África

The Imam of the Great Mosque of Niamey, Cheikh Djabir Ismaël(C), who led the funeral prayer, stands in front of the bodies of military personnel at the Niamey Airforce Base in Niamey, on December 13, 2019. AFP/Boureima Hama

What happened in Niger?

On 10 December, assailants struck a Nigerien military camp close to the settlement of Inates on the border with Mali, killing more than 70 soldiers in the deadliest attack on security forces in the country’s history. The Islamic State’s affiliate in Mali and Niger claimed responsibility for the attack. Its fighters reportedly used mortars and kamikaze vehicles to storm the base. In its statement, the Islamic State said it had captured weapons, ammunition, vehicles and even “a number of tanks”. This claim could not be independently confirmed.

The attack by the Islamic State affiliate, which has escalated its campaign in the area around Inates since April, is part of an emerging trend of large-scale jihadist operations against military outposts in the central Sahel.…  Seguir leyendo »

Manifestation, le 2 octobre à Rabat, pour la libération de Hajar Raissouni, journaliste condamnée à un an de prison pour «avortement illégal». Photo Stringer. AFP

Il est des gestes qui paraissent anodins dans nos pays démocratiques. Par exemple signer une pétition ; protester contre des lois jugées injustes ou oppressives ; interpeller publiquement et collectivement les autorités pour leur demander qu’elles usent de leur force et de leur légitimité afin de changer la loi qui interdit de s’aimer ou de vivre ensemble (mariage homosexuel, etc.). Ce refus de l’intolérable sans risquer la mort ou l’emprisonnement est très inégalement distribué selon les pays et les espaces géopolitiques. Prenons le monde arabo-musulman par exemple. Déjà, en 2006, le rapport du Programme des Nations unies pour le développement (PNUD) établi par des experts arabes constatait «le retard de plus en plus criant que cette région du monde accumulait par rapport à l’Asie ou à l’Amérique latine».…  Seguir leyendo »

El ascenso de los servicios de pago por consumo (PAYGo) en África es motivo de celebración. Al posibilitar que las comunidades de bajos ingresos, tanto rurales como urbanas, tengan acceso a los bienes y servicios que necesitan, no solo para sobrevivir (comida, agua y techo) sino también para prosperar (educación, salud y recursos para generar ingresos), el modelo de negocios PAYGo puede mejorar significativamente su calidad de vida. De hecho, si se les da el apoyo suficiente, los modelos PAYGo pueden revolucionar la provisión de bienes y servicios, impulsando con ello el desarrollo inclusivo.

Los modelos digitales de PAYGo aprovechan la comunicación entre dispositivos y la tecnología de sensores que permiten a las empresas dar seguimiento al uso, bloquear o desbloquear sus recursos, y acceder de manera remota a datos de acceso relevantes.…  Seguir leyendo »

An Algerian protester holds up a placard during an anti-government demonstration in Algiers on Wednesday. (Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty Images)

As Algeria heads into a potentially epochal presidential election on Thursday, the role of the military is emerging as a flashpoint. A series of street protests this year toppled President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, leaving a caretaker government in place. How Algerians vote this week could determine whether this country of 43 million people will set a course for democracy — or revert to the authoritarianism of its past.

While carrying out interviews in the streets of Algiers recently, I encountered a crowd of trade unionists clad in medals and camouflage smocks. The mainly male activists from the General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) loudly declared that the army is the only guarantor of a transition to democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema

Argelia ha vivido acontecimientos extraordinarios a lo largo de 2019. La masiva movilización social forzó la renuncia del presidente Abdelaziz Buteflika y provocó el aplazamiento de las elecciones presidenciales en dos ocasiones. El tercer intento, previsto para el 12 de diciembre y ampliamente rechazado por la sociedad, no resolverá la profunda crisis política en el país, si no hay reformas de fondo en el sistema.

Resumen

Argelia está viviendo un momento crítico. Las protestas pacíficas contra el actual sistema de gobierno no han cesado desde febrero. Hay un estado de ánimo extendido reclamando una transición democrática y buen gobierno. Frente a eso, el sistema sólo ofrece reemplazar al jefe del Estado mediante unas elecciones sin garantías de libertad ni limpieza, y sin realizar unas mínimas reformas que satisfagan las demandas sociales.…  Seguir leyendo »

Delegates arrive at the closing ceremony of the African Union summit in Niger in July. Photo: Getty Images.

The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 30 May, after only three years of negotiations, is an economic, political and diplomatic milestone for the African Union (AU) and its member states, crucial for economic growth, job creation, and making Africa a meaningful player in international trade. But the continent will have to work together to ensure that the potential benefits are fully realized.

A necessary innovation

With its advances in maintaining peace and security, abundant natural resources, high growth rates, improved linkages to global supply chains and a youthful population, Africa is emerging as a new global centre of economic growth, increasingly sought after as a partner by the world’s biggest economies.…  Seguir leyendo »

Builders work on an outside yard at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Johannesburg in 2016. Photo: Getty Images.

