Foreign Policy Blogs

Sub-Saharan Africa

Somalia and the Houdinis of Corruption

Somalia and the Houdinis of Corruption

In the moral version of human history – expressed in the Quran, Bible, and Torah – corruption is considered the worst reckless impulse that caused men to fall from grace. It was the betrayal of trust and loyalty for purely selfish gains. From that perspective, the root cause of corruption is individual moral shutdown, derailment […]

read more

Conflict Minerals: A Manifestation of Modern-Day Colonialism

Conflict Minerals: A Manifestation of Modern-Day Colonialism

                                                                 (Photo from the Enough Project)   The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has historically been the focal point of devastating internal conflict since colonial […]

read more

African Regimes at a Crossroads

African Regimes at a Crossroads

New hope is blowing across the African continent against the backdrop of toppled heads of government and state in South Africa and Zimbabwe and a rejuvenated government that is pursuing ambitious reforms in Ethiopia. Other recent examples of transitions from long-sitting governments have also played out in Burkina Faso and The Gambia where the sitting […]

read more

Transformation Euphoria in the Horn of Africa

Transformation Euphoria in the Horn of Africa

The political transformation in the Horn of Africa is arguably the most counterintuitive development in the 21st century so far. Ethiopia has steered away from implosion and, for the first time in its history, appointed an Oromo Prime Minister with an Islamic name and heritage, ending the 20-year-long conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Nonetheless, Abiy […]

read more

Ethiopia Between Risk and Reform

Ethiopia Between Risk and Reform

On 2 April 2018, Ethiopia’s restless new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn into power. Since then the Federal Republic of Ethiopia has found itself in a whirlwind of reform. Ethiopia is undergoing its most significant changes since the 1991 birth of the EPRDF ruling coalition under its controversial leader, Meles Zenawi. The last two months […]

read more

On South Africa

On South Africa

I first visited South Africa in 2008, when Thabo Mbeki was being outmaneuvered by Jacob Zuma, who forced out Mbeki and ascended to the presidency in spite of sexual assault and corruption charges. No one then understood how catastrophic Zuma’s eight years in power would be—but a report the other weekend demonstrates how he undermined critical democratic […]

read more

On Zuma, Ramaphosa, and the State of South African Politics

On Zuma, Ramaphosa, and the State of South African Politics

It has been an eventful few weeks in South African politics, as eventful as any since the period from the CODESA negotiations that ended apartheid through the early, heady days of Nelson Mandela’s epochal presidency. The era of Jacob Zuma has finally come to an end, the era of Cyril Ramaphosa, long awaited in some […]

read more

5 Africa stories to watch in 2018

5 Africa stories to watch in 2018

From widely known, to worrying to weird, here are five developing stories to watch in Africa as we kick off 2018. The fall of Mugabe (Grace Mugabe that is) The ageing Robert Mugabe’s departure was only a matter of time. It was accelerated by the very public factionalism and succession squabbling within ZANU-PF – and […]

read more

On the Ground (Indirectly) in Harare

On the Ground (Indirectly) in Harare

  Communicating with friends and colleagues in Harare, I am hearing the following (all quotations are direct from people I have communicated with, but I hope you’ll forgive my granting of anonymity in light of the circumstances): Get out of your minds your 1970s African coup cliches. Most of the streets in suburban Harare (and […]

read more

Crisis in Zimbabwe: Is Mugabe Finally Out?

Crisis in Zimbabwe: Is Mugabe Finally Out?

What is happening in Zimbabwe? It appears that 93-year old “President for Life” Robert Mugabe might finally be out of power. The military has refused to acknowledge a “coup,” but when the military leadership provide the spokesmen for the government, when generals are asserting who will and will not be acceptable as potential heads of […]

read more

Straight Talk On Somalia Insecurity

Straight Talk On Somalia Insecurity

There is a broad-based consensus that security in Somalia has been deteriorating at an alarming rate. In the past few weeks, hundreds of people have been killed by truck bombs at two prominent locations in Mogadishu. The lethal potency of the explosives and the scale of death and devastation resulting from the Oct 14th one […]

read more

Farmajo Follows Footsteps of Failure

Farmajo Follows Footsteps of Failure

  All betrayals are not made equal. In recent weeks, a political disaster of epic proportions has befallen upon Somalia. The Somali government has committed what many – including some of its staunchest supporters – consider a treasonous act. Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) has extradited a Somali citizen, a highly decorated military […]

read more

Blackened Waters of Somalia

Blackened Waters of Somalia

At this critical juncture and in this particular ‘do or die’ moment in Somali history, objective assessment of new trends has an existential significance. Early this year when the previous Somali President was voted out of the office in favor of a more popular one, the euphoria was so contagious, and expectation so high. Sadly, […]

read more

Trump Administration Looks to Weaken Rules on Conflict Minerals

Trump Administration Looks to Weaken Rules on Conflict Minerals

The Trump administration has ordered a review of Dodd-Frank banking regulations with view to scale back its scope. This would include dismantling rules that require companies using ‘conflict minerals’ to disclose their sourcing and monitor supply chains.

read more

Circling The Square In Somalia

Circling The Square In Somalia

Somalia is headed in the right direction. But “right direction” doesn’t mean a path free of pitfalls and clear of landmines.

read more

americasdiplomats_socialmediaasset