AfricaSource Strategic Insight on the New Africa

Last week was a good week for the militant group Boko Haram and much less so for Nigeria and its neighbors, although one would be hard pressed to tell it from the relative nonchalance with which significant developments in the West African country’s fight against the brutal insurgency have been greeted not only by American media focused largely on new standoffs in Washington between the White House and emboldened Congressional Republicans after the midterm election, but also by the international community as a whole, the latter’s attention devoted almost entirely to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing and the G20 summit in Brisbane shortly thereafter.

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The “soft landing” that so many, both in Burkina Faso and abroad, had worked so hard to achieve is not to be.

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The events that have followed each other in rapid succession this week in the West African country of Burkina Faso are, at one level, relatively straightforward. What is not so readily apparent—certainly not to the tens of thousands of protesters-turned-rioters, much less to those far-off outsiders who, wittingly or unwittingly, egged them on—are the consequences of what they have wrought.  

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At the 2014 Atlantic Dialogues in Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham spoke on the "Stopping Organized Crime at Sea" panel.

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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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