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The Nigerian state and the economy of disaffection. Now that the protocols of power have disappeared and the inauguration of a new president over, we can resume in earnest the business of thinking aloud about the problems and prospects of Nigeria. The last few days to the inauguration of the Buhari administration have been particularly hair-raising. It has been the equivalent of an apocalyptic meltdown in Nigeria. What we dreamed of in improbable nightmares suddenly became a fearful reality. For a moment, it seemed as if something was about to give. For the first time in living memory, Nigerians experienced the equivalent of a virtual state lock down. As striking petroleum sector workers held the nation by the jugular, the national electricity grid collapsed. The phantom petroleum subsidy which is a function of phantom accounting, phantom ships, phantom bill of laden and phantom landing finally turned Nigeria into a phantom land.

Fists of fury and empty jerry cans flew at short notice. Mohammadu Buhari has his work cut out for him. The Observer view on how Burundi’s fate has lessons across Africa | Observer editorial. It could be argued that what happens in Burundi does not matter much in the overall scheme of things. But to say so would be wrong. This small central African country, the scene last week of a thwarted military coup, has struggled to establish democratic institutions after a long civil war that ended, not wholly convincingly, in 2005.

It was important, and not just for Burundians, that their brittle bid for responsible, accountable self-governance not be hijacked by a bunch of self-interested, bumbling generals, as has happened so often elsewhere. Luckily for Burundi, so great was the mutineers’ incompetence that they failed to grasp the need to seize the state radio station, a prerequisite for any successful African coup. They also failed to ascertain the loyalties of the army chief and the police. Despite a complicated, archetypically African post-colonial legacy – it gained independence from Belgium in 1962 – the country did not suddenly fall apart. Djibouti: GCC’s strategic link to Africa. I write this week from Djibouti, a country small in area (23,000 sq. kilometers) and population (900,000), limited in its resources, but holds gigantic strategic significance.

It has been the most stable oasis compared to its Horn of Africa neighbors, making it extremely important to maintain its security and stability when dealing with terrorism and piracy threats in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, as well as civil unrest as in Yemen and Somalia. Almost the entire population follows the Shafii school of Sunni jurisprudence. It is a member of the Arab League, but enjoys an interesting ethnic and tribal mix, which speaks Arabic, French and a number of local dialects.

Djibouti has a growing, pluralistic political culture. Last week, the government reached a deal with the Union of National Salvation (USN) opposition coalition, paving the way for opposition lawmakers to make their first parliamentary appearance. Source: ArabNews. What will Sub-Saharan Africa Look Like in 2030? By Christian Hellwig for Global Risk Insights According to the U.S National Security Council, Sub-Saharan Africa’s role within the global community will change dramatically in the mid-term future.

A number of opportunities need to be fully embraced by Sub-Saharan societies and their political classes to sustainably profit from this process of change. Africa’s latest resurgence as a global hub for investment Sub-Saharan Africa’s recent resurgence as a financial hub for global investment gives some important indication of the continent’s pivotal future role in an era of globalization and insatiable demand for economic growth. Large-scale funding and private and state investment initiatives such as the record fund-raising by London-based wealth fund Helios, Angola’s launch of a $1.6bn Africa infrastructure fund or a Swiss private bank’s first buyout fund set up early this year constitute encouraging signs amidst a sluggish world economy.

It’s a rocky road ahead. Blue economy: why women must ride the wave of Africa’s maritime sector | Jane Dudman | Global development. The African continent has a two-pronged weapon in its race to industrialise and make use of its natural resources, according to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the 54-member African Union (AU): women and oceans.

In March, while the former South African home affairs minister was attending a conference in Ethiopia on getting more women into parliament, the AU was hosting the first event specifically for women in Africa’s maritime sector in the Angolan capital, Luanda. The agenda covered how women can best make inroads into areas including shipping and maritime transport, fishing, offshore mining and other aspects of the “blue economy”. For Dlamini-Zuma, the two themes are intertwined. She believes that developing African sea power presents an unrivalled opportunity for women. “Now we’re trying to get everybody to focus on this and we are also saying to women that this is an underdeveloped area. China is taking a leading role in this process. Our-shameful-hierarchy--some-deaths-matter-more-than-others-8581715.

