Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Discussion on Communal Violence, Security Threats, and Elections in Mali

    On Friday, June 8, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in collaboration with the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), hosted a discussion on USHMM’s new report: Regions at Risk: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Mali. The event featured the report’s authors, Mr. Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim, early warning fellow with USHMM, and Ms. Mollie Zapata, research associate with the Simon-Skjodt Center at the USHMM, with The Honorable Karim Keïta, chairman of the National Commission for Defense, Security, and Civil Protection of the National Assembly of the Republic of Mali, responding to their presentation.

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  • Congolese Opposition Unify Ahead of Presidential Elections

    Democratic Republic of the Congo opposition leaders Moïse Katumbi and Felix Tshisekedi are on a US and European tour to lobby for further sanctions against the regime of President Joseph Kabila and for continued Western pressure towards free and fair elections, scheduled for December. They have formed an alliance which, they hope, can unite the opposition against the regime. But their strategy remains hampered by the apparent superficiality of their coalition and the likelihood that any election under the current regime will be flawed.

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  • Congolese Opposition Leaders Join Forces

    Two prominent Congolese presidential hopefuls, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington on May 23, announced that they were joining forces against the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s longtime president Joseph Kabila.

    Moïse Katumbi, who is tipped to win the election—if one is held and if he is allowed to participate—and Félix Tshisekedi, the president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, the DRC’s oldest and largest opposition party, said opposition parties are discussing the possibility of fielding a single unity candidate in elections scheduled for December 23.

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  • RDC: l'avenir Politique Selon Moïse Katumbi & Félix Tshisekedi


    Quel avenir pour l'opposition en République démocratique du Congo ? Moïse Katumbi, candidat à la présidentielle du parti Ensemble pour le changement, et son compatriote Félix Tshisekedi du parti l'Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social, s'interrogent sur la situation politique en RDC et l'importance de l'appui international afin que les élections du 23 décembre 2018 se déroulent de façon crédible et dans la transparence.

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  • Discussion with the Congolese Opposition

    On Wednesday, May 23, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a discussion with Mr. Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, former governor of Katanga Province and leader of Ensemble pour le changement, a new political movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Mr. Félix Tshisekedi, president of the Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS), the DRC’s oldest continuously operating political party.

    In their remarks, Katumbi and Tshisekedi announced that the Congolese opposition would field a unified candidate in the presidential election scheduled for December 23, 2018. Incumbent Joseph Kabila, whose constitutionally-mandated two-term limit expired over eighteen months ago, has twice delayed elections. Katumbi stressed that the Congolese opposition is united and working together for a brighter future, citing his joint visit to the United States with Tshisekedi as an example of their cooperation. Both candidates warned participants that Kabila was resurgent and reintroducing his stranglehold on the country, noting that it is “a very dark time for the electoral process [in DRC].” “We’re here to sound the alarm,” said Tshisekedi, “Tomorrow when the catastrophe arrives, you cannot say you didn’t know.”

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  • Fintech: Powering Inclusive Growth in Africa

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    From cryptocurrencies to blockchain to mobile money, financial technology (“fintech”) is revolutionizing the basic structures of the global economy. Financial services delivered through fintech are becoming more accessible, efficient, and personal. In sub-Saharan Africa, where only 34 percent of adults have bank accounts, fintech companies are already providing financial products and services to millions of unbanked and underserved Africans in ways that traditional financial institutions cannot.

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  • 3D Printing: Shaping Africa’s Future

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    Disruptive technologies—such as the Internet of Things, robotics, and three-dimensional (3D) printing—have been heralded as the future of the global manufacturing sector. However, in Africa, they could hinder industrialization and result in fewer entry points into global supply chains. While it may be possible for African nations to “leapfrog” directly to newer technologies, it is more likely that developing the relevant worker know-how, infrastructure, and corporate capabilities necessary to leverage the potential value of these technologies will be a very gradual process. African policy makers must therefore pursue multipronged strategies to ensure relevance as 3D printing and other disruptive technologies move into the mainstream.

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  • Gécamines Chairman Discusses the DRC’s New Mining Code

    On Friday, April 13, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable with Mr. Albert Yuma Mulimbi, chairman of Gécamines and president of the Congolese Business Federation (Fédération des Entreprises du Congo).

    In his prepared remarks (official document attached), Mr. Yuma emphasized the importance of the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the overall wellbeing of the country, calling it the “lungs” of the Congolese economy. He highlighted the 2017 production figures of DRC’s most profitable minerals, including copper, cobalt, and coltan, but stressed that the industry was not benefitting the Congolese people as much as it should. According to the speaker, the new Congolese mining code seeks to change this, increasing taxes on profits from 30 to 35 percent and royalties from 2 to 3.5 percent for copper and cobalt, and expanding the government’s stake in new mining projects from 5 to 10 percent. Mr. Yuma acknowledged the concerns expressed by some of the world’s largest mining companies in response to the new mining code, but emphasized that profits should increase once the new code is introduced and the DRC reputation as an attractive mining destination should not be tarnished.

    A discussion, moderated by Dr. J. Peter Pham, Atlantic Council vice president and Africa Center director, followed Yuma’s remarks, with participants focusing on the transparency of the mining industry’s supply chains and networks in the DRC and the various ways in which civil society concerns would or would not be incorporated in the country’s policies.

    The delegation accompanying Mr. Yuma also included H.E. François Nkuna Balumuene, Ambassador of the DRC to the United States; Mr. Patrick Thierry André Kakwata, Member of the Congolese National Assembly and Chairman of the Natural Resources and Environmental Commission; Mr. Henri-Thomas Lokondo, Member of the Congolese National Assembly; and Amb. Barnabé Kikaya bin Karubi, Senior Diplomatic Advisor to DRC President Joseph Kabila. Also in attendance and participating in the roundtable were Atlantic Council Board Director Amb. Jendayi Frazer, Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Ms. Florizelle Liser, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Council on Africa; and a number of US and non-US government officials and mining industry experts.

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  • Malian Officials Discuss the Security Situation in the Sahel

    On Monday, March 5, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable with Brigadier General Oumar Dao, military chief of staff to the President of the Republic of Mali, and the Honorable Karim Keïta, chairman of the National Commission for Defense, Security, and Civil Protection of the National Assembly of the Republic of Mali.

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  • Pham Joins VOA to Discuss South Sudan, Kenya, DRC, and South Africa


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