AfricaSource|Strategic Insight on the New Africa

US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth discusses recent political developments in Sudan and South Sudan, and articulates US policy toward both countries. 

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 Even as, coming out of the annual NATO summit in Wales, the United States and its allies are promising to ratchet up their response to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, another militant group, Boko Haram, is rapidly gaining ground in Africa, achieving many of the same operational and strategic successes that have made ISIS such a force to be reckoned with, including significant dominion over territory and populations.

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Ahmed Abdi Godane, leader of al-Shabaab, the Somali terrorist group and al-Qaeda affiliate, may have been killed in a US airstrike on Monday. The Pentagon said on Tuesday that the military was gunning for Godane in the strike and that it was confident it hit the target, though there is no confirmation Godane is dead.

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Atlantic Council Executive Committee Member Ana Palacio writes for Project Syndicate on why despite this summer's Ebola threat, there are still many reasons to be optimistic about emerging opportunities in Africa:

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The Africa Center hosted a busy week of events around the US-Africa Leaders Summit, welcoming four heads of state, the head of a regional governmental organization, numerous ministers, corporate executives, and other stakeholders for lively and thoughtful conversations about the important African issues of the day. Below is a sampling of some of our favorite photos from the week—we hope they will give you a feel for the breadth and diversity of our events, and the interesting discussions they provoked among participants.

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Africa's demographic trends have been gaining attention for years, and our last maps for this week show why. Africa today has just over 1 billion people, but by the end of this century it is projected to hold more than 4 billion. Nigeria is a major part of the story; already Africa's most populous country with approximately 178 million people, its population is projected to grow to more than 900 million by 2100. Or in other words, in 2100 almost every fourth African will be a Nigerian.

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Today's graphs show selected trading heavyweights and their five largest African trading partners, along with the trade volume by US dollar amount per country. The BRICS countries minus China are presented in a bar graph for ease of comparison.

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Today’s map documents the primary imports and exports, and primary export destinations, of all African countries (excluding Swaziland, for which there is no recent data). China leads the pack as the primary export destination for fourteen countries, while nine countries export primarily to Europe. Most of the latter are in North Africa, unsurprising given those countries’ geographical proximity as well as historical and linguistic ties to Europe.

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The US-Africa Leaders Summit concluded last week, and in honor of the billions of dollars' worth of deals that emerged from the Summit, the Africa Center has created a series of maps and charts—a new one of which will be released daily—highlighting different aspects of the continent's economic story. The map featured here presents three basic economic indicators for each country in Africa, and notes the ten-fastest growing economies on the continent. Tomorrow's map will explore African trade.

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Visiting Fellow Aubrey Hruby discusses her hopes of seeing increased US business interest and investment in Africa as a result of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, as well as what she believes the long-term impact of the historic gathering will be.

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