Foreign Policy Blogs

Sub-Saharan Africa

African youth perceptions of the U.S.

African youth perceptions of the U.S.

  Being an American professor living in Africa and teaching international relations, I have been involved in numerous debates about my country and its foreign policy. Obviously you get your mix, some pro-U.S. and some not. To try and make better sense of the situation, I decided to embark on a little pet project in […]

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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 Congress (ANC), comes down to the delivery of services. This phrase is ubiquitous among politically […]

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Even if Kony turns himself in, he still emerges as the victor

Even if Kony turns himself in, he still emerges as the victor

In 1986, after years of terror under the reign of Idi Amin and a resistance that yielded two successful military coups, Yoweri Museveni emerged as the unchallenged leader of Uganda, as his National Resistance Army seized Kampala and installed Museveni as president. That same year, another rebel group took up resistance against the newly formulated […]

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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 overlap between them that represents […]

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With M23 on the run, DRC has golden opportunity for peace

With M23 on the run, DRC has golden opportunity for peace

Mouvement du 23-Mars (M23) rebels fled their stronghold in Bunaguna, a small town in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the border with Uganda, the rebel movement’s political leader, Bertrand Bisimwa, called for a ceasefire to end all hostilities. While fighting is ongoing, as Congolese government troops (FARDC) continue to […]

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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 we can argue (as myriad academics and journalists have) about the […]

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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 for Somalia (Part I […]

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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 and weeks with brief commentary […]

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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 a place on […]

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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 on the first of […]

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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 potential that can be […]

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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 an impact on […]

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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 this seems to go unmentioned in the movie (Yes, I know — expecting substantial political subtext in […]

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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 Africa is a Country (which added useful links within the piece) about South African cricketer Hashim Amla. Tolsi explores race and identity through the intriguing figure of […]

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