Tag: African development

Here are the three new books you need to understand Nigeria

By Alex Thurston

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, radiating political, cultural and economic influence across the continent and around the world. Yet Nigeria’s incredible complexity — composed of hundreds of ethnic groups and languages — can be daunting even to those interested in understanding the country. The nonspecialist can also be easily misled by the popular image of Nigeria as a land of Internet scammers and, more recently, fanatical jihadists. Three recent books, however, make Nigeria more accessible to the beginner and more comprehensible to the specialist. These books take up core issues facing the country, especially the Boko Haram crisis and the future of Nigeria’s democracy.

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Economic ‘Game Changer’? African Leaders Launch Free-Trade Zone

By Boureima Balima

African leaders launched a continental free-trade zone on Sunday that if successful would unite 1.3 billion people, create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.

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Young African leaders arrive in United States, fostering connections with Americans

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to welcome the 2019 cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders to the United States. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered in partnership with IREX, a non-profit organization. The Mandela Washington Fellowship creates stronger ties between Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States with the goal of strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security on the continent. 

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Morocco: A New Star In Africa

Could any Arab, African and Muslim-majority country become a developed country without vast natural resources? There is at least one country that is trying hard to achieve this goal.
By Veeramalla Anjaiah

Morocco, a rising star in Africa, is like a European country where all of its trains, trams, buses, flights and ferries run on time. Morocco, apparently, has many mysteries. Few people realize that it has been rapidly emerging as a new powerhouse in Africa.

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Ethiopia: Africa’s next powerhouse?

By Witney Schneidman, Brookings Institution

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed—the youngest African leader at 42 years old—has initiated a series of unprecedented economic and political reforms in his first 12 months in office.

The core challenge that he faces is moving the economy from state-led to market-based growth while overseeing far-reaching political reforms. Success is far from guaranteed but his accomplishments so far have created an enormous sense of opportunity within the country.

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Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee visits Africa to celebrate 30th anniversary of the web

Computer scientist and inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee is in Lagos, Nigeria as part of a 30-hour tour to a few cities around the world to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the web.

The celebratory tour is undertaken with the Web Foundation; “an international non-profit organisation advocating for a free and open web for everyone,” founded by Tim Berners-Lee.

According to a tweet from Tim’s official Twitter account announcing the tour’s itinerary, CERN, where it all started, was the first stop for Tim and the Web Foundation team.

In 1989, while working for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research also known as CERN, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal that formed the basis for the web. He went ahead to write the first web browser one year after in 1990.

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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.


From Wakanda to reality: Building mutual prosperity between African-Americans and Africa


By Landry Signé and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

This year’s Black History Month is being celebrated with a higher sense of African pride, given the unprecedented enthusiasm generated by Marvel’s “Black Panther” last year and increased conversations about a better representation of minority groups.

“Wakanda”—a fictitious, prosperous, “futuristic, powerful, and proud African nation”—salutes black culture by “shedding light on black excellence.” After the movie’s release, many in black America—and across ethnicities—and around the world are wondering how to turn this fiction into reality.

During the hype of “Black Panther,” we both were giving talks on how to unlock Africa’s potential to African-American professionals, community, and business leaders. Many of them asked us how they could help make Africa as successful as the imaginary Wakanda. In other words, where are the opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relations between Africa, African Americans, and the United States?

We propose strategies focused on three themes: tourism in Africa; trade and investment in and with Africa; and knowledge, innovation, and technology sharing to improve U.S.-Africa relations.

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