with a run-off for the top two March 24 if no one secures a majority.

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Party faithfuls in US congratulate Mahama over election as flag bearer of Ghana’s NDC

Ghanaians in the National Democratic Congress executives in the USA have congratulated John Mahama successful election as the flag bearer of the party.

The executives assured John Mahama a hundred percent support to ensure that wins power come 2020.

This comes after John Mahama polled 213,487 votes representing 95.23 percent of the total valid votes cast with the other six contenders managing with about 4 percent.

In a press statement, the executives said

“The NDC party has demonstrated civility and maturity in the face of all planned attempts to subvert and throw this election into disarray by the saboteurs who do not want anything good for the NDC.  The NDC USA stands prepared to work, campaign as hard as we can in aiding the NDC win victory in 2020.The future of our country looks brighter in the hands of H.E John Dramani Mahama, who has consistently demonstrated the knowledge and experience required to lead Ghana to prosperity”.

Below is the full statement:
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Nigeria votes for a new president after delay

Nigerians voted for a new president on Saturday after a week-long postponement that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Delays in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff force to the nearly 120,000 polling stations forced an extension to voting past a 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) cut-off.

Results are expected from early next week, with the winner gaining control of Africa’s most populous nation and leading oil producer for four years. President Muhammadu Buhari was one of the first to vote, and emerged from the polling booth in his home town of Daura, in the northwest state of Katsina, to say he was confident of victory.

“So far, so good,” he told reporters. “I will congratulate myself. I’m going to be the winner.” His main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, 72, voted in Yola, in the northeastern state of Adamawa Shortly before polls opened, one soldier was killed and 20 others injured as Boko Haramfighters tried to infiltrate the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

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A New Africa Strategy: Expanding Economic and Security Ties on the Basis of Mutual Respect

The Trump Administration’s new Africa Strategy is based on three tenets.

The first is advancing U.S. trade and commercial ties with nations across the region to the benefit of both the United States and Africa.

The second is countering the threat from radical Islamic terrorism and violent conflict. ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their affiliates all operate and recruit on the African continent, plotting attacks against American citizens and targets.

Third, the U.S. will ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars for aid are used efficiently and effectively. The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent without focus or prioritization.

This was revealed by in a new report by Heritage Foundation after a session with John R. Bolton, the U.S. National Security Advisor at a session at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

Read more about the session and the report

Nigerian Diaspora Seeks Credible, Peaceful Elections

The Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation says it is looking forward to a credible and peaceful conduct of the rescheduled presidential elections in Nigeria.

Some members of the organisation, led by the Chairman, NIDO Americas Board of Trustees, Obed Monago, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.

They called on all stakeholders, especially the political actors, to put the nation’s interest above their personal ambitions and work towards strengthening the nation’s democracy.

Monago said about 45 NIDO members from various locations around the world were currently in the country as accredited international observers and voters in the elections.

He decried the blame game that followed the postponement of the elections, saying that focus should be on how to address the challenges that led to it before the new dates.

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United States invests $40 million in Ethiopia’s health sector

The United States of America has injected $40 million towards boosting Ethiopia’s health sector to provide quality and affordable healthcare services to its citizen.

With an estimated population of over 105 million people since 2017, the Horn of Africa country would greatly benefit from the finances.

The US, Ethiopia’s largest bilateral donor in the health sector has already invested over $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.

Health service delivery in Ethiopia is characterised by an inadequate number of well-trained health providers, limited health infrastructure and shortages of finance, equipment, and supplies, which on the flip side has offered opportunities for investors.

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TRUMP MAY BE ABOUT TO UNDERMINE OBAMA’S AFRICA POLICY |

An opinion piece by Herman J. Cohen former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1989-1993), U.S. ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia (1977-1980), a National Security Council member (1987-1989) and a 38-year veteran of the Foreign Service.

President Trump likes to overturn his predecessor’s initiatives, but so far the US-Africa relationship has been defined by policy continuity—a rare bipartisan bright spot among domestic and foreign turmoil. Yet there are clouds on the horizon. Public statements by senior American officials, including President Trump himself, foreshadow potentially troubling moves which threaten to undermine decades of mutually beneficial relations.

The first half of President Trump’s term has been good news for Africa. His first Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, is an expert diplomat and the right man for the job. Work continues apace at President Obama’s two signature programs, Power Africa and Feed the Future; at George W. Bush’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, and at PEPFAR, the hugely successful U.S. initiative to fight HIV/AIDS. Every year, more African nations are taking advantage of unilateral free-trade privileges under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The military’s U.S. Africa Command continues to provide assistance and advisors to nations fighting Islamist terrorism and other threats to regional stability. These programs are working. But there are a few indications that the Trump administration could pull the rug out from underneath.
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Bridging the gap: Africa’s science landscape and the African diaspora

As I headed home on the plane, my mind was abuzz. The engines steadily hummed in the background, dulled only by the even louder thoughts that raced through my mind. The plane lights were dim. Snores ebbed and flowed around me, my neighbors nothing but still heaps piled under blankets. Meanwhile, I sat wide awake, staring ahead into space, unable to settle down.

I was on my way back to the US after a 3-week span of conferences and research project work in East Africa. This exercise isn’t new to me, however. I am a penultimate example of the “reverse diaspora,” where a particular area of expertise (my academic research) which is focused in Kenya has landed me there for increasingly more frequent stints every year for the past several years. While I was born in America to Kenyan immigrant parents, I was raised in Kenya from a young age.

I went on to pursue secondary education in America, and now hold a faculty appointment at a US institution. In some shape or form, I knew that I’d return some day.

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