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2014 African Election Preview

2014 African Election Preview

Millions of citizens of African countries will go to the polls in Presidential, parliamentary/legislative, state/provincial, and local elections in 2014. We will surely cover many of those here at the FPA. Here is an early preview of which elections are happening where (as of January 8) with brief commentary on …

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South Sudan in Crisis

South Sudan in Crisis

[European Union]
South Sudan earned its independence just over two years ago. Yesterday, really. By the standards of international policy most countries had not even begun to think about South Sudan as anything other than a regional roadblock, never mind as its own entity. Hell, I don’t even have a coherent …

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Madiba: Hamba Kahle

Madiba: Hamba Kahle

It happened when I was watching ESPN. I discovered that Madiba had passed.
It was like a punch to the gut, even though I knew it was coming. He had been ill since I was in South Africa in June, July, and August, and yet it came from nowhere.
And so now …

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Delivery and South African Politics

Delivery and South African Politics

Recent protests in Cape Town (and an article about those protests in the Mail and Guardian) provide a useful reminder that much of the discontent among South Africans, even those who otherwise would proclaim their fealty to the African National …

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AFRICOM and US-African Relations

AFRICOM and US-African Relations

What is the United States interest in Africa? What do African leaders and the people they are supposed to serve want from American engagement in their continent and in their countries? If we have a Venn diagram where the answers to these two questions exist as circles, where is the …

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China, Africa, and South African Regional Influence

China, Africa, and South African Regional Influence

This past week South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe attended the fifth South Africa-China bi-national commission (BNC) in Beijing. There is nothing particularly shocking about this. China has worked hard in the last decade or more to establish relationships with African countries. And while …

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Sub-Saharan Africa News Roundup

With each passing day it seemed another story crossed my desk that I wanted to write about. Now I have so many tabs open on my computer that it is slowing things down considerably. So without further ado, a roundup of stories that have caught my eye in recent days …

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A South African Footnote to “Rush”

A South African Footnote to “Rush”

[Jalopnik/Gawker]
So this is kind of cool. Apparently Formula One legend James Hunt, who is the central character in the new Ron Howard movie Rush, was also an ardent and vocal opponent of the Apartheid regime. Of course …

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People Are Just the Worst (UPDATED)

People Are Just the Worst (UPDATED)

Today’s evidence that people are the absolute worst: Poachers in Zimbabwe have killed more than eighty elephants by putting cyanide in one of their watering holes.
UPDATED: Authorities have caught and convicted the perpetrators, who have received fifteen-year prison sentences.

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Hashim Amla, Race, and South African Cricket

Hashim Amla, Race, and South African Cricket

[Hashim Amla. From Africa is a Country.]
A few months ago Niren Tolsi had a fantastic piece in The Con that he later allowed to be republished in …

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Robert Mugabe: Sore Winner

Robert Mugabe: Sore Winner

[Robert Mugabe in his Default Setting. ©The Guardian]
And in the least surprising news ever, Robert Mugabe proves not to be gracious in victory. He has announced his new government, and the opposition MDC, which has been part of an uncomfortable coalition for the last five years, finds itself on the outside …

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Fighting For Brazil

Fighting For Brazil

Seven spots are up for grabs this weekend in the penultimate phase of African qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Ten teams will fight for five remaining spots in knockout playoffs next month. Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian provides …

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Labor Day Links

If you are reading this in the United States, Happy Labor Day! For the rest of the world, Happy Monday! (And n.b. Labor Day is a holiday in which we celebrate those who toil by not toiling.) In recent weeks I took a bit of a late-summer hiatus from blogging, …

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Africa Check

Africa Check

A new website, Africa Check, has emerged to provide the valuable service of fact checking (and oftentimes debunking) claims from public figures and journalists.
From the website:

For democracy to function, public figures need to be held to account for what they say. The claims …

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“Only thing left for Zim voters is hope” (Self Indulgence Alert)

“Only thing left for Zim voters is hope” (Self Indulgence Alert)

This past weekend South Africa’s Sunday Independent published a lengthy (by op-ed standards) piece of mine on the Zim elections, which are taking place today. It continues one of my prevailing themes in the last few weeks, and indeed represents an attempt to synthesize my last month’s writing on Zim …

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About the Author

Derek Catsam
Derek Catsam

Derek Catsam is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Derek writes about race and politics in the United States and Africa, sports, and terrorism. He is currently working on books on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s, the Freedom Rides, and South African resistance politics in the 1980s. He has lived, worked, and travelled extensively throughout southern Africa. He is also a lifelong sports fan, with the Boston Red Sox as his first true love. He was one of about three dozen people to write books about the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, and the result is Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan's Diary of the 2004 Season. He writes about politics, sports, travel, pop culture, and just about anything else that comes to mind.

Areas of Focus:
Africa; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Apartheid

Contact

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