Foreign Policy Blogs

Africa

Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country (Part 2)

Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country (Part 2)

“Somalia is a country where the soft power really needs to kick in harder and come in faster”

Last week I shared the highlights of my interview with Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga, the former head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia and special representative of the U.N. Secretary General …

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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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Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country

Breaking Bad in the Most Fragile Country

 
A Conversation with Somalia’s Chief Peace maker and Constitutional Framer
“Do people actually live here?” I recall asking myself as I made the torturous journey through the streets of the bullet-riddled ruins of Mogadishu in the back of a noisy, slow and filled-to-capacity, open-top military utility truck. It is difficult to imagine …

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“Christian American B*stard — go home!”

“Christian American B*stard — go home!”

How to Keep Somalia’s “Lost Boys” Problem From Becoming Our Own 
“Christian American B*stard, go home!” was the insult hurled at me by a sandal-wearing, skinny and feisty 14-year-old Somali boy on a sultry day in Somalia in 1993. The boy’s name was Maxamed, and I was a 22-year-old U.S. Marine …

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What shale gas could mean for Southern Africa

What shale gas could mean for Southern Africa

The shale gas debate rages on across Europe, Asia, and North America, but one ponders how the already resource rich Southern Africa fits into this equation. What is there, what is the potential and what could it mean from an economic and geopolitical standpoint?
One country already known to possess great …

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Young Foreigners making an impact in Africa

Young Foreigners making an impact in Africa

 
Last year I blogged about some phenomenal young people from the African continent doing extraordinary things.
This years search was somewhat different. Young People in International Affairs (YPIA) based in South Africa put out a worldwide call for nominations earlier in 2013 to find the top 35 foreigners under 35-years-old making …

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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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Poor timing may leave CAR to its fate

Poor timing may leave CAR to its fate

The people of the Central African Republic (CAR) may be left to fend for themselves. Despite the increasingly dire humanitarian crisis emerging in the country, conflict in other countries may overshadow the situation so much that the country will be left to its fate.

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Ethiopia’s Broadband Network – A Chinese Trojan Horse?

Ethiopia’s Broadband Network – A Chinese Trojan Horse?

Ethiopia’s signing last month of a $800 million broadband network with Chinese telecoms giant ZTE has some pundits again focusing on Chinese economic espionage in Africa.  The agreement calls for the establishment of a 4G broadband network in the capital Addis Ababa and a 3G network throughout the rest of …

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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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Senior Blogger

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

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