Let’s be honest. We ignore Congo’s atrocities because it’s in Africa | Owen Jones. Some lives matter more than others: the “hierarchy of death”, they call it. The millions killed, maimed and traumatised in the Democratic Republic of Congo are surely at the bottom of this macabre pile. The country was the site of the deadliest war since the fall of Adolf Hitler, and yet I doubt most people in the west are even aware of it. No heart-wrenching exclusives at the top of news bulletins; no mounting calls for western militaries to “do something”. We are rightly appalled at a barbaric conflict in Syria that has stolen the lives of 200,000 civilians; and yet up to 6 million people are believed to have perished in the DRC. Not that the mainstream media alone can be berated for this astonishing lack of attention. Although the murderous intensity of the war peaked between 1998 and 2003, the misery has persisted.

Armed militias continue to commit atrocities, and the aftermath of the war has left the country impoverished and devastated. But we should perhaps just be more honest. South African Contractors Fight Boko Haram. While the world remains fixated on the “ISIS crisis” in the Middle East, a small group of South African soldiers-for-hire are once again proving what it takes to fight, and win, against terrorists and insurgents.

Teamed up with Nigerian military forces, a private military company named Pilgrims Africa Ltd. is employing South African Special Forces veterans to do what they do best: fight the dirty little bush wars that the United Nations can’t or won’t fight themselves. Boko Haram is the Islamic terrorist organization in Nigeria responsible for somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 civilian deaths over the last five years. Operational in northeast Nigeria, as well as parts of Chad and Cameroon, Boko Haram is also infamous for kidnapping hundreds of school girls intended to be sold into sexual slavery or to be married off the Boko Haram terrorists.

First Lady Michelle Obama spearheaded a completely useless social media activism campaign in response with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls. Cables reveal S Africa at odds with allies on al-Qaeda. Russian intelligence claimed in February 2011 that al-Qaeda had established a "marine unit" based in North Africa and planned to use speedboats as "floating bombs", according to documents leaked to Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit. That was just one of dozens of alarmist cables sent by foreign intelligence agencies to their South African counterparts, who declined to embrace the claim that al-Qaeda presented a direct threat on South African soil. The Spy Cables include numerous documents detailing the hunt for al-Qaeda by intelligence agencies including Britain's MI6, Israel's Mossad and South Africa's State Security Agency (SSA). These documents profile the group's activities, singling out suspicious individuals and warning of possible plots. What also emerges is an attempt by the most powerful states to create a common narrative based on fear of terrorism by bombarding the intelligence services of smaller countries with warnings, in order to shape their priorities.

Biological weapons. Africa is new ‘El Dorado of espionage’, leaked intelligence files reveal. Africa emerges as the 21st century theatre of espionage, with South Africa as its gateway, in the cache of secret intelligence documents and cables seen by the Guardian. “Africa is now the El Dorado of espionage,” said one serving foreign intelligence officer. The continent has increasingly become the focus of international spying as the battle for its resources has intensified, China’s economic role has grown dramatically, and the US and other western states have rapidly expanded their military presence and operations in a new international struggle for Africa.

With South Africa a regional powerhouse and communications hub, Pretoria has become a centre of the continent’s new Great Game, intelligence officials say, and a target of global espionage. The United States, along with its French and British allies, is the major military and diplomatic power on the continent. The targets of foreign intelligence are myriad, ranging from jihadi groups to economic or technological theft. Shocking Photographs of Drought in Kenya. Stefano De Luigi is a documentary photographer from Cologne. To say that his photos are jarring would be an understatement: They grab you by the neck. Stefano won three World Press Photo awards in different categories in 1998, 2008, and 2010 and has been published by magazines from the New Yorker to Time. In 2009 he shot a series of works based on the Kenyan drought, specifically within the Turkana region in northwest Kenya. "This tragedy, where animals and people were struggling to survive this terrible drought, was a sort of nightmare vision," says Stefano, who uses the drought as a lens through which to examine climate change more widely.

"It's about a future which could be waiting for all of us if we don't deeply change our habits, if we don't reconsider our way to share the resources of our planet with more sense of responsibility. This is, I think, the message that these images of suffering carry with them. Did you expect it to have such an effect on you? More photos below. African Boom Towns You May Never Have Heard Of. Boom towns come and boom towns go. Logistics company DHL may be in a unique position to gauge which towns in Africa are booming right now based on the volume of goods being shipped in and out to support technology, mining and agriculture.

The company provides international express mail services as a division of the German logistics company Deutsche, which claims to be the world’s largest logistics company. HowWeMadeItInAfrica asked DHL managers in certain African countries to identify which towns and cities they would consider boom towns based on shipping business volume. Here are some of their responses: Nacala, Mozambique Mozambique most northern port, Nacala is the deepest natural port on Africa’s east coast and is also the terminal for the Nacala Railway which links landlocked Malawi to the coast. Ebène, Mauritius Mbarara, Uganda Ganta, Liberia Farafenni, The Gambia Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Chinese Anti-Aircraft Missiles Appear in South Sudan — War Is Boring. By PETER DÖRRIE The civil war in South Sudan is a little more than a year old, but it won’t end for lack of fresh weapons. Recently, South Sudanese troops proudly paraded a new surface-to-air missile launcher.

