Foreign Policy Blogs

Southern Africa

The Sentencing of a Killer and Odd Progress in South Africa

The Sentencing of a Killer and Odd Progress in South Africa

[Eugene Terre’Blanche against the backdrop of an AWB flag, From The Guardian via Google Images] I hope you will all forgive my recent break from blogging. But I am back and plan to resume regular posting starting now. Obviously a great deal has transpired across the continent in recent weeks. And nowhere has seen fissures […]

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U.S. must tread carefully in Zimbabwe

U.S. must tread carefully in Zimbabwe

Council of Foreign Relations senior fellow Ambassador John Campbell recently released a policy innovation memorandum entitled, “Zimbabwe: An Opportunity for Closer U.S.-South Africa Relations.” It is heartening to see analysts writing on topics they perceive as beneficial to closer relations between the United States and South Africa. Campbell, a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, makes […]

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Graceland (And Its Controversies) At 25

Graceland (And Its Controversies) At 25

  Twenty-five years ago Paul Simon released his album Graceland, an album that not only became a worldwide hit, but massively expanded the audience of his collaborators, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and simultaneously provided exposure to South African music to millions around the globe. A new documentary (which I have as of yet been unable to […]

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Dear President Mugabe

Dear President Mugabe

What a pity that the people of Zimbabwe and the world made hoopla about your recent trip to Singapore, which turned out to be an ordinary trip for you to attend to your daughter’s post graduate studies in Hong Kong. But can you blame them for believing that your trip was nothing but that of […]

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When Mugabe Goes Does The Fantasy Become a Nightmare?

When Mugabe Goes Does The Fantasy Become a Nightmare?

[Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo] Last week there was a mini Twittersplosion. Rumors began to fly that Robert Mugabe, who had recently traveled to Singapore, was gravely ill. Some asserted that he was on the verge of death. Te response was not exactly joy — most African observers are much like I am, they would like Mugabe to […]

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KONY 2012 Great, But Target These Two African Rebel Groups Next

KONY 2012 Great, But Target These Two African Rebel Groups Next

Eighty million views in such a short period of time. What a world we live in. Fantastic video. Fantastic initiative. However, for those who follow conflict and terrorism in Central Africa like myself, we know Joseph Kony as only one rebel leader of many; the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) as only one rebel group of […]

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Malema’s own Words Come Back to Haunt Him

Malema’s own Words Come Back to Haunt Him

Your own words can came back to haunt you. So learned South Africa’s Julius Malema, the controversial African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader expelled from the ANC for sowing disunity and bringing the ANC into disrepute last Wednesday. In what sounds like a sign of defeat and humiliation, the flamboyant Malema, who’s own firebrand […]

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Ethnic Tensions Simmer in Namibia’s Presidential Succession Race

Ethnic Tensions Simmer in Namibia’s Presidential Succession Race

The simmering ethnic tensions between those who prefer a non-Oshiwambo speaking person to become the next president of Namibia after president Pohamba’s term expires in 2013, and those who view such a call as tribalism and against the country’s slogan of “One Namibia-one nation,” has reached another boiling point. The latest tension stems from the […]

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The World Cup Model for South African Infrastructure

The World Cup Model for South African Infrastructure

In the debate over whether or not the World Cup was, on the whole, good for South Africa, it appears that those arguing in the affirmative have a little more evidence for their case. because when it comes to infrastructural development it appears that the government believes that the World Cup, and more to the […]

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Africa Roundup

Africa Roundup

Here are a few stories that have caught my eye of late, with brief commentary as apt: In an interesting (but probably passing) change of direction, China is putting pressure on Sudan “to seek urgently the release of 29 Chinese workers held by rebels in the border state of South Kordofan.” China traditionally sees national […]

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In Which The Economist Loses a Debate Against Itself

In Which The Economist Loses a Debate Against Itself

The Economist had a piece on South Africa in the latest issue that unintentionally contradicted itself. I usually try not to let others do my work for me, but these two paragraphs warrant regurgitating in full: The ANC has marked up some notable achievements. It enshrined civil and social rights in the constitution. It abolished […]

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Oprah’s Leadership Academy Girls Graduate in South Africa, but Are Boys Being Left Behind?

Oprah’s Leadership Academy Girls Graduate in South Africa, but Are Boys Being Left Behind?

Call it the O-effect. Passing with flying colors, seventy-two South African girls from disadvantaged backgrounds graduated from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (the academy’s first graduates) in South Africa this past Saturday. True to the old adage that to educate a woman is to educate a nation, the queen of talk shows Oprah […]

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South Africa: 2011 in Review

South Africa: 2011 in Review

Happy New Year, everyone. Before you look forward to 2012 it’s time to look back at South Africa’s 2011. 1. Summary of 2011 There were three issues that defined 2011 in South Africa. 1) By far the most significant of these was the controversy over the Protection of State Information Bill. For many years the […]

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Southern Africa Year in Review: Democracy without Citizens?

Southern Africa Year in Review: Democracy without Citizens?

The year 2011 for Southern Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa in general, will probably be remembered for what did not happen in the light of the people-powered uprising and protests that swept across the globe. In the Arab world, in particular North Africa, what is being now referred to as the Arab Spring made 2011 a […]

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News Roundup

News Roundup

Here are a few stories that I’ve been thinking about in recent days: A new report from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Africa and the Arab Spring: A New Era of Democratic Expectations, the first volume of the Africa Center’s new Special Report series, uses the Arab Spring as a lens through which […]

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