• Charai in The National Interest: The Arab Spring Is Not Returning to Algeria and Morocco

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  • Ethiopia's Prime Minister Steps Down

    On February 15, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned following months of sustained protests and pressure from the country’s aggrieved and marginalized ethnic groups. The country’s ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), now faces a crisis of leadership as it determines Ethiopia’s next prime minister. This author predicted the imminent ouster of Hailemariam and offered speculation as to the next person to hold that post—including the momentous challenges any new prime minister will face. Above all, Ethiopia’s new leader faces an increasingly emboldened population who demands real political reforms—which will require a painful, and potentially fraught, distribution of economic resources and power away from the TPLF ruling elite. 

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  • Aubrey Hruby Testifies before the US International Trade Commission

    On Tuesday, January 23rd, Africa Center Senior Fellow Aubrey Hruby testified on US-Africa trade and investment before the US International Trade Commission hearing on US Trade and Investment with Sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Developments, #332-564.

    Distinguished members of the committee, Ambassadors, and fellow witnesses:

    I would like to begin by thanking you, not only for the opportunity to testify before you today, but also the attention that the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has given to the topic of trade and investment with our partners across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

    My name is Aubrey Hruby. I’m a Senior Fellow with the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council and I’ve spent the better part of my career advising Fortune 500 companies to design and implement successful investment and market entry strategies for over twenty African markets. I will devote my testimony to the following themes: 1) an assessment of US trade...

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  • Africa’s Political Fault-Lines: How Cameroon’s Unique Linguistic Cleavage Is Widening

    The primary political fault line running through Cameroon, a country in Central Africa, is not ethnic, but linguistic – the population is divided between its English and French speaking parts. In recent months, the linguistic cleavage has started to widen, with increasing demands for Anglophone autonomy and secession. This amplification of decades-old divides is in large-part due to the repressive strategies employed by the Francophone central government in response. A continuation of this dispute may heighten the growing violence and security concerns in the country and threaten the stability of a region already facing extensive intra-state conflict.

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  • US Strikes on ISIS in Somalia Underscore Threat, Vulnerabilities

    On November 3, the United States carried out two separate airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Somalia, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced in a statement. The operations marked the first time that US forces have targeted ISIS militants in the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa country, where al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has been the primary focus of American and partner efforts in recent years.

    The strikes also underscore the shift in ISIS’ center of gravity following the group’s losses not only in Iraq and Syria this year, but also the routing of its affiliate in Libya last December. These developments have sent surviving fighters and arms flowing into more remote areas, including the Sahel, where the killing of four US Special Forces troops in an ambush in Niger in October focused...

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  • Islamist Militant Groups Cast Deadly Shadow Over Africa in 2015

    Boko Haram deadlier than ISIS, says Atlantic Council’s J. Peter Pham

    As 2015 draws to a close, our experts take a look back at the year that was and look ahead to 2016.

    This interview is part of a series.

    J. Peter Pham
    is the Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

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  • Rwanda: Term Limit Controversy Masks Real Issues

    The decision by Rwanda’s Supreme Court to allow a popular referendum on the lifting of presidential term limits has all but cleared President Paul Kagame’s path to a third term in office. Rwanda’s constitution currently restricts the president to two seven-year terms, the second of which President Kagame began in 2010, but the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has sought to remove those limits ahead of the 2017 election. Despite serious questions surrounding whether an amendment to the term limit clause is allowed by the constitution, the RPF has acted under the assumption of legality and ignored or discredited arguments to the contrary, drawing international criticism.

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  • The Cost of Kenyan Corruption

    In Swahili, a language spoken throughout East and Central Africa, “kitu kidogo” means “a little something.” In Kenya, the phrase is shorthand for the small bribes necessary to navigate virtually any encounter with Kenyan officialdom. In Nairobi, the country’s capital, it is wise to factor in extra time, and a lot of extra patience, for resisting bribe requests for anything from getting an identification document to having one’s water turned back on.

    Were Kenyan graft contained to balky bureaucrats, the problem would be only an irritation. But as illustrated in April by the attack by the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab on Garissa University College, which killed 147 people, it is far worse than that. Corruption in Kenya costs lives. It corrodes the security services’ capabilities and alienates Kenyans whose cooperation is critical to countering domestic extremism. If Kenya is to avoid another Garissa massacre, it must fight the corruption that leaves it vulnerable to a...

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  • Burkina Faso Update: Missed Opportunity?

    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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  • Burkina Faso: The Consequences of Burning Down the House

    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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