At the United Nations general assembly in September, all countries, including South Africa, reaffirmed their commitment to achieving universal health coverage by 2030. This is achieved when everybody accesses the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

As governments outlined their universal health coverage plans, it was noticeable that some had made much faster progress than others, with some middle-income countries outperforming wealthier nations. For example, whereas Thailand, Ecuador and Georgia (with national incomes similar to South Africa) are covering their entire populations, in the United States, 30 million people still lack health insurance and expensive health bills are the biggest cause of personal bankruptcy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Joseph Kony with his “wives” and child, taken around 2003. (Charles Tabuley)

The French news magazine Jeune Afrique noted on Nov. 20 that despite decades of international attempts to capture warlord Joseph Kony, he remains free. Kony’s movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), began in the mid-1980s with the goal of protecting Northern Ugandans from the newly installed regime of President Yoweri Museveni. But the insurgency turned against civilians, becoming notorious for mutilations and large-scale abductions. By 2006, the LRA had abducted up to 38,000 children and 37,000 adults, researchers estimated. Those abducted were forced to become fighters or fighters’ “wives” — a euphemism for sex slaves — and household servants. Today, the movement has only about 100 to 150 fighters left, but they are still abducting and causing insecurity in the borderlands between Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Publié dans Paris Match jeudi 5 décembre, un article signé par Bernard-Henri Lévy lance un SOS pour les chrétiens du Nigeria. Selon lui, les Fulanis musulmans (aussi appelés Peul en Afrique francophone) seraient sur le point de commettre un « génocide » contre les chrétiens du pays. Dans n’importe quelle région du monde, l’accusation est grave. Dans un pays de près de 200 millions d’habitants, composé à peu près pour moitié de chrétiens, on pourrait attendre une recherche sérieuse et approfondie.

Pressions économiques et écologiques

L’article, cependant, est un florilège d’approximations, de clichés et d’erreurs factuelles. Surtout, en inscrivant les événements du Nigeria dans un « choc des civilisations » global, en appelant à une solidarité mal informée, il peut contribuer à attiser les violences et à durcir encore les clivages.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jutta Urpilainen, new EU commissioner for international partnerships, at the European Parliament in Brussels in October. Photo: Getty Images.

The new European Commission, headed by Ursula von der Leyen, assumed office on 1 December, and there are early signs that Africa will begin near the top of their foreign policy priorities. Policy towards Africa under the new EU administration is yet to be fully defined, but its contours are already visible in the selection of commissioners and assignment of portfolios.

Although rumours of a dedicated commissioner for Africa were unfounded, the appointment of Jutta Urpilainen to the new role of commissioner for international partnerships – replacing the former post of development commissioner – is a strong signal of ongoing change in EU development thinking, away from bilateral aid towards trade and investment, including by the private sector.…  Seguir leyendo »

El pasado 15 de marzo desapareció la segunda ciudad más poblada de Mozambique. Beira, con 500.000 habitantes, quedó inundada por el ciclón Idai en un 90%, y daba la sensación de haber sido arrasada por la guerra, como aseguraban fuentes de Oxfam. El ciclón Idai dejó más de mil muertos, más de cuatro mil casos de cólera y 2,2 millones de desplazados entre Malawi, Zimbabue y Mozambique, el país más afectado. La costa mozambiqueña es propensa a los ciclones y sufre de media un ciclón y medio por año, frecuencia que el cambio climático amenaza con aumentar.

África es el continente más vulnerable a los riesgos del cambio climático a pesar de casi no producirlo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por qué la restitución de bienes culturales

Hace poco, en el palacio presidencial en Dakar, el primer ministro francés Édouard Philippe entregó al presidente senegalés Macky Sall un sable antiguo. Pero no era un regalo: el sable volvía a casa, más de un siglo después de haber sido robado.

La repatriación de un artículo dotado de un profundo significado histórico, espiritual y cultural puede parecer un mero gesto de reparación colonial. Pero esta ceremonia fue diferente; no se trataba solamente de un objeto físico aislado. De hecho, es un punto de inflexión en el reconocimiento por parte de Occidente del daño cultural infligido por el colonialismo.

El sable en cuestión perteneció a El Hadj Umar Tall, fundador del Imperio Tukulor, que en otros tiempos se extendió desde lo que hoy es Senegal hasta Mali y Guinea.…  Seguir leyendo »

An anti-American cartoon from June alleges that Americans were bribing CAR radio stations to broadcast lies. This image appeared on a Facebook page targeting the Central African Republic. (Stanford Internet Observatory)

In October, the Russian government hosted the first Russia-Africa Summit. More than 40 African heads of state arrived in Sochi to “identify new areas and forms of cooperation,” as Vladimir Putin noted in his greeting to participants.

A week later, Facebook announced that it had removed three networks of pages and accounts engaged in a long-term influence operation spanning eight African countries. Facebook, which had proactively identified a majority of the pages, attributed this operation to companies run by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a man with close ties to Putin. Prigozhin is also the Russian oligarch U.S. authorities accused of bankrolling the Internet Research Agency — which the New York Times referred to as the “notorious Russian troll factory.”

Our team at the Stanford Internet Observatory worked with Facebook to identify and analyze these materials.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le 11 novembre a été inauguré, à Paris, un monument en mémoire des soldats « morts pour la France » loin de leur pays depuis 1963. Si on examine le contexte dans lequel sont morts les 549, et hélas bientôt 562, soldats dont le nom y est inscrit, on s’apercevra que presque tous sont tombés en luttant non contre des Etats, mais contre des organisations armées. Aujourd’hui, et pour ne considérer que le Sahel, nous affrontons Ansar Eddine, Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (AQMI), la katiba Macina et la katiba Al-Mourabitoune réunies dans un Groupe pour le soutien de l’islam et des musulmans (GSIM), ainsi que l’Etat islamique dans le Grand Sahara (EIGS).…  Seguir leyendo »

Filming of an outreach film on the Special Criminal Court in June 2019 at the Association of Female Jurists (Bangui). Here, the women victims receive advice on the best ways to protect their rights.

Widespread impunity prevailing in the Central African Republic applies in particular to sexual and gender-based crimes, which are increasingly documented and recorded. As criminal prosecution can only be limited in the absence of an effective judicial structure, we look here at possible solutions. These include the so-called «holistic» approach promoted by the Institut francophone pour la justice et la démocratie, along with the team of Nobel Peace Prize winner doctor Denis Mukwege of Congo and the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Commission project.

In the Central African Republic (CAR), as in all states marked by recent conflict, dealing with sexual violence is one of the major issues that transitional justice must address.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los observaciones y la investigación académica sobre distintos países africanos pintan un panorama decididamente mixto. Sin embargo, las conclusiones a las que arriban, independientemente de que presenten horizontes brillantes o sombríos para dichos países de manera individual, tienden a compartir un mismo enfoque ahistórico.

El África contemporánea es en gran medida un producto del colonialismo, y cualquiera que sea el ámbito en el que uno se enfoque – ya sea el ámbito económico o político, el religioso o geográfico – se encontrará huellas de dicho colonialismo. Un claro ejemplo es la práctica de la democracia en África. A pesar de todas sus promesas, en la mayoría de los países africanos la gobernanza democrática ha tenido que enfrentar dificultades para cumplir con sus compromisos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Angolan President João Lourenço. EFE-EPAAlexei Druzhinin/Sputnik

Two years into his presidency, Angolan leader João Lourenço is treading a difficult course between continuity and radical reform.

Faced with a persistent economic crisis, the new president needs to take bold action to open up the economy to competition and renewed foreign investment, and reduce the country’s dependency on oil.

To do so, he has to loosen the stranglehold of the country’s elites on key sectors of the economy. These are competing networks of interests within the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the security forces that the previous president, José Eduardo dos Santos, had carefully cultivated in his 38 years in power, by using the country’s vast oil revenues.…  Seguir leyendo »

Peacekeeper with the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti

An independent United Nations (UN) strategic review has recommended that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) complete a phased withdrawal by 2022. Moina Spooner, from The Conversation Africa, asked Mats Berdal to give his insights into why this is happening and what the implications could be.

Why is the peacekeeping operation coming to an end?

The UN Organisation Mission in the DRC started off as a small observer force in 1999. It was deployed by the UN Security Council to monitor the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement signed in August 1999. At the time the hope was that this would mark the end of the Second Congo War.…  Seguir leyendo »

Akure’s infrastructure development projects have yet to create space for community participation. Shutterstock

Akure, the medium-sized capital of Ondo State in Southwest Nigeria, has seen its population increase by more than 54% in 13 years. Akure’s population growth is explained by two factors. Ondo State is a part of the Niger Delta, the oil-producing region of Nigeria. In 2006, Akure was classified as a Millennium Development City, as part of its commitment to the eight development goals UN member states agreed to achieve by 2015.

Akure’s population was 360,268 in 2006, according to that year’s National Population and Housing Census. Using a yearly percentage increase of 3.2%, the population of the city in 2019 would be 559,940 people.…  Seguir leyendo »

El potencial económico

Como continente en que se encuentran algunas de las economías de mayor crecimiento del planeta, África es una estimulante frontera para las empresas que buscan oportunidades de expandirse en nuevos mercados. Sin embargo, una persistente desigualdad de género está limitando su potencial.

A pesar de las historias de éxito sobre las mujeres que alcanzaron la cima de la pirámide, millones de africanas comunes y corrientes no participan en condiciones de igualdad de la economía y la sociedad de África. Peor todavía, en los últimos años el proceso hacia la paridad de género se ha estancado o incluso ha retrocedido. A pesar de que más de la mitad de la población africana son mujeres, en 2018 generaron apenas un 33% de su PIB.…  Seguir leyendo »