It’s also Chinese. Specifically, it’s a Chinese QW-2 Vanguard, according to consultant firm Armament Research Services, which identified the weapon from its design and markings. The shoulder-fired QW-2 is a fairly advanced and modern weapon. And there’s one overriding reason why China is supplying South Sudan with the missile—to ward off occasional air strikes by Sudan. Chinese weapons and ammunition began appearing in large numbers among South Sudanese Pres. “In recent months, we’ve seen large transfers from China,” Emile LeBrun of weapons-monitoring group Small Arms Survey tells War Is Boring. South Sudan is also highly dependent on oil — with most facilities located in the war-torn northern regions of the country.

The wells are vulnerable to Sudanese warplanes. China Is Surging Its Military Into Africa — War Is Boring. By PETER DÖRRIE Chinese activities in Africa have expanded massively during the last decade. To be sure, most of this has been purely economic—such as bartering access to natural resources in exchange for loans. But these money-making activities have grown so much in recent years, China is realizing it can’t keep relying on African governments to protect them—and the thousands of Chinese nationals who’ve moved to the continent. Beijing isn’t giving up on making business deals in Africa. Far from it. David Shinn, a former American ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso—and an expert on China-Africa relations—believes Chinese investment in Africa will slow down over the next 15 years. But there’s a catch. “Although it’s grown a lot, particularly since the Chinese got involved in 2008 in the anti-piracy operation off Somalia,” he adds.

China’s economic growth and internal stability relies on free and open trade routes. Power projection But Beijing hasn’t followed this practice consistently. Africa Is Arming Faster Than Any Other Continent — War Is Boring. African governments are spending huge sums acquiring new weaponry. Military budgets on the continent increased 8.3 percent on average from 2012 to 2013—and a whopping 81 percent between 2004 to 2013, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. No other region, not even Asia or the Middle East, is boosting its arms spending that fast. The growth rates look less impressive in absolute terms, as most African countries have a small economic base.

But the old stereotype—Africa as a military backwater—is now hopelessly inaccurate. The oil trade provides much of the cash for this arming-up. Deep pockets There are 55 countries in Africa and they all have different military ambitions. In some cases, the arms acquisitions are merely functions of general economic growth. Last year, Algeria boosted arms spending by $500 million and became the first African country to spend more than $10 billion on its armed forces. But the greater concern for Pres. Sudan Is Arming Africa and No One Cares — War Is Boring. By PETER DÖRRIE Sudan is full of conflict. Soldiers still murder civilians in Darfur, rampant violence engulfs South Kordofan and the Nuba Mountains, and rebels face off against the government in Blue Nile State. But despite these troubles at home, the Sudanese government under Pres.

Omar Al Bashir—who has the distinction of being the first standing head of state indicted for war crimes—is intent on arming practically everyone in Africa. Researchers have long traced weapons and ammo across the continent back to Sudan. Armies and militants from the Ivory Coast to Somalia use Sudanese merchandise. At the heart of Sudan’s arms distribution network sits the Military Industry Corporation, a government-owned weapons manufacturer. Its website touts a huge arsenal of domestically-produced hardware, including local variants of AK-pattern rifles, ammunition for light and heavy weapons, armored vehicles and artillery.

Few, if any, of these arms were locally developed. Séléka rebels toppled Pres. Private equity in Africa: Unblocking the pipes. A secure whistleblowing platform for African media - afriLeaks. Explicit cookie consent. From dust bowl to bread basket: digging the dirt on soil erosion | Global Development Professionals Network. Human Security in the Age of Ebola: Towards People-centered Global Governance. Militarized Humanitarianism in Africa. 1st LD-Writethru: Deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever breaks out in Uganda. LUt.jpg:larg. African Tensions & conflicts. Carte afrique geopolitique. Map_of_Trans-African_Highways.PNG (PNG Image, 832 × 832 pixels) Cocoa Surges on Ebola Fears. UK money transfer firms accused of excessive charges on Africa remittances | Global development. The amazing, surprising, Africa-driven demographic future of the Earth, in 9 charts.

NLÉ | NLÉ IS AN ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN AND URBANISM PRACTICE FOCUSED ON DEVELOPING CITIES. Mapping Africa | A Princeton University Project. INSIGHT-Nigerian pirate gangs extend reach off West Africa. Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa.