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The Africa Report

The Africa Report

No. 113

The Africa Report is the international publication of reference dedicated to African affairs, anticipating economic and political changes in Africa and relied upon for the independent expertise in its surveys, sector reports and country focus in each issue.

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Country:
France
Language:
English
Publisher:
SIFIJA
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
trading politics

At a high water mark for economic nationalism and global commerce battered by a pandemic, why would anyone want to run the World Trade Organisation (WTO)? That is what we asked the African candidates in the running for the director-general’s job at the WTO. With Kenya’s former foreign minister Amina Mohamed and Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as front-running candidates, it’s not an academic conjecture. The winner is due to be announced by 7 November. Both Mohamed and Okonjo-Iweala, along with insisting that more women should be running top international organisations, argue that Africa’s position and interests could revitalise the deadlocked organisation, although both stress their international credentials and experience. With multilateralism in crisis, the WTO’s dispute mechanism has been blocked since the USstarted boycotting it last year, Africa is the…

2 min.
mailbag

RISE FROM THE ASHES It is shocking to learn of the fire that has gutted Makerere University's main administration building overnight. This institution, particularly the main building, is a symbol of Uganda, a landmark embedded in the history of East Africa. The immediate rush to discuss reconstruction rather than first being concerned about the cause of the fire and what has been lost, could be seen as a motive for criminality. Mysterious fires that target official records are nothing new in the last 30 years. That said, Makerere University must indeed rise in due course, and all efforts should be made to modernise its administrative functions. All the corruption infestation and the known sexual abuse practices against female students must also be seen as administrative evils to eliminate from the new…

5 min.
matshidiso moeti continental prescriber

It is one of those rare mornings in Brazzaville when Doctor Matshidiso Moeti doesn’t have a full roster of meetings with international public health officials or is rushing for a plane headed for an African capital. For, as the Africa regional director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Moeti has been focused almost entirely on the continent’s response to the coronavirus pandemic since February. Launching the teleconference with some expertise, Moeti explains that she has become a veteran of “Zoom diplomacy”. As we poured our respective coffees in Brazzaville and Paris, she described how, as the pandemic ricocheted across the world, the WHO moved into areas way beyond its public health mandate, demanding her round-the-clock attention on diplomatic and economic, as well as medical, matters. “We know that health is a vital…

4 min.
q4 / october

ELECTIONS Pandemic polls October’s Covid-era elections have something in common: strong incumbents using the pandemic and their power to limit the opposition’s ability to operate. In Tanzania, John ‘Bulldozer’ Magufuli is running for a second term, while in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea Alassane Ouattara and Alpha Condé, respectively, are aiming for their third consecutive terms. In Côte d’Ivoire, while an exiled Guillaume Soro calls for a unified opposition, Henri Konan Bédié and Pascal Affi N’Guessan have the strongest chances in the first round but will split the vote opposed to Ouattara. In Guinea, Condé again faces off against Celou Dalein Diallo, an effective mobiliser who has made the past two terms difficult for him. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, Chadema leader Tundu Lissu returned home after recovering from an assassination attempt and faced further…

4 min.
q4 / november

SOMALIA Progress derailed and delayed In 2017, President Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ Abdullahi Mohamed swept into power on a wave of ‘Make Somalia Great Again’ fervour that crashed into the continuing Al-Shabaab rebellion, chronic food insecurity, the reliance of the government on external powers, political infighting and now the Covid-19 crisis. The big milestone for this year was due to be Somalia’s first one-person, one-vote election. That will not now be possible this year or the next. Long-serving prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire was sacked in a July vote of no confidence. In September he was replaced by political neophyte Mohamed Hussein Roble because the government had not yet formulated plans for elections now due to be held in February 2021. Parliament’s term will normally expire in November and Farmaajo’s first term will end…

5 min.
q4 / december

BOOK Harvard sociologist Danilo Mandic’s new book comes at a crucial time, as organised crime networks adapt to the Covid-19 era and also get in on corrupt supply deals with governments. Criminal networks are key to Somali rebels’ ability to make improvised explosive devices and for Sahelian groups to smuggle goods. Mandic takes examples from around the globe to demonstrate how this is a governance challenge that will continue to influence politics and security in the years ahead. MOHAMMED BADI Nairobi Metropolitan Services director said that ongoing water, sanitation and street-cleaning operations will have a major impact on quality of life in the Kenyan capital. The clean-up has included collecting 250 tonnes of rubbish from Burma Market and Muthurwa and sinking 93 boreholes in 100 days. ‘The Nairobi CBD is undergoing a face